Rich Azzopardi, the Ewok-like spokesman for the Senate Independent Democratic Conference, is moving from the fifth floor to the second floor of the Capitol, becoming a deputy press officer for Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Azzopardi will start his new job later this week, said Cuomo spokesman Josh Vlasto who confirmed the news this afternoon.

He replaces David Doyle, who will become the new spokesman at the State University of New York’s central administration.

Azzopardi is a Long Island native who flacked for Sen. Craig Johnson before a nail-biting loss to Jack Martins in 2010 and was a reporter at The Daily Gazette in Schenectady. He is a ubiquitous presence around the Capitol, quick to defend his bosses or dish about local Albany politics.

He’s also the hero of a very scary incident that took place late last year when a knife-wielding Azzopardi chased off a young woman’s early morning attacker outside of his Center Square home.

Update: IDC Sen. Jeff Klein released a statement congratulating Azzopardi and announcing that Eric Soufer was promoted to communications director

“Rich played a vital role in the Independent Democratic Conference’s launch, and has been a much-valued part of our team. He works hard, performs at the highest levels and will be missed. Senator Savino, Senator Valesky, Senator Carlucci, and I wish Rich well. We have every confidence that he will excel at his new position in the Cuomo administration.”

Congrats, Rich!