SALT LAKE CITY — A Provo Daily Herald reporter and blogger will serve as chief deputy to House Speaker-elect Becky Lockhart, R-Provo.

Joe Pyrah, well-known at the Capitol for his "Sausage Grinder" blog that focuses on Utah politics, will help Lockhart hire staff and handle communications for the House when she takes over the top spot in January. 

Lockhart called Pyrah "smart, knowledgeable and fair," and said she was "impressed with his understanding of the mechanics of openness, his ethical approach and his enthusiasm for political work in a democratic republic."

He has a decade of experiences as a news reporter and editor and a degree in communications from Utah State University. Pyrah said he's "excited to help connect people in Utah with their own government."

House Republicans selected Lockhart over House Speaker Dave Clark, R-Santa Clara, in November.