Deputy Gov. Claude Ramsey is stepping down from one of the governor’s top administrative posts this summer, making him the fourth high-ranking official in five months to announce a departure.
Ramsey, formerly a 16-year Hamilton County mayor, was one of the first people Gov. Bill Haslam announced he’d hire to the administration in the weeks following his 2010 election.
“Claude’s experience at the state and local levels of government and his common sense approach have been invaluable assets to our administration, and I am incredibly grateful to him and his wife, Jan, for their time in Nashville and commitment to the state of Tennessee,” Haslam said.
According to the governor’s office, Ramsey signed on to the administration with plans to serve two years under Haslam but has since stretched that commitment by another half year.
The governor’s office credits him for several key initiatives, including civil service reform, economic development efforts, workforce development training and improved operation of state government.
Ramsey, 70, said he wants to spend more time with his wife, children and grandchildren in Chattanooga as his reason for departure. His last day is set for Aug. 31.
“It’s been a true pleasure to work with the governor on the important issues of job growth, education reform and making Tennessee the best-run state in the country,” Ramsey said.
Ramsey’s announcement of departure is the fourth among members of the governor’s cabinet in recent months.
He follows Department of Children Services Commissioner Kathryn O’Day who resigned in February amid pressure over how the agency handles, tracks and shares information on cases involving children who have had contact with the department and later died.
Department of Labor and Workforce Commissioner Karla Davis followed O’Day in March citing family reasons, although the departure came just before the release of a damning state audit of her department and amid allegations of questionable hiring.
Finance and Administration Commissioner Mark Emkes announced his retirement in April, saying he wanted to spend more time with his wife in her home country of Spain.