James Uthmeier named Ron DeSantis’ next Chief of Staff
James Uthmeier. Image via NASA/Joel Kowsky/Flickr.

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Uthmeier will be DeSantis' third Chief of Staff, both in his first term and in 2021.

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ current general counsel, James Uthmeier, will become his Chief of Staff next month when current chief Adrian Lukis departs the administration.

Uthmeier has been General Counsel since October 2020 and first began working in Gov. DeSantis’ legal office as Deputy General Counsel in March 2019. The Northwest Florida Daily News first reported his promotion.

“We are proud to welcome James as the next Chief of Staff for Gov. DeSantis, where he will continue to serve the people of Florida,” DeSantis spokeswoman Taryn Fenske said in a statement. “James looks forward to supporting the Governor’s mission of ensuring our state continues to be a place where every family has the opportunity to succeed, knowing their constitutional liberties will also be protected.”

Uthmeier, a Destin native, received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Florida before getting his law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center.

Before joining the DeSantis administration, Uthmeier served as a senior adviser and counsel to U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and an associate at the law firm Jones Day. He is also an adjunct professor at Florida State University.

Lukis was elevated from Deputy to head Chief of Staff in March. However, Lukis didn’t plan to stick around long because of his young family.

Lukis’ last day, and Uthmeier’s first, will be Oct. 1.

“We greatly appreciate Adrian’s leadership, expertise, and service to Floridians,” Fenske said. “He has been in the administration since the start — first as Deputy Chief of Staff and then as the Chief of Staff for Gov. DeSantis, and has held the interests of Floridians at the forefront of what he does every day.”

Uthmeier will be DeSantis’ third Chief of Staff, both in his first term and in 2021. Lukis replaced Shane Strum, who left the administration to be Broward Health’s CEO.

Ryan Newman will replace Uthmeier as general counsel.

“We are thrilled to welcome him to the team and know he will be an invaluable part of the administration,” Fenske said.

Renzo Downey

Renzo Downey covers state government for Florida Politics. After graduating from Northwestern University in 2019, Renzo began his reporting career in the Lone Star State, covering state government for the Austin American-Statesman. Shoot Renzo an email at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @RenzoDowney.


  • PeterH

    September 23, 2021 at 9:58 pm

    Senior advisor to Wilbur Ross says everything I need to know! LOL

  • Bennett Marco

    September 23, 2021 at 10:20 pm

    Another fascist.

  • Impeach Biden

    September 24, 2021 at 6:41 am

    You are just an angry black man. You should be protesting in Del Rio with that other racist Al Sharpton. The reverend of “hate whitey”.

Comments are closed.


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