Pence names regulator Atterholt chief of staff

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence has named former lawmaker and current Indiana Regulatory Commission Chairman Jim Atterholt as his new chief of staff.

Pence announced Tuesday that Atterholt will begin serving as his top aide next Monday. He succeeds Bill Smith, a longtime Pence aide who left last Friday to start a political consulting firm.

Atterholt was appointed by former Gov. Mitch Daniels to the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission in June 2009 and was named chairman in October 2010. Before that, he was the state insurance commissioner for more than four years.

The Fort Wayne native served two terms as a member of the Indiana House of Representatives from 1998 to 2002. He was a lobbyist for AT&T-Indiana from 2003 to 2004.

Atterholt was named utility chief to replace David Lott Hardy, who was fired by Daniels amid an ethics probe involving Duke Energy Corp.

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