On Wednesday, October 31, Texas House Speaker Joe Straus thanked Chief of Staff Patricia Shipton for her service and leadership over the last several years. Shipton is leaving the Speaker‚Äôs office to return to the private sector. Shipton has been Speaker Straus’ Chief of Staff since April 2016, and she has worked for him since August 2012. She previously served as Legislative Director for then-Gov. Rick Perry. Effective Thursday, Andrew Blifford will assume the Chief of Staff duties in the Speaker‚Äôs office. Blifford has worked in the Speaker‚Äôs office since 2009 and currently serves as Director of Budget and Policy.