RNC selects 3 top Florida staff members

gop florida

The GOP is positioning itself in the Sunshine State, as the Republican National Committee fills a trio of top Florida positions ahead of 2016.

The Tampa Bay Times reports the RNC announced on Thursday Brian Barrett as new state director; Alex Garcia becomes deputy state director and will lead Hispanic initiatives. Ben Shankle will head data direction.

“The RNC is building the largest, earliest and most data focused field program in GOP history,” RNC Chair Reince Priebus said a prepared statement.

“This new wave of staff will help us train our team, register voters, and meet one-on-one with activists, to build our infrastructure now in order to hand our eventual nominee a fully functional ground operation on day one,” he said.

“The road to the White House goes through Florida,” Republican Party of Florida Chairman Blaise Ingoglia added. “Our State Party is fighting for every vote across the state with a commitment to the ground game unparalleled in the history of Florida politics.”

According to RNC bios, Barrett comes from his most recent role as RNC victory director for the state of Georgia, where he oversaw grassroots programs for both Gov. Nathan Deal and U.S. Sen. David Perdue’s 2014 victories.

Barrett also managed ground operations to unseat incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. John Barrow in Georgia’s 12th Congressional District.

Prior to overseeing the RNC’s Florida Hispanic Initiatives in 2014, Garcia was a legislative aide for state Sen. Anitere Flores and state Rep. Michael Bileca. He also was Flores’ deputy campaign manager for her 2010 campaign and campaign manager for Bileca in 2012.

Shankle has provided data services for several Florida State House and Senate campaigns. Previously, he was an attorney for the Florida Senate Judiciary Committee.

Phil Ammann

Phil Ammann is a Tampa Bay-area journalist, editor and writer. With more than three decades of writing, editing, reporting and management experience, Phil produced content for both print and online, in addition to founding several specialty websites, including HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government, entertainment reviews, marketing and an advice column. Phil has served as editor and production manager for Extensive Enterprises Media since 2013 and lives in Tampa with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul. He can be reached on Twitter @PhilAmmann or at [email protected].


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