AUSTIN –Texas House Speaker Joe Straus announced Monday that Patricia Shipton will succeed Jesse Ancira as Chief of Staff in the Speaker’s office next spring.
Ancira, who has been Chief of Staff since 2012 and was previously the Speaker’s General Counsel, will depart March 31 to pursue other opportunities. Shipton has been the Speaker’s Strategic Legislative Advisor since 2012 and previously served as Legislative Director for former Governor Rick Perry.
“Jesse has done an outstanding job running my office and I am grateful for his service and friendship. Members of the House respect him tremendously and have enjoyed working with him,” Speaker Straus said. “I know he will be successful in his future endeavors and I wish him the very best.”
Speaker Straus continued, “Fortunately, the transition to Patricia’s leadership will be smooth. Patricia is well-known and respected among my staff and the Members of the House. She has a vast knowledge of the legislative process and she cares greatly about our state, and that’s why she’s such an asset to me and to the entire House.”
Speaker Straus also announced that former Rep. Allan Ritter will join the Speaker’s office next year as Senior Advisor. Ritter represented Southeast Texas in the House from 1999 to 2015. During his House tenure, he chaired the Committees on Pensions and Investments, Economic Development and Natural Resources.
“Allan Ritter is one of the very best colleagues I’ve ever had,” Speaker Straus said. “"For example, in 2013 he authored one of the most important bills of the last decade: a responsible and historic plan to address the state's water shortage. He will provide valuable counsel to me and all the Members of the House, and I’m grateful that he has agreed to join our Capitol team.”
Speaker Straus also announced that he is expanding the portfolio of Andrew Blifford, who currently serves as the Speaker’s Budget Director. Blifford will become Director of Budget and Policy and assume leadership of the Speaker’s entire policy team. Blifford has been on the Speaker’s staff since 2009.
“Time and again, Andrew has earned the respect and admiration of the Members of the House,” Speaker Straus said. “As my Budget Director, he is involved in every major policy decision. Now he will work more directly with our entire policy office and help ensure continuity and consistency in our approach to every issue.”
Speaker Straus added, “I am enormously proud of the service that my staff provides to the residents of District 121 and the Members of the House. My staff and I look forward to working with Members to continue delivering results for the people of this state.”
Office of Speaker Joe Straus