CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- With the legislative session over, Rob Alsop finally had a chance to get to his daughter's softball game before it started last week.
His oldest daughter, Audrey, ran up to him, surprised and ecstatic. "She said, 'Dad you made it on time for the game,' " Alsop recalled Tuesday.
Alsop, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's chief of staff for the past two years, plans to step down next month, saying he'll seek a new job that allows him to spend more time with his wife and three daughters -- ages 3, 6 and 9.
He hopes to make it a habit of being at his kids' ballgames before the first pitch.
"My little girls are growing up," Alsop wrote in his resignation letter to Tomblin. "It is time for me to pursue opportunities that will allow me to be a bigger part of their lives."
Alsop turned in his resignation on April 13, the last day of the regular legislative session. He formally announced his departure Tuesday.
"I love my job. I love the governor. But it's been two and a half years and two legislative sessions, and I want to be more flexible with my time for my kids and my wife," Alsop told the Gazette Tuesday. "I'm ready to move on."
State Revenue Secretary Charlie Lorensen will replace Alsop as Tomblin's chief of staff. Alsop's last day will be May 31.
"I'm going to stay on to help with the transition," he said.
Alsop said he has no immediate job prospects. On Tuesday, he requested an employment exemption from the state Ethics Commission that would allow him to work in the private sector.
"I think I'm a good problem-solver," Alsop said. "I'm going to look and see what's out there."
As Tomblin's chief of staff, Alsop worked closely with state lawmakers and teachers unions to ensure passage of Tomblin's education reform bill earlier this month.
Both sides have praised him for his willingness to listen to different viewpoints and develop a compromise bill.
On Monday, Tomblin cited Alsop's "ability to establish common ground."