Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) announced Wednesday that his longtime communications director, Joe Shoemaker, is leaving the office at the end of the month.
In a statement, Durbin called Shoemaker “one of the best communications and message people in the business and I’ve been lucky to have him as a trusted advisor for nearly a decade.”
Durbin added, “His knowledge, experience, and loyalty will be sorely missed, not only by me, but by the entire Democratic Caucus, and I thank him deeply for his service.”
Like many aides in Democratic leadership, Shoemaker is leaving for the private sector, but it was not immediately clear where he would be going.
National Press Secretary Max Gleischman will become acting communications director for Durbin, while Christina Mulka will serve as his deputy with a focus on state issues.
Besides working for Durbin for nearly a decade, Shoemaker has worked for a who’s who of Members in the House and Senate.
He has served as chief of staff for then-Rep. Brian Baird (D-Wash.); deputy chief of staff for Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.); deputy chief of staff and communications director for then-Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Va.); and special projects coordinator for then-Rep. Bob Wise (D-W.Va.). He also was an investigator for what was then called the House Government Operations Committee, and he served as a campaign aide in national and local races.
Noting his two decades of service, Shoemaker said in a statement: “I have been fortunate for the last ten years to work for a senator who strove to elevate the debate, to engage those on the other side of the aisle, cut to the heart of the big issues and to represent his state and this nation in the finest tradition of public service. I could not have asked to work for a better boss and mentor.”
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.