COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof (AWB’-hawf) has named a former chief legal counsel to Senate Republicans as the caucus’ next chief of staff.

John Barron currently serves as deputy executive director and general counsel to the Ohio Casino Control Commission. He takes over for outgoing Senate Chief of Staff Jason Mauk on Dec. 18.

Obhof made the announcement Wednesday. He said Barron is respected for his strategic skills and steady temperament, and his previous work in the Senate makes him familiar to many senators and staff.

Barron has held previous legal roles with the governor, lieutenant governor and the Ohio Department of Development.

Mauk has spent seven years in the Senate, six as chief of staff. His last day is Dec. 1. He is moving to Senate Republicans’ campaign operation.