Ric Cantrell, chief of staff of the Utah state Senate, is leaving his post after 14 years working for the legislative chamber to take on a similar role for Attorney General Sean Reyes.
He will be replacing Missy Larsen as the AG’s chief of staff, likely in mid-August.
In a farewell post on Senate Republicans’ blog, Cantrell talked about working for four different Senate presidents — beginning with Al Mansell and ending with current Sen. Wayne Niederhauser — and gave the institution top grades for transparency and efficiency. But he also acknowledged that the chamber known as the more deliberative chamber of the Legislature can be a bit boring.
“Want interesting government? Try Venezuela. Or Greece. Or Illinois. Governments in crisis are always interesting. Sometimes fatally interesting,” Cantrell wrote.
”There’s a certain magic about boring — it means the bills will be paid on time, the budget will be balanced and all the wheels will remain on the wagons.”
While the Utah Senate is somewhat notorious among news reporters and good-government groups for always closing its twice-a-week caucuses, it, along with the House, has done much in recent years to be more transparent through online video and audio of floor and committee debates, instant roll-call voting records and bill texts.
Cantrell wrote that that stems in large part from “the core Senate belief that the people own the government and not the other way around.”
Niederhauser, the Senate president, wrote in his own post thanking Cantrell for his years of service and his skill at helping “promote our successes, as well as to minimize the impact of some of our more foolish choices.”
Cantrell’s replacement in the Senate will be selected through an open application process over the next few weeks, Niederhauser said.