Virginia Finance Secretary Aubrey Layne will leave his post in the governor’s Cabinet for a high-ranking job at the one of the nation’s largest health care systems, Sentara Healthcare.
Layne’s departure, which will be official on July 1, is the first high-profile exit as Gov. Ralph Northam’s administration winds to a close. Virginia governors are barred from serving consecutive terms; Northam will leave office in January.
Layne will join Sentara Healthcare as a senior vice president and chief of staff. Sentara is one of the state’s largest employers and operates more than a dozen hospitals and assisted living facilities.
Under state law, Layne will not be allowed to lobby on behalf of Sentara Healthcare, but the health care system said in a statement that Layne would oversee its legislative affairs team.
The Northam administration did not immediately announce Layne’s replacement. Administration spokeswoman Alena Yarmosky said that “more information on his replacement will be shared in the next few weeks.”
Layne joined the Northam administration as finance secretary in 2018. Before that, Layne had served as transportation secretary under Gov. Terry McAuliffe from 2014 to 2018. McAuliffe is running for governor again.
In a statement, Northam praised Layne for helping oversee the state’s precarious economic position and budget planning during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Aubrey Layne has been at the center of every important action we have taken since I’ve been Governor,” Northam said. “He has guided Virginia’s plans for financing public health, public safety, public education, and much more.
His stewardship has enabled Virginia to preserve our AAA bond rating, set aside record-high financial reserves, and even post a budget surplus — all during a global pandemic.”