Andrew McDonald of Stamford, currently the chief counsel to Gov. Dannel Malloy, is in line to become the governor’s new chief of staff, according to Capitol sources. McDonald is said to be replacing Tim Bannon whose departure was announced by Malloy back on Nov. 1. At that time, Malloy announced Bannon, Communications Director Colleen Flanagan and Operations Director Alvin Wilson would be leaving by year’s end.

Most Capitol insiders would not be surprised that McDonald is line to take over the critical role of chief of staff. He and Malloy have been tight since their days at Stamford City Hall—Malloy as mayor and McDonald as director of legal affairs. McDonald is considered very smart, passionate, ambitious and politically savvy.

McDonald is a former state senator who won election to an open seat representing Stamford and Darien in 2002 and reelected four times after that. He resigned to become Malloy’s chief counsel in 2010.

Unexplained still, is why the departure of three key Malloy administration officials—Bannon, Flanagan and Wilson—was announced during the pre-Halloween snowstorm crisis. As such, it got very little attention in the press that was consumed covering the storm and its aftermath; or perhaps that was exactly the idea. Just when McDonald may take over could not be determined.