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Politics Meet Nick Ayers, the leading candidate to take over for John Kelly as White House chief of staff

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Nick Ayers has emerged as the leading candidate to replace John Kelly and become President Trump's third White House chief of staff.

Nick Ayers play

Nick Ayers

(Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

President Donald Trump announced that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly is on his way out of the administration, saying Kelly will be leaving "at the end of the year" and he will announce his replacement in the next day or two.

Though Kelly said in July he would stick with Trump until 2020, months of tense clashes have stirred rumors the retired Marine would soon be replaced by Nick Ayers, Vice President Mike Pence's chief of staff.

Ayers has been the long-suspected replacement for retired Marine Gen. Kelly, with reports saying he's been Trump's top choice to assume the spot since 2017.

Here's some background on the man who could become the Trump administration's third chief of staff.

Nick Ayers, 36, is reportedly the top candidate to be the next White House chief of staff. He would be one of the youngest people to hold this position in decades.

Nick Ayers, 36, is reportedly the top candidate to be the next White House chief of staff. He would be one of the youngest people to hold this position in decades. play

Nick Ayers, 36, is reportedly the top candidate to be the next White House chief of staff. He would be one of the youngest people to hold this position in decades.

(Leah Millis/Reuters)


Ayers currently serves as Vice President Mike Pence's chief of staff.

Ayers currently serves as Vice President Mike Pence's chief of staff. play

Ayers currently serves as Vice President Mike Pence's chief of staff.

(Drew Angerer/Getty Images)


In a White House consumed by chaos, Ayers would have his work cut out for him. Chief of staff is arguably the toughest job in Trump's administration.

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 8: (L to R) Republican political strategists Nick Ayers and Kellyanne Conway arrives at Trump Tower, December 8, 2016 in New York City. President-elect Donald Trump and his transition team are in the process of filling cabinet and other high level positions for the new administration. play

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 8: (L to R) Republican political strategists Nick Ayers and Kellyanne Conway arrives at Trump Tower, December 8, 2016 in New York City. President-elect Donald Trump and his transition team are in the process of filling cabinet and other high level positions for the new administration.

(Drew Angerer/Getty Images)


Ayers, a Georgia native, got an early start in politics working on Sonny Perdue's gubernatorial campaign while in college. Perdue now works in Trump's administration as Secretary of Agriculture.

Ayers, a Georgia native, got an early start in politics working on Sonny Perdue's gubernatorial campaign while in college. Perdue now works in Trump's administration as Secretary of Agriculture. play

Ayers, a Georgia native, got an early start in politics working on Sonny Perdue's gubernatorial campaign while in college. Perdue now works in Trump's administration as Secretary of Agriculture.

(Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Source: The New Republic



At 19, Ayers quit college to work full-time for Perdue. By the age of 22, Ayers was named manager of Perdue's reelection campaign, ultimately leading him to victory.

At 19, Ayers quit college to work full-time for Perdue. By the age of 22, Ayers was named manager of Perdue's reelection campaign, ultimately leading him to victory. play

At 19, Ayers quit college to work full-time for Perdue. By the age of 22, Ayers was named manager of Perdue's reelection campaign, ultimately leading him to victory.

(Andrew Harnik/AP)

Source: The New Republic



Ayers eventually obtained a BA in political science from Kennesaw State University.

Ayers eventually obtained a BA in political science from Kennesaw State University. play

Ayers eventually obtained a BA in political science from Kennesaw State University.

(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)


Ayers continued to make a name for himself in Republican circles working for various conservative groups and candidates throughout his 20s. At one point, he helped former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus become Chairman of the Republican National Committee.

Ayers continued to make a name for himself in Republican circles working for various conservative groups and candidates throughout his 20s. At one point, he helped former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus become Chairman of the Republican National Committee. play

Ayers continued to make a name for himself in Republican circles working for various conservative groups and candidates throughout his 20s. At one point, he helped former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus become Chairman of the Republican National Committee.

(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)


By 2016, Ayers was working as a strategist for Mike Pence, and ultimately became a key member of his vice presidential campaign team.

By 2016, Ayers was working as a strategist for Mike Pence, and ultimately became a key member of his vice presidential campaign team. play

By 2016, Ayers was working as a strategist for Mike Pence, and ultimately became a key member of his vice presidential campaign team.

(Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)


In June 2017, Ayers was tapped as Pence's chief of staff.

In June 2017, Ayers was tapped as Pence's chief of staff. play

In June 2017, Ayers was tapped as Pence's chief of staff.

(Al Drago/Getty Images)


Ayers is extremely religious, which is part of why he and Pence connected.

Vice President Mike Pence. play

Vice President Mike Pence.

(Sara D. Davis/Getty Images)

Source: The Huffington Post



Ayers is reportedly worth between $12 million and $55 million, so he would not be out of place in an administration full of millionaires and billionaires in top positions.

President Donald Trump play

President Donald Trump

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Source: Politico



Ayers obtained much of his wealth via consulting work, but also through various investments in real estate, health care, and technology, among other industries.

White House Director of Legislative Affairs Marc Short, left, Vice President Mike Pence's Chief of Staff Nick Ayers, second from right, Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway, third from right, and National Economic Council chairman Gary Cohn, second from right, listen and President Donald Trump and Republican congressmen speak at a news conference after participating in a Congressional Republican Leadership Retreat at Camp David. play

White House Director of Legislative Affairs Marc Short, left, Vice President Mike Pence's Chief of Staff Nick Ayers, second from right, Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway, third from right, and National Economic Council chairman Gary Cohn, second from right, listen and President Donald Trump and Republican congressmen speak at a news conference after participating in a Congressional Republican Leadership Retreat at Camp David.

(Andrew Harnik/AP)

Source: Politico



Ayers reportedly has a strong relationship with the president's daughter and son-in-law, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner.

Ayers reportedly has a strong relationship with the president's daughter and son-in-law, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner. play

Ayers reportedly has a strong relationship with the president's daughter and son-in-law, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner.

(Evan Vucci/AP)