WASHINGTON — After more than six years as U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz’s chief of staff, Andy Winer is moving on.
Winer, who is one of Hawaii’s top political operatives, told Civil Beat he’s leaving Schatz’s office to work in the private sector in Washington, D.C., as a consultant.
He still plans to work for Schatz when the senator comes up for re-election in 2022.
“My plan is to remain on Team Schatz and remain a part of the campaign team,” Winer said.
Winer has played an instrumental role in Schatz’s political career both in Washington and in the islands.
Schatz was appointed to the Senate in December 2012 after the death of Dan Inouye and he hired Winer as his chief of staff.
Winer helped Schatz stave off a stiff electoral challenge from former U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa in 2014.
He also worked to get Schatz a coveted spot on the Senate Appropriations Committee, which is one of the more powerful posts in Congress in that it helps determine where federal dollars are allocated.
Before working for Schatz, Winer worked on a number of high profile political campaigns in Hawaii.
Among his clients are the late U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, current U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono and the Pacific Resource Partnership, a pro-rail labor group affiliated with Hawaii’s politically connected carpenters union.
Schatz plans to name Eric Einhorn as Winer’s replacement as chief of staff.
Einhorn already works in Schtaz’s office as senior counsel for technology and communications policy, a position he’s held for nearly two years.
Prior to working for Schatz, Einhorn was a lobbyist for Windstream Communications. He also worked at the Federal Communications Commission.
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