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Washington • State Rep. Derek Brown will resign from the Legislature, effective Jan. 2, to take a new gig as deputy chief of staff and state director for Sen. Mike Lee. Brown, who represents District 49 that covers parts of Sandy and Cottonwood Heights, will start with Lee's office on Jan. 3, taking over duties that the senators' chief of staff, Boyd Matheson, has been covering by flying back and forth from Washington.

Brown previously served as legal counsel to Sen. Orrin Hatch and former Sen. Bob Bennett.

"Derek is a great talent and understands the legislative process as well as critical functions of a senate office," Lee said in a statement.

Brown said it was a difficult decision to step down after winning re-election with 61 percent of the vote in November but that helping to set the agenda nationally was an "amazing opportunity."

"The Senator has established himself as a national thought leader and important player in the Republican Party," Brown said. "It is a critical time in our history and Senator Lee has put forward positive solutions I believe are certain to be part of solving many of the challenges we face as a nation."