Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo has made a series of changes in her senior staff, with senior adviser David Ortiz taking over as chief of staff and outgoing CoS Brett Smiley moving to become acting director of the state Department of Administration.

In addition, former RI Senate majority leader Dan Connors is joining the governor’s administration as a senior adviser.

Connors is due to start on Monday, December 16 and will be paid $166,653, according to the governor's office. Ortiz and Smiley will transition to their new jobs immediately. Smiley will get paid $155,000, and Ortiz will be paid $185,565.

Ortiz, a New York native and veteran of former Providence Mayor Angel Taveras’ team at City Hall, helped to run Raimondo’s winning re-election campaign last year as deputy campaign manager.

“It’s an honor to work for a Governor who spends every day fighting to expand opportunity for all Rhode Islanders,” Ortiz said in a statement. “Rhode Island has come a long way in the past five years, and we know there’s a lot more work to do. I look forward to hitting the ground running in my new role as chief of staff.”

Ortiz worked a series of jobs in Rhode Island, including at stints at Providence Business News and AS220, before getting into politics and crafting a reputation as someone with a cool demeanor and a good political radar. He joined General Treasurer Seth Magaziner's staff before moving over to a post with Raimondo.

Smiley succeeded former Raimondo chief of staff Stephen Neuman in 2016. Smiley, who ran for Providence mayor in 2014 before later dropping out and backing Jorge Elorza, is widely expected to run for the same role in 2022.

A statement from the Raimondo administration credited Smiley with managing "three budget proposals and work[ing] to ensure the passage of key pieces of legislation, from gun safety measures to health care protections and more. Brett has decades of managerial experience as a small business owner and public servant."

The post as director of the Department of Administration is becoming open due to Michael DiBiase's move to be the new director of the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council.

Senate President Dominick Ruggerio noted that the post as DOA chief requires Senate approval, and said that he expects the governor's office to submit Smiley's name.

In a statement, Connors, who worked for Advocacy Solutions before moving to Duffy & Sweeney, said, “It’s been exciting to watch Governor Raimondo bring meaningful change to Rhode Island over the last five years. Because of her efforts, we’ve seen a new era of economic growth and mobility, and I’m thrilled to be a part of her team.”