Blades said he and his wife, Emily, recently learned that their second child will arrive in January, and private sector employment will allow him to more readily meet the needs of his growing family.
"I will always treasure the experience of working alongside Speaker Hubbard and our entire team. Being a part of the conservative reforms that Republican lawmakers implemented this quadrennium has been an honor and privilege. Now that the term is drawing to a close, however, I feel it is the right time to pursue new opportunities," Blades said. “I am very grateful to have had the pleasure of serving the state I love for almost ten years under two strong leaders and great men in Governor Riley and Speaker Hubbard.”
Hubbard praised the quality of Blades’s work and wished his aide the best as he moves his career forward.
“I greatly appreciate Josh’s service to me and to the entire state. He has served this body and the taxpayers very well,” Speaker Mike Hubbard said. “When I hired Josh, I asked him for a commitment to stay through four legislative sessions, which he has done. Now that the final session of the quadrennium is complete and with a growing family, it is logical and not unexpected that he consider other options. He has my sincere best wishes for the next step in his career, and he has my complete support. Josh is one of the brightest and most talented young men I have ever been associated with and I know he will be successful in whatever he chooses to do next.”
Jim Entrekin, Jr., who currently serves as general counsel to the Speaker’s Office, will fill the role of acting chief of staff. Entrekin is an experienced lawyer with years of invaluable private and public sector experience including working in the Policy Department under Governor Riley’s Administration as well as serving as a law clerk for the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals. Sommer Vaughn, who has worked the Speaker’s Office in the role of legislative analyst since the beginning of the quadrennium, will be appointed Deputy Chief of Staff. In addition to Vaughn’s years of service in the legislature, she also served in the executive branch for the Riley Administration during his second term.