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Speaker Johnson’s office exodus: 4 top aides unveil departure plans

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Four top aides in House Speaker Mike Johnson’s office announced plans to depart within 24 hours of each other, roughly seven months since he took the helm of the House of Representatives.

Johnson policy advisers Brittan Specht, Jason Yaworske and Preston Hill are leaving the Louisiana Republican’s office to join Michael Best Strategies, a lobbying firm with offices in Washington, D.C., Wisconsin, Colorado, Texas, and other states, the speaker’s office confirmed to Fox News Digital. 

Specht, Yaworske and Hill had also worked in ousted former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s office.

A fourth staffer, Raj Shah, told Fox News Digital he was planning to leave the speaker’s office as well, but that his exit is not finalized. The former Trump administration deputy press secretary and Fox Corporation executive is serving as Johnson’s deputy chief of staff for communications.

Shah, one of Johnson’s early major hires as speaker, said he wanted to have matters set with his team in Johnson’s office before leaving.

The policy advisers’ exits were first reported in Punchbowl News on Tuesday morning. Shah’s planned departure was reported by Axios late Tuesday evening.

Shah referred Fox News Digital to his statement in Axios, ‘It’s an honor to serve Speaker Johnson, especially through such an historic time. He has shown tremendous leadership navigating the conference through difficult issues. Speaker Johnson has developed an authentic brand of a strong leader willing to make tough calls and place our nation and the institution first.’

Multiple people suggested to Fox News Digital that Shah’s news was unrelated to the three policy advisers.

However, it is a significant staff overhaul for a relatively new leadership office that also comes less than six months before the November 2024 elections.

House Republicans face an uphill battle to hold onto their razor-thin majority, particularly in the wake of a congressional term that has been marked by bitter infighting.

A survey by The Economist and YouGov taken earlier this month found that Democrats would narrowly lead Republicans if the elections were held today.

When asked who they would support on a generic ballot in their districts, 45% of respondents said they would support a Democrat, compared to 42% who said they would vote for a Republican. There is still 9% of people who are undecided, according to the poll.

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