Delaware Gov. Ruth Ann Minner last week appointed Secretary of Agriculture Michael T. Scuse as her new chief of staff.

“Michael’s experience leading the Department of Agriculture, his strong professional relationship with members of my cabinet, and his prior experience as chair of the Kent County Regional Planning Commission made him an obvious choice as chief of staff,” Minner said in a statement. “We are obviously in a period of transition as my term comes to a close, but this position is an important one, and I did not want it to go unfilled for my remaining months in office.”

Scuse will take over today the duties of chief of staff Mark T. Brainard, who left the position to become assistant campus director for Delaware Technical and Community College.

Scuse, 54, has served as the agriculture secretary since May 2001. Minner will appoint state forester Austin Short as acting secretary of agriculture. The governor’s second term ends in January.

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