Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
Lt. Gov. Greg Bell speaks at the Utah Indigenous Day celebration, a part of the national Native American Heritage Month, at the Natural History Museum in Salt Lake city on Monday, Nov. 19, 2012.

SALT LAKE CITY — Lt. Gov. Greg Bell has appointed Mark Thomas to serve as his chief deputy. Thomas has been serving as director of elections since 2009.

Cody Stewart, who has served as Bell's chief of staff since September 2011, will now serve full time as the energy adviser to Gov. Gary Herbert.

As chief deputy, Thomas will oversee daily operations of the Lieutenant Governor’s Office and serve as Bell’s spokesman. He will advise Bell on policy issues and help promote the administration’s initiatives.

“As I begin my new term, I’m excited to have Mark by my side," Bell said.

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Thomas will continue to serve in the role of director of elections, in which he focused on modernizing election and campaign finance websites, developing online voter and absentee registration, and updating antiquated election laws.

Thomas served as the office administrator during Herbert’s administration as lieutenant governor. He is the recipient of the 2012 Governor’s Award for Excellence for Innovation and Efficiency and serves as a member of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission’s Standards Board.