By Jacob Abrahamson–
The University of Louisville’s head lobbyist, Dana Mayton, has left the University to join Jack Conway’s campaign for governor.
Mayton, who since 2011 has served as U of L’s senior vice president for governmental relations, will become a senior policy advisor on the Conway campaign.
“We are sad the see Dana leave the University because of her wisdom, strategic talent and many accoplishments on behalf of the University,” said Leslie Strohm, U of L’s vice president for strategy and general counsel.
Strohm said that U of L intends to have a strong presence in Frankfort for the 2016 General Assembly session.
“We’ll be getting temporary help from a lobbying firm during this bridge period,”she said, adding that the University is evaluating the response received from interested PR firms.
After that process is complete, said Strohm, the hiring process will begin for Mayton’s replacement.
“We will work to have our next senior associate vice president for government relations in place before the start of the 2016 legislative session,” she said.
SGA leaders, who run the Cards in Action program, which lobbies for higher education funding, will also feel the effects of Mayton leaving the University as they prepare for this year’s legislative session.
“Dana did a great job at the University, and it will be more difficult because she came with a lot of connections to state and local government,” said Kevin Grout, SGA political coordinator.
“While she was here, she taught me and other SGA leaders a lot about how to connect with our state government in a very positive way, and how to represent the University well,” Grout said.
“The majority of our work was with Dana,” said Aaron Vance, current SGA chief of staff and 2014-2015 political coordinator. “Working through the legislation, working through the advocacy programming and developing the strategic plans that we wanted to put together for the year.”
Vance remained hopeful for U of L’s advocacy efforts in the coming years.
“Dana was definitely a vital piece to the entire equation as far as advocacy and speaking on the behalf of the needs of the University in Frankfort, but I definitely believe that we will be able to get the needs of students effectively across,” said Vance.