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Deputy Chief of Staff Gina Zejdlik promoted by governor; Blosser is married to Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury.

COURTESY PHOTO: OREGON BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY - Nik BlosserThe husband of Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury has been appointed to President-elect Joe Biden's transition team.

Nik Blosser is Oregon Gov. Kate Brown's chief of staff. Brown's office announced on Thursday that Blosser will be replaced by Deputy Chief of Staff Gina Zejdlik.

"Nik has been on the ground and focused on the pandemic response from the start of this crisis, giving him a unique understanding of the needs of Americans suffering from COVID-19 and the needs of the communities they live in," Brown said in the Nov. 12 announcement. "I am heartened that President-Elect Biden, Vice President-Elect Harris and their transition team have selected Nik for this important role. He has my full support, and I am confident he will help President-Elect Biden and his team support states in their approach to this crisis and the long recovery that will follow."

Nik Blosser is the son of Susan Sokol and Bill Blosser, founders of the Sokol Blosser winery. He also is co-founder and president of Celilo Group Media, which markets sustainable products including the Chinook Book consumer guides. He is married to Deborah Kafoury, the chair of the Multnomah County Commission.

The announcement said that Blosser started as the governor's chief of staff in February 2017 and is one of the longest-serving chiefs of staff to a governor in the country. Zejdlik has served as Brown's deputy chief of staff since 2017, and as a senior advisory prior to that. Zejdlik, an attorney, served as interim elections director and Brown's chief of staff at the Secretary of State's Office, and as deputy legislative counsel for six years prior.

"Gina has been by my side for years, and with us every step of the way since the start of the COVID-19 crisis," Brown said. "Her depth of experience will be invaluable as we continue to respond to this pandemic, address long-term wildfire recovery for Oregon and fight for racial justice."

Kafoury cannot run for reelection again because of Multnomah County's term limits and must leave office in January 2022.

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