Tuesday, November 28, 2000

Lucas loses chief of staff

By Patrick Crowley
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        John Lapp, chief of staff and top aide to Kentucky U.S. Rep. Ken Lucas, is leaving to take a similar post with New York Congressman-elect Steve Israel.

        Mr. Lapp, 30, took a leave of absence this year to work on the Israel campaign. He said he wants to work for Mr. Israel when he takes office because he enjoyed working for the candidate.

        Mr. Israel, a Democrat from Long Island, is expected to face a tough political challenge from lame duck Congressman Rick Lazio, the Long Island Republican who gave up the seat Mr. Israel won to run against Hillary Clinton in New York's Senate race.

        Mr. Lazio lost the Senate race and has already said he will likely try to win his old House seat back in two years.

        “This was a tough decision,” Mr. Lapp, a University of Virginia graduate who worked in community development before joining Mr. Lucas, said Monday. “Working for Ken Lucas has been wonderful. It's like leaving family.”

        Mr. Lapp was instrumental in Mr. Lucas' 1998 win over Republican Gex (Jay) Williams.

        Mr. Lucas, a Boone County Democrat, was re-elected Nov. 7 to a second term for Kentucky's 4th Congressional District, which includes Northern Kentucky.

        Mr. Lapp will be replaced as Mr. Lucas' chief of staff by Cheryl Brownell, who now works as legislative director in Mr. Lucas office. Ms. Brownell, 43, of Woodstock, Va., is a graduate of James Madison University. Colleen Monahan-Smith of Washington will become legislative director.

        Mr. Lucas was traveling Monday and not available to comment.


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