LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Republican Gov. Joe Lombardo’s chief of staff will step down in early 2024 after helping to guide the transition over the past year, according to an announcement Wednesday from the Governor’s Office in Carson City.
Ben Kieckhefer served for 11 years in the Nevada Senate before he was appointed to the Nevada Gaming Commission. He left that role a year ago to become Lombardo’s chief of staff.
Ryan Cherry will take over as the new chief of staff on Jan. 17. He previously served as chief of staff to Lt. Gov. Mark Hutchison and rural director for U.S. Sen. Dean Heller. He has worked as a political consultant for the past six years.
“I’m incredibly thankful for all the work Ben put in to making this first year a success,” Lombardo said. “Ben accomplished everything I asked of him as I transitioned into the office of Governor, and his leadership during the 2023 Legislative Session was critical in our many successes. My office and state government are in great shape heading into the next phase of the administration, and I’m grateful for all of Ben’s efforts to make that happen.”
Cherry has spent the past six years as a consultant, working extensively throughout Nevada and other western states on natural resources, mining, and energy issues, according to the Governor’s Office.
“Ryan’s experience inside and outside of government makes him an ideal fit as my next Chief of Staff,” Lombardo said. “He has worked with the Legislature, understands the structure of state government, and he will be able to work on the diverse policy subjects that will cross his desk. I’m grateful for Ryan’s willingness to take on this new role.”