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Longtime Pence aide to serve as chief of staff

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Indiana Gov.-elect Mike Pence's top congressional aide is moving to the governor's office to serve as his chief of staff.

Bill Smith said Tuesday he accepted Pence's invitation to continue on as his top aide as he moves to the governor's office. Smith is leading Pence's transition efforts and said more staff announcements were expected later Tuesday.

Pence has already tapped veteran lawmaker Jeff Espich to serve as his chief lobbyist and Daniels administration veteran Chris Atkins to work as his budget director. Mark Ahearn will be Pence's chief counsel.

The new Pence team will take over in January, when it submits its first biennial budget to the General Assembly.

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