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Cheri Vancura to be Senate President Joe Negron’s chief of staff

Senate President-Designate Joe Negron has selected a former top aide to be his chief of staff.

Cheri Vancura, a deputy clerk for the Martin County Clerk of Court and Comptroller, has been tapped as Negron’s right-hand woman during his two-year term as Senate President.

“Cheri has an extraordinary background and experience in both public service and the political process that makes her an ideal Chief of Staff,” said Negron in a statement Thursday.

Vancura is no stranger to the capital city. She was Negron’s chief legislative assistant, acting as a top aide for Negron in both the Florida House and in the Florida Senate. She also played a role in Negron congressional campaign.

Her time in Tallahassee wasn’t just in Negron’s office. She was one of Jeff Atwater’s legislative assistants during his time in the Florida Senate. She went on to be Atwater’s campaign manager in his successful 2010 bid for Chief Financial Officer. Atwater received the most votes of any statewide candidate during that campaign.

Vancura went on to be external affairs and program manager in the CFO’s office under Atwater.

“I value her judgment and insight,” Negron said. “I am confident she will serve the Florida Senate with excellence and distinction.”

On Thursday, Matt Dixon with POLITICO Florida reported that Reynold Meyer, Senate President Andy Gardiner’s chief of staff, is expected to stay on as a staffer.

Katie Betta, a spokeswoman for Gardiner, said Meyer is a “long-serving member of the Senate professional staff and will maintain a senior role in the President’s Office.” Betta said his role will be “similar to his responsibilities during President (Don) Gaetz’s administration.”

Negron is set to take over the presidency this fall, after the November elections. His designation last year ended a years-long battle with Sen. Jack Latvala for the presidency.

Negron has said he plans to make higher education and the environment his top priorities during his time as president. Later this month, he’ll visit all 12 of the state’s public universities as part of a listening tour.

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