Minnick Loses COS

Rep. Walt Minnick (D-Idaho), the newly elected Congressman that is sure to be a target for Republicans in 2010, said Thursday that his chief of staff is leaving his office to return to Idaho.

Isaac Squyres, Minnick's staffer, is returning to the private sector, according to a release from Minnick's office.

"Isaac is a trusted friend and one of my closest advisors, and proved the right choice for overseeing my transition from candidate to Congressman," Minnick said. "I had hoped to keep him a little longer, but I support him fully and wish him well as he takes advantage of this new opportunity."

Minnick defeated Bill Sali last year in Idaho's 1st District, which trends very conservative. A Blue Dog Democrat, Minnick reportedly outworked Sali on the campaign trail. Sali, though, has already said he plans to run again in 2010.

jeremy.jacobs@thehill.com