From left, Gov. Ned Lamont, Tony Guerrera and Sibongile Magubane in October. CTMIRROR.ORG

With the announcement Thursday of Tony Guerrera as his choice for commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles, Gov. Ned Lamont now has named four new agency heads and made other key changes ahead of his second term.

Guerrera, a Democrat who represented Rocky Hill in the House for 20 years, will be nominated to succeed Sibongile “Bongi” Magubane as the commissioner of motor vehicles when the governor begins his second term on Jan. 4.

Guerrera became deputy commissioner in 2019 after losing a Democratic primary to Matt Lesser in 2018 for the nomination to an open Senate seat.

Once a chronic headache for successive governors, the DMV has improved customer service by moving most functions online and extending the period between license renewals.

“I want to keep this momentum going, and I know that Tony Guerrera has the experience and determination to oversee this task,” Lamont said.

Lamont previously named his choices for new commissioners at the departments of Transportation, Economic and Community Development, and Social Services. He also is revamping staffing in the governor’s office, with a new chief of staff, deputy chief, general counsel and communications director.

Guerrera is one of three deputy commissioners Lamont is promoting to commissioner. The others are Alexandra Daum at DECD and Garrett Eucalitto at DOT.

The exception is his nomination of Andrea Barton Reeves as the next commissioner of Social Services.

Now the chief executive officer of the Connecticut Paid Leave Authority, she will succeed Dr. Deidre Gifford, who will coordinate health policy for the administration as a senior adviser to Lamont and director of the Office of Health Strategy.

Most of the new appointments to his gubernatorial staff are familiar faces.

His new chief of staff will be Jonathan Dach, currently the policy director and deputy chief. Nick Simmons, who left the administration to work for U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, is returning as Dach’s deputy.

The general counsel will be Natalie Braswell, a long-time counsel in state government whom Lamont appointed to finish the term of Comptroller Kevin P. Lembo, who resigned for health reasons a year ago.

The communications director will be Adam Joseph, who is chief of staff to Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz and previously ran the press shop for the Senate Democratic majority.

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Mark PazniokasCapitol Bureau Chief

Mark is the Capitol Bureau Chief and a co-founder of CT Mirror. He is a frequent contributor to WNPR, a former state politics writer for The Hartford Courant and Journal Inquirer, and contributor for The New York Times.