Harris's (R-Fla.) chief of staff plans to resign

Rep. Katherine Harris’s (R-Fla.) chief of staff plans to resign, the fourth top aide to call it quits since the lawmaker arrived on Capitol Hill just over two years ago.

Chris Battle, Harris’s chief of staff since November, cited family reasons for his departure.

Four men have headed Harris’s office since she came to Congress in 2003, but two were interim chiefs of staff, according to a Republican source.

The first interim chief of staff served while Ben McKay, Harris’s longtime chief of staff from her days as Florida secretary of state, took a hiatus to finish a graduate degree at Harvard University.

The other temporary chief of staff served after McKay permanently departed from Harris’s office but before Battle was able to leave his position at the Department of Homeland Security, said the source.

Battle released a written statement to The Hill, but a Harris spokesman said Battle was too busy to answer questions on the phone.

In his statement, Battle said that his family is moving to Arkansas because the recent arrival of a baby has caused him and his wife to “reconsider our priorities.”

“Washington D.C. is a challenging city in which to raise a young family,” Battle said in the statement. “We have therefore decided to return to Little Rock, where we have a strong support network and where we can find the appropriate balance between home and office.”

Mark H. Rodeffer