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Published: Thursday, 7/26/2001

Taft official leaves for Pentagon

BLADE COLUMBUS BUREAU

COLUMBUS - Governor Taft has lost his second press secretary in three years.

Kevin Kellems announced yesterday that he has resigned from his dual post as Mr. Taft's chief spokesman and senior adviser for federal and state communications.

Mr. Kellems said he has accepted a job in the Pentagon office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs. His first day will be Aug. 6.

In October, 2000, Mr. Kellems replaced Scott Milburn as Mr. Taft's press secretary. Mr. Milburn resigned to become press secretary to U.S. Sen. George Voinovich (R., Ohio).

Before joining the Taft administration, Mr. Kellems worked for U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar, an Indiana Republican, and ran unsuccessfully for Congress from Indiana. As an attachment to his resignation letter, Mr. Kellems included a column he wrote about missile defense that the Indianapolis Star published in 1996.

Mary Anne Sharkey, Mr. Taft's communications director, is expected to take up Mr. Kellems' duties as the governor's office considers a reorganization. Mr. Kellems' annual salary was about $100,000.



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