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Bar Buzz: Secretary of state taps attorney as chief of staff

Julie Strother

Julie Strother

Secretary of State Steve Simon has tapped Julie Strother, a former associate lawyer with the Lockridge Grindal Nauen, P.L.L.P., law firm as his new chief of staff.

Strother served as Simon’s director of government relations for the last three years, according to a press release issued Monday.

She spearheaded that office’s legislative efforts to make it easier for eligible Minnesotans to vote, Simon’s office said in the press release announcing her appointment.

Strother also helped strengthen the Safe at Home address confidentiality program, the release says. Designed for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking, Safe at Home maintains confidential addresses, allowing participants to interact with public and private entities without leaving a trail that might help abusers locate them.

According to a bio on the DFL’s website, Strother worked as a volunteer on numerous political campaigns while attending the University of Minnesota Law School, where she earned her juris doctorate in 2008.

That same year, Strother was tapped by Sen. Al Franken’s state director Alana Petersen to work on an election recount legal team. Through that work she met staff from the Lockridge firm, which hired her as an associate in 2011, according to the DFL bio. She worked with Lockridge until 2013, according to her LinkedIn page.

Her background also includes a two-year stint as a Minnesota Court of Appeals law clerk, according to the LinkedIn page. In 2013, she became Simon’s government relations director.

Strother replaces Jake Spano, Simon’s chief of staff for the last three years. Spano has been appointed Simon’s deputy Secretary of State.

“Jake Spano and Julie Strother are talented, hardworking, and effective public servants whose leadership has been invaluable to the Secretary of State’s office,” Simon said in the press release. “I’m proud of the work we have done and will continue to do together to improve the lives of Minnesotans in all 87 counties of our state.”

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