Assembly Member Devon Mathis has been in office four months, and already he’s changing his chief-of-staff.
Out is Cole Azare, who served as Mathis’ campaign manager before becoming the Visalia Republican’s main staffer. In is Sean Doherty, who happens to be the brother of actress Shannen Doherty, though that obviously played no role in his hiring.
Mathis called Azare’s departure “a mutual parting of the ways, and I wish him the best with his future endeavors.”
Azare couldn’t be reached for comment.
Doherty is a political veteran who comes from Wildhorse Consulting, where he was a senior partner. Mathis — an underfunded candidate who posted a surprise victory last November — was a Wildhorse client. Mathis replaced Tulare Republican Connie Conway, who was termed out of office.
Mathis said Doherty is a good fit for the chief-of-staff post because of his extensive political experience. Mathis said it took two calls to land Doherty — one to Doherty’s wife, and a second to state Republican Party Chair Jim Brulte to enlist his help in landing Doherty.
“Mr. Doherty has been a great addition to the team and I am grateful to have him,” Mathis said.
Doherty said his committment to Mathis is total. He de-registered as a lobbyist and gave up his ownership interest in Wildhorse.
Said Doherty: “I’ve done everything in this business you can possibly do — up to chief of staff, and now I’m a chief of staff.”