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Laura Dove, key GOP Senate staffer, to retire

Assistant Republican secretary Robert Duncan will succeed Dove as secretary for the majority

Staffer Laura Dove talks to members of the press as Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., makes his way to the Senate floor for the start of the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress on Jan. 21, 2020. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)
Staffer Laura Dove talks to members of the press as Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., makes his way to the Senate floor for the start of the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress on Jan. 21, 2020. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call) ()

The Senate’s secretary for the majority, Laura Dove, is leaving her post later this month and will be replaced by assistant Republican Secretary Robert Duncan.

Dove has worked in the Senate for more than 20 years, including posts in the Republican cloakroom, the Republican conference, GOP leadership and her current role as secretary for the majority.

“Laura Dove has been an essential part of the United States Senate,” Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement. “The secretary for the majority is one of the most crucial people in this institution. Every Republican senator has counted on Laura to listen to our goals and concerns and help translate them into action on the Senate floor.”

Dove’s first job on Capitol Hill was as a Senate page. That likely prepared her for her most recent high-profile duties during the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, where pages ferried endless notes between Dove, lawmakers, the cloakroom and staff.

At one point during the trial, as the umpteenth page arrived in the aisle to deliver a note, Dove took a moment to close her eyes. She seemed to brace herself for whatever new information or inquiry was headed her way, and then smiled broadly at the page.

“She is a keen strategist who always thinks several steps ahead. She has not just been one of my own closest advisers, but a key resource to our entire majority and a central part of its many accomplishments. Senators and staff on both sides of the aisle will miss Laura a lot and I will be foremost among them,” McConnell said.

Duncan, who will succeed Dove, is a longtime Senate staffer. He started his Senate career with Tennessee Republican Sen. Bill Frist, and has been assistant Republican secretary for eight years.

“I am grateful that someone as talented and prepared as Robert Duncan is ready to step into this vital role,” McConnell said.

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