Darren Soto announces home-grown senior staff - Florida Politics

Darren Soto announces home-grown senior staff

Freshman U.S. Rep. Darren Soto of Orlando announced his senior staff, heavy on local connections and including a key former staffer of his predecessor Alan Grayson.

Christine Biron, who was Soto’s campaign manager and before that his legislative assistant in both the Florida House of Representatives and Florida Senate, was announced Wednesday as his chief of staff in Washington. Biron and Soto have worked together since Soto’s first campaign.

Alex Barrio, who served as Florida’s house district secretary and as a legislative analyst for the Florida Senate Democratic Caucus before making an unsuccessful run for a house seat himself last summer, will serve as Soto’s district director.

Mike Nichola, who served as legislative director for former former U.S. Rep. Grayson, will be Soto’s legislative director.

Iza Montalvo, a former journalist who served as communications director for Soto’s congressional campaign and also served as Grayson’s press secretary, was announced as Soto’s press secretary.

All of them are longtime Floridians with deep ties to Central Florida.

Soto, a Democrat, represents Florida’s 9th Congressional District, which covers south Orange County, Osceola County and east Polk County.

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at scott@floridapolitics.com.

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