SALT LAKE CITY — Gov. Gary Herbert announced Monday his spokeswoman, Angie Welling, will step down in mid-January.
Welling said she has accepted the newly created position of director of public relations at Love Communications, a Salt Lake City-based advertising agency.
"This job is challenging and exciting, and it's a hard one to leave, so it was a difficult decision, but I think the time is right," Welling said. "If it were going to happen, it needed to happen now."
Herbert, who recently was elected to serve the remaining two years of former Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr.'s term, praised Welling's efforts during his first 18 months in office.
"Angie played a critical role in getting our message out, and I am deeply appreciative of her significant contributions during this time," the governor said.
Before going to work for Herbert, she served as the public information office for the state Corrections Department. She was a reporter at the Deseret News for nearly eight years.
Two other key members of the governor's staff are also leaving. His chief of staff. Jason Perry has been named a vice president at the University of Utah, and his budget director, John Nixon, is headed to Michigan to for a top spot with that state's new governor.
Welling said it's not unusual for there to be staff changes in the governor's office after an election. She said Herbert is currently meeting with cabinet members and more changes may be announced soon.
"People leave in 18-month to two-year cycles. These are challenging jobs," Welling said. "I would caution anyone not to read too much into it other than it's the normal course of business."