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Big Changes in North Star State

With 10 staff changes in recent weeks, Sen. Norm Coleman’s (R-Minn.) office has seen changes in every position from chief of staff to staff assistant.

Taking on the role of permanent chief of staff for the office is former acting Chief of Staff and Chief Policy Adviser Erich Mische, 40. A Coleman staffer for 12 years, Mische successfully managed Coleman’s run for mayor of St. Paul in 1992 and was named the Senator’s state director in 2003.

A St. Paul native, Mische is a graduate of St. Cloud State University and holds a bachelor’s in communications/political science.

John Denning, 32, has moved up from administrative director to deputy chief of staff. Previously an office manager for former Sen. Bob Smith (R-N.H.), he was also a projects director for former Rep. William Zeliff (R-N.H.). Denning holds a bachelor’s from the University of New Hampshire and hails from Alexandria, Va.

Stepping into the role of administrative director is Lucia Lebens, 30. A staffer with Coleman since 1999, Lebens previously served as the Senator’s scheduler. The Luther College graduate holds a degree in communications and calls Afton, Minn., her home.

Andy Brehm, 23, has been promoted from deputy communications director to press secretary. Brehm began working for Coleman as an assistant press secretary for his Senate campaign and, before that, served as an intern for White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer.

Brehm graduated from Claremont McKenna College with a degree in government. He hails from Wayzata, Minn.

Former Coleman caseworker Alicia Long has been moved up to the role of assistant scheduler. Long, 22, also worked as a receptionist/intern for Coleman’s Senate campaign. She graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in political science and calls Hartford, S.D., her home.

Mollie Shearen, 23, has been promoted from staff assistant to assistant to the chief of staff. Shearen’s hometown is St. Paul, and she graduated from University of Iowa with a degree in communications studies.

Ben Anderson, a former legislative correspondent and policy intern for Coleman, will now work as a legislative assistant. Anderson, 23, is a Stephen, Minn., native who graduated from the University of St. Thomas with a degree in business management.

Amy Gibbs, 30, has been promoted to executive assistant to the Senator. The former Coleman constituent service manager worked at Grace Church in Eden Prairie, Minn., before coming to

Capitol Hill. Gibbs is a graduate of Crown College/St. Paul Bible College in St. Bonifacius, Minn., and hails from Morgantown, W.Va.

Lisa Lyttle, 20, has been brought to the Hill to serve as staff assistant for the Senator. The former Coleman state office staff assistant is a graduate of the University of St. Thomas and holds a degree in political science. She calls St. Paul her home.

Rounding out Coleman’s changes is Andrew Siracuse, who joins the office as a legislative assistant. The former tax analyst for the Internal Revenue Service Oversight Board and budget analyst for the Senate Budget Committee also worked as an economist for the Labor Department. Siracuse holds a bachelor’s degree from Ohio University, a master’s from Johns Hopkins University and a law degree from George Mason University. He hails from Dayton, Ohio.

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