Melinda McCrady, communications and policy director for the House Democratic Caucus and a confidante of powerful House Speaker Frank Chopp, is stepping down.
McCrady joined the caucus staff in December 1997 and became communications director a year later as Democrats and Republicans shared control in the chamber. Each party held 49 seats and Chopp served as co-speaker with Republican Clyde Ballard.
She will depart at the end of the year and take on a new short-term gig as legislative coordinator for the 2015 summit of the National Conference of State Legislatures to be held in August in Seattle.
“It is hard,” McCrady said of leaving the caucus. “I love this place. I love this institution. I’ve worked with fabulous people. It’s been a great experience.”
She will be replaced by Jim Richards, a former deputy chief of staff for the House Democratic Caucus. Richards worked for the caucus from 2004-10 and with Waypoint Consulting Group, Inc. since 2010, according to his profile on LinkedIn.