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Ron DeSantis names star-studded Inaugural Committee

Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis and incoming First Lady Casey DeSantis on Tuesday announced the leadership for their 2019 Inaugural Committee.

Heading the list is top Florida and Washington, D.C. lobbyist Brian Ballard and his wife Kathryn Ballard of Tallahassee, who are chairs.

Co-chairs are longtime Republican Party fundraisers Stanley and Gay Hart Gaines of Palm Beach, and lobbyist Bill Rubin and wife Lys of Broward County.

“We are excited to announce this special group of Florida leaders who have graciously agreed to serve on the 2019 Inaugural Committee,” the DeSantises said in a statement.

“The 2019 Inauguration will be a celebration of our great state as we move forward together toward continued success. The Inaugural Committee will play a critical role in organizing inclusive inaugural events which reflect the diversity and uniqueness of Florida.”

Other appointments, including current and former lawmakers and a bevy of influencers familiar to Florida Politics readers, are below:

Inaugural Finance Committee

— Chair, Nick Iarossi.

 — Co-Chairs, James “Bill” Heavener and Mori Hosseini.

Inaugural Host Committee

Slater Bayliss, Rodney Barreto, Allan Bense, Brady Benford, David Browning, Dean Cannon, Thomas L. Corr, Carson Good, Rep. Byron Donalds, Rebekah Dorworth, Tre Evers, Joseph G. Fogg III, Anthony Farhat, Dr. Jeffrey Feingold, Tony Grippa, John Hamlin, Adam & Jillian Hasner, Jeff and Sonya Hartley, Ken Jones, Marva Johnson, Jeff Johnston, Manny Kadre, Fred & Autumn Karlinsky, Tom Kukk, Ben Leon Jr., Kelly Mallette, Albert Maury, Chris Moya, Pat Neal, Bridget Nocco, Richard Parrillo, Robert W. Pereira, Tom Petway, Ike & Laura Perlmutter, Ambassador John Rood, Rob Schenck, Ambassador Mel Sembler and wife Betty, Kent Stermon, Rick Sontag, Monte Stevens, Will Weatherford, Katie Webb, Derek Whitis.

For more information, go to

Written By

Jim Rosica is the Tallahassee-based Senior Editor for Florida Politics. He previously was the Tampa Tribune’s statehouse reporter. Before that, he covered three legislative sessions in Florida for The Associated Press. Jim graduated from law school in 2009 after spending nearly a decade covering courts for the Tallahassee Democrat, including reporting on the 2000 presidential recount. He can be reached at

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