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Conway8351.JPGAssembly Republican leader Connie Conway announced the selection of a new chief of staff today, meaning that both leaders of the lower house will begin 2012 with a new right-hand man.

Ivan Altamura will serve as Conway's new chief of staff, replacing Dillon Gibbons, who will transfer to the upper house to oversee the staff of Sen. Anthony Cannella, R-Ceres.

Conway's announcement came just two days after Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez announced a key aide, Greg Campbell, will be his chief of staff. Campbell replaces Sara Ramirez Giroux, who will remain in Pérez's office as a chief consultant.

Altamura, an attorney, had been serving as senior director of the GOP caucus. He previously was chief of staff to Assembly Republican leader Mike Villines, who was termed out last year.

Conway, in a written statement, noted that Altamura had substantial experience as a Republican caucus chief of staff so "this will be a seamless transition within my leadership team."

Gibbons fills a position in Cannella's office that was vacated by Erin Guerrero, who was named member services director for the Assembly Republican Caucus.

Altamura's previous salary of $160,000 annually will not change with his new title. Guerrero will be paid $114,996 per year, an increase of $10,692 over her Senate salary.

Gibbons' Senate salary will be $126,480, an increase of $1,476 over his pay in the lower house.

PHOTO CREDIT: Assembly GOP leader Connie Conway appears on the Assembly floor in late 2010. Hector Amezcua, Sacramento Bee.

* Updated at 10:40 a.m. and at 10:55 a.m. Wednesday to expand upon salary information. Also updated at 5:15 p.m. Friday to insert Gibbons' salary.



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