PUTNAM LOSING CHIEF OF STAFF; GOING BACK TO LOBBYING
Today will be the last day on the job for John Hambel, chief of staff for Congressman Adam Putnam (R - Bartow). He is leaving Putnam's staff to return to the private sector. While Bill Rufty's story in today's Lakeland Ledger does not go into detail other than Putnam noting that his top aide had two offers to choose between, the St. Petersburg Times political blog The Buzz notes that Hambel will return to his previous occupation as a lobbyist.
Hambel is a former counsel to the House Energy and Commerce Committee before joining the staff of Putnam's first congressional race in 2000. After the congressman's election, Hambel became Putnam's legislative counsel before being promoted to Chief of Staff in 2001. For the past two years he has been doing double duty as both COS and press secretary, even as Putnam was named chairman of the Republican Conference Committee earlier this year.
The father of three children, Hambel and Putnam both insist there is no friction between the two, and that the departure is on good terms.