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Gov. Kate Brown Will Name Nik Blosser To Be Her New Chief of Staff

Co-Founder of Oregon Business Association will replace Kristen Leonard.

Gov. Kate Brown will name Nik Blosser her chief of staff today, according to multiple sources.

Blosser follows Kristen Leonard, who resigned after WW reported on her failure to disclose business relationships that presented potential conflicts of interest. He will be Brown's third chief of staff in less than two years. Leonard followed Brian Shipley, who resigned in November 2015.

Related: Gov. Kate Brown ignored undisclosed conflicts of interest involving top staffers.

Blosser is currently the president of Celilo Group, a Portland company that publishes the Chinook Book, a compendium of coupons and guide to sustainable services, and chairman of the Sokol Blosser Winery, which his family owns. He's also a co-founder of the Oregon Business Association and has served on the state Parks and Recreation Commission. Blosser is married to Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury.

His hiring comes on the eve of Oregon's 79th legislative session, which begins Feb. 1 and promises to be challenging for Brown and lawmakers, as they grapple with a $1.8 billion budget gap.

"Nik embodies a key priority for my administration, the creation of economic opportunity that goes hand in hand with making Oregon a great place to live,"  Brown said in a statement. "Nik's experience as a leading voice in Oregon's business community will be an integral perspective as my administration takes on the challenges that families face across the state."

Blosser starts work Feb. 14.