WASHINGTON -- In a reshuffling of his staff, Rep. Chris Cannon, R-Utah, has hired three former aides of ex-Rep. John Ensign, R-Nev., who lost a U.S. Senate race last year.

Among them is Mark Emerson, who will be Cannon's new chief of staff. Emerson was the chief of staff for Ensign and was a former staffer for Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah. He was also executive director for the Utah Republican Party in 1994.Cannon said Emerson "has a proven ability to get things done on Capitol Hill. Mark is the ideal leader for the aggressive agenda this office will pursue."

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Cannon also hired Windsor Freemyer, who specialized in land and environmental issues for Ensign and who will be a deputy chief of staff for Cannon. Todd Thorpe, who graduated from Utah State University, will be a deputy press secretary.

Leaving Cannon's staff is Steve Taggart, who had served as Cannon's chief of staff until last summer, when he switched to become a counsel who handled Cannon's research into impeachment matters against President Clinton.

He said at that time that he hoped to leave when his work on impeachment ended.