Cullen Sheehan is stepping down as state Senate GOP chief of staff to lobby for Minneapolis-based Lockridge Grindal Nauen. The Senate majority’s legislative director, Kevin Matzek, will assume the chief of staff’s role on an interim basis.
Sheehan is joining a firm that has a bipartisan stable of lobbyists led by Ted Grindal. In addition to a long list of health care, municipal and corporate clients, the firm is a player in the gaming politics at the Capitol by virtue of representing the Mille Lacs band of Ojibwe. Grindal said Sheehan will join the firm November 28.
Sheehan managed Norm Coleman’s 2008 U.S. Senate campaign. In January 2010 he was named the Senate’s chief of staff and held the job until August, when he was brought on to manage the latter part of Tom Emmer’s 2010 gubernatorial campaign. In December after the election, in which Republicans won control of the Senate, Sheehan regained his title of chief of staff.
“The Caucus’ transition from minority to majority in the Minnesota Senate,” said Majority Leader Amy Koch, “for the first time in 38 years, would not have been possible without his leadership. In a naturally partisan environment, Cullen has managed to earn respect from both sides of the aisle for his professionalism and knowledge. Cullen will be greatly missed by all of us in the Caucus and we wish him the best in all future endeavors.”