Mayor Jacob Frey hired Gia Vitali, a deputy assistant commissioner at the Minnesota Department of Human Services, to serve as his new chief of staff.
Vitali replaces Joe Radinovich, who announced Feb. 15 he would leave his post to run for Congress. Her start date is March 5, according to the mayor’s office.
Frey and Vitali both played a role in the successful 2012 effort to defeat a proposed constitutional amendment that would have banned same-sex marriage in Minnesota. Vitali served as deputy campaign manager for Minnesota United for All Families and Frey organized the Big Gay Race, raising more than $250,000 for the cause.
“I am thrilled that Gia Vitali and I will once again be working together to help improve people’s lives,” Frey said in a statement released by his office. He praised Vitali for her experience, ability to build coalitions and “her fierce commitment to justice and equality.”
“Mayor Frey and I share that vision and we are both committed to making sure that every bit of potential in our city is realized,” Vitali said. “I am proud to call Minneapolis my home, and I can’t wait to get to work with this excellent team to advance Mayor Frey’s agenda for the city.”
Vitali previously served on the staff of Congresswoman Betty McCollum and was state policy director for Sen. Amy Klobuchar. She later worked in communications for Medica Health Plans.
Frey’s former chief of staff, Radinovich, is among the DFLers seeking to replace retiring 8th District Congressman Rick Nolan.
A Crosby native, Radinovich served one term in the state House representing north-central Minnesota’s District 10B. He then went on to manage Nolan’s successful 2016 re-election campaign. The next year, he managed Frey’s campaign for mayor.