Bryan Stirling, a state deputy attorney general, was named chief of staff for Gov. Nikki Haley on Tuesday, a day after Tim Pearson announced he was leaving the post to run Haley’s political operation.
Stirling starts Oct. 15. He will get a raise from the $107,382 a year he makes in the attorney general’s office. He will earn the same pay as Pearson, $128,750.
Stirling has spent the past five years in the attorney general’s office prosecuting domestic violence cases, overseeing office administration and budgets, and working as liaison with the legislature, the governor's office said.
“It’s been an honor to serve two attorneys general, I look forward to joining Gov. Haley’s team, and I’m excited about the opportunity that lies ahead,” Stirling said in a statement.
He worked as special assistant to the Transportation Secretary Andrew Card after college and the S.C. GOP after law school. He spent 10 year in private practice before joining the attorney general’s office.
“We’re excited to welcome Bryan Stirling to Team Haley,” Haley said in a statement. “A deputy attorney general with government service at the state and federal level, Bryan has the experience, relationships and leadership qualities that will make the transition seamless and ensure our administration continues to deliver results for the people of South Carolina.”
Pearson was Haley’s campaign manager in the 2010 race where she overcame a double-digit deficit to defeat two better-known Republicans for the GOP nomination and then beat Democratic Sen. Vincent Sheheen in the general election.
Pearson said Monday that he was leaving to allow the new chief of staff time to work with the governor before the next legislative session starts in January.
Before Stirling's announcement, Haley told reporters Tuesday that she has not decided whether she will seek re-election in 2014. A decision is expected this summer, though many political analysts said Pearson's move is a sign she intends to go after another four-year term.
"I appreciate y'alls eagerness and I hope that means you all just love that I'm governor," Haley reporters. "I just don't know how y'all expect me or (her husband) Michael know that kind of decision when we haven't even hit the second anniversary. .. I'm just not ready."