Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R) chief of staff, Kyle Simmons, is leaving the office next week after 15 years with the Kentucky lawmaker to pursue “opportunities outside of government.—Simmons has been one of McConnell’s most trusted lieutenants over the years, helping steer his re-election campaigns since 1996 and his climb to the top of the GOP Senate hierarchy. Simmons will leave McConnell’s office at the start of the Presidents Day recess, which begins Feb. 13.“I will deeply miss a trusted advisor, a valued counselor and a friend. Kyle has been at my right hand through critical races in Kentucky and for the Senate leadership. He has the rare combination of political acumen and personal grace that has made him an invaluable advisor to me and to the entire Republican conference. I am extraordinarily grateful for his service,— McConnell said in a statement.According to McConnell’s office, Simmons is leaving to “pursue opportunities outside of government and enjoy additional time with his wife and three-year-old daughter.—McConnell’s deputy chief of staff, Sharon Soderstrom, will take over for Simmons, the office said.