Andrew Gillum continues filling out campaign staff
Andrew Gillum sits down for a series of Sunday talk show interviews on Sept. 2, 2018.

Andrew Gillum

Andrew Gillum, the Democratic gubernatorial nominee, announced on Wednesday a second series of hires for his general election campaign.

Eleven more Gillum staffers and consultants are officially on board, the campaign announced Wednesday. The campaign earlier this week unveiled a 19-person leadership team.

Familiar names — like staffers from unsuccessful primary campaigns and from other Democratic politicians and groups — fill out the squad. There are also carryovers from Gillum’s primary team.

At the helm of operations is Brandon Davis, the newly named campaign manager. Davis fills the vacancy created by the firing of Brendan McPhillips, who was let go shortly after Gillum’s upset primary victory. Davis is a decorated Democratic strategist. He served nearly a decade in leadership positions at Service Employees International Union and in 2016 was the chief of staff at the Democratic National Committee.

“The enthusiasm and activism of so many Floridians over the last two weeks has been inspiring, and this campaign isn’t letting up for a moment — we are going to take our message to every corner of the state,” Davis said in announcing the slate of new hires.

Among the updated list of outside consultants to the campaign is Millie Raphael, who will advise on statewide Hispanic outreach. Hava Holzhauer will focus on Jewish outreach.

Taking over political operations for Gillum is Roosevelt Holmes, who worked for President Barack Obama‘s election campaign in 2008. Holmes also successfully helped Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings ascend to the county’s mayoral post in August. Holmes will now oversee Deputy Political Director Philip Jerez, who ran the political shop for Gillum during the primary.

From the now-shuttered Philip Levine campaign comes Courtney Whitney, a Democratic fundraiser, and Christian Ulvert. Ulvert, who was a senior adviser to Levine, will handle Spanish-language media for Gillum. Manny OrozcoBallestas, also a Levine alum, will handle youth outreach for Gillum. 

Pollster John Anzalone, who formerly worked with Gwen Graham, will handle surveying for the Gillum camp.

Zach Learner is the deputy manager for the campaign and comes over from Chris King‘s team. King is on the ticket as a Lieutenant Governor hopeful.

Carlie Waibel, who had earlier this year worked for Sen. Bill Nelson‘s re-election campaign, now is the deputy communications director for Gillum. On Wednesday, the campaign also announced Johanna Cervone and Kirsten Allen as new comms hires. Joshua Karp, who handled comms for U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy‘s failed U.S. Senate bid in 2016, and Doug Thornell, of SKDKnickerbocker, round out the comms staff.

Former communications director Geoff Burgan is now working with CATECOMM, the communications and consulting firm that’s long been favored by Gillum. Kevin Cate, owner of CATECOMM, will handle paid media for Gillum.

A complete list of team Gillum is below.

Senior strategic advisers: Scott Arceneaux, Sharon Lettman-Hicks, Omar Khan and Sean Pittman.

Senior Staff: Cesar Fernandez, Deputy Campaign Manager for Political; Joshua Karp, Deputy Campaign Manager for Communications; Zach Learner, Deputy Campaign Manager for Operations; Roxey Nelson, Deputy Campaign Manager for Organizing; Courtney Whitney, Deputy Campaign Manager for Finance; and Carlie Waibel, Deputy Communications Director.

Staff: Roosevelt Holmes, Political Director; Johanna Cervone, Communications Director; Kirsten Allen, Deputy Communications Director; Philip Jerez, Statewide Deputy Political Director; Susannah Randolph, Statewide Constituency Outreach Director; Juan Cuba, Hispanic Outreach Director; Alicia Stallworth, African American & Caribbean Outreach Director; Manny OrozcoBallestas, Youth Outreach Director. 

Consulting team: Jon Adrabi, Senior Advisor; Karen Andre, Senior Advisor; John Anzalone, Polling; Kevin Cate, Paid Media; Mattis Goldman, Paid Media; Jim Kottmeyer, Digital; Doug Thornell, Communications; Ed Peavy, Direct Mail; Christian Ulvert, Spanish-Language Media; Millie Raphael, Statewide Hispanic Outreach Consultant; Hava Holzhauer, Statewide Jewish Outreach Consultant; Omar Khan, Senior Advisor.

Danny McAuliffe

Danny is a contributor at He is a graduate of Fordham Law School and Florida State University, where he served as the editor of the FSView & Florida Flambeau. Reach him at [email protected].


  • Arthro

    September 17, 2018 at 9:31 pm

    Florida has fared well under Republican leadership – far better than anything Gillum can offer. He’s a puppet of George Soros, and a committed socialist. We don’t need either. Gillum will drive Florida into the ground. Democrats made a huge mistake by not nominating Gwen a Graham.

    • Barrington

      September 17, 2018 at 11:56 pm

      And Republicans haven’t F-up Florida for the last 20 years with their top-down, policies, greed and serving at the altar of the rich and powerful? Please. Florida needs a governor who will pit the people first.

      • John Citizen

        September 18, 2018 at 6:46 am

        Ok who is going to pay for the freebies the Dems hand out?

        • That Guy

          September 18, 2018 at 9:46 am

          Yeah because all the freebies the corporation and the wealthy people in the state got were payed by the Republican’s hand out.

      • Nordonia Nate

        September 18, 2018 at 3:28 pm

        Barrington.. Simple question: why have the Republicans be in charge for 20 years? IF everything you claim is true, surely a Democrat could have been easily elected…

        Barrington.. Please help us explain HOW Gillum is going to “put” the people first? Gillum claims he will only tax corporations. Corps raise prices to cover tax. People pay more. Some may even lose their jobs because taxes were raised. The tax increase stated would not cover all the expenses. Where does he make up the shortfall and HOW MUCH is the shortfall? Gillum will not answer that question.

        Kinda funny how the Republicans eff it up so badly they get re-elected and people like you want to put a guy in there who wants to raise taxes to implement a plan he says he can’t pay for..

        Got it

    • Nicole Benedict

      September 19, 2018 at 5:21 am

      If by “fared well” you mean dropped like a stone in public education rankings, industry, wages and went up in increased poverty due to flat wages, then sure.

      I see you are one of those people who are susceptible to fake news – Gillum is not a socialist, nor is he a puppet of anyone. Are you about to repeat the idiotic Desantis line that Gillum is going to institute an income tax? That one lie from Desantis demonstrates just how incapable he will be as governor. He doesn’t even understand how his own state works.

      • Nordonia Nate

        September 19, 2018 at 8:13 am

        Public education rankings have many variables. Why don’t you show the direct correlation to those variables that YOU listed to the Republican policies. Amused that when it comes to rhetoric, people like you possess more than your fair share. I keep forgetting how Democrats are often precluded from participating in government decisions.

        Nicole, try to stay focused and try NOT to make claims that have not happened. I a FACT about Gillum’s agenda of implementing corporate tax. Try not to deflect away from this FACT. Obviously you can’t explain the plan to make up for the shortfall either… which explains why you believe avoiding it is necessary.

        Nicole, maybe you believe finger pointing and name calling somehow adds credibility to your comments, but all it truly shows is you choose to ignore critical issues .. cannot present facts.. and are truly desperate..

        What is terribly sad, tragic actually… YOU don’t understand how our state works. Save your rhetoric …

  • Buzzed

    September 17, 2018 at 10:11 pm

    Totally agree.

  • Ray Tampa

    September 17, 2018 at 11:21 pm

    Arturo, it is obvious that you don’t live in the Florida that I know. To say that Florida has fared well under republican leadership begs the question, “What rock have you lived under for the past twenty years?”

    Let’s take a look at just how ridiculous your statement is: 1. Our education system ranks as one of the worst in the country. 2. Our privatized prison system is nothing more than a failed system full of abuse, mismanagement, and political kickbacks. 3. Florida is an outlier state in terms of rights restoration for felons. Only two other states are in the same pathetic boat as Florida. 4. We have a governor who probably should have been jailed. Nevertheless, he did spend multi-millions of ‘his own’ money to secure the Governor’s office. Last I heard his income surpassed 80 million. Go figure. 5. Florida has 67 counties. Why would 55 plus sheriffs endorse the worse governor in our state’s history. Something is wrong with that picture. 6. We have had way too many mass shootings in our state. Yet, our state’s republican legislators refuse to listen to the will of the people. 7. Lake Okeechobee is a green mess. 8. Red Tide is a stinking mess. 8. And more.

    I don’t have the space nor the time to continue defining the problems in this state that most of us love so much. That is why we need a totally new direction from a totally new group of leaders.

    • Nordonia Nate

      September 18, 2018 at 3:57 pm

      Tampa Ray.. You are great at criticising…. but that is all you do..

      Regarding education. The Democrats have done what? Gillum wants to spend more money on education? For what?

      Prison system? Again.. The Dems would do …. What?

      Felon voting rights numbers you provided are extremely misleading and factually inaccurate. In Florida the convicted felon can petition for voting rights restoration 7 years after service of sentencing commitment. Ray, it’s the deception in your comments that ruin your credibility.

      “..should have been in jailed..”??? Why? Because Ray wants it so? Why not file suit, Ray? Instead of complaining, file suit.

      Ray, now you want to attack the integrity of lawv enforcement because they support the person you oppose? Here’s the problem.. The people in law enforcement are dedicated to preserving the law and even help ungrateful people like you. The mass shootings comment??

      Green algae and red tide are natural phenomenon. Are you NOW claiming the Republicans control nature? Tell ya What, Ray… Have Gillum come to Lifo Beach on Saturday and have him stop the red tide… Show us how it’s done.

      Ray… It’s not the space you need… It’s the content that makes your posts credible. When do you plan on doing that?

  • Beth in Apalach

    September 18, 2018 at 1:01 am

    Don’t forget about Rick Scott ordering DEP staff not to use terrible phrases like climate change and sea-level rise. We don’t have to worry about Miami being underwater. We’ll just put blinders on and deny that there’s any problem. That should solve it!

  • Keeping it Real in PBC

    September 18, 2018 at 8:41 am

    “Arthro” is clearly a Russian troll from the Kremlin’s Internet Research Agency in St. Petersburg…and I’m not talking Pinellas County! This has the signature of the same social media-based “active measures” that were used in the 2016 Presidential election to cause divisions and dissuade voters from going to the polls. Don’t be taken in by this fraud…the best defense is to NOT respond to the nonsense.

    Our intelligence community said that these active measures would make a return during the midterms. Well, you’re now seeing an example of this! So don’t engage in this type of debate, because it isn’t a debate at all!

  • Ron

    September 18, 2018 at 8:41 am

    I just love the obsession with George Soros! I’ll bet Arturo couldn’t pick him out in a lineup. But Arturo is the perfect example of how well FOX and Rush have done their jobs. The Conservative wing of America lives in a fantasy world that’s going nowhere but they are in charge and are going to drag the rest of us into oblivion with them. Conservatism is destroying America.

    • Nordonia Nate

      September 18, 2018 at 4:02 pm

      Oh, c’mon …. I read your posts… You guys got Rush and FOX beat by a mile….. I mean .. The Russian narrative unraveled months ago … and you guys are STILL using it… lol…

      Love to see your examples of conservatism destroying America..

  • Paul F.

    September 18, 2018 at 5:07 pm

    When people talk of taxes…my grandparents and parents taught me the more you make the more you should pay. Everyone wants roads, schools and airports but no one wants taxes. A VAT tax maybe the way to go. The more you buy and the cost of the item the more you pay in tax. Let the Republicans think about that.

    • Nordonia Nate

      September 18, 2018 at 5:15 pm

      Actually, tax rates are based upon graduated tables of income .. essentially, the more you earn, the more you pay. Also, the fact that you use the same surfaces in the same manner regardless of measurements clearly does not preclude people from paying their fair share..

      Why not a 15% flat tax with no loopholes. Let the Democrats think about that..

  • Nordonia Nate

    September 19, 2018 at 12:31 pm

    In your scenario, Gillum can do no damage… Is that what you imply?

  • Gail Conroy

    September 20, 2018 at 6:06 pm

    The blue green algae and consequently red tide are the worse problem facing Florida right now. It is making us sick and killing millions if not billions of fish all along the coastline. Million dollar homes and condos line the coast and how much is our governor paying out for the havoc this caused? Less than 5 million. Every state employee should be working on this problem. All universities should be focused on this problem. The FWC should stop spraying our waterways with toxic chemicals to kill exotics and focus ALL efforts on finding out who is responsible for the outbreak of the blue green algae. Has anyone looked at the biofuel companies creating GM blue green algae? The police should be searching for the cause of this red tide outbreak. What is the state of Florida doing? Nothing. This is an emergency and we need to treat it as one, not just a minor inconvenience.

    • Nordonia Nate

      September 20, 2018 at 6:38 pm

      Great opinion piece. Let’s bet that more is being done than you claim.

  • Ali Ahmed

    September 21, 2018 at 9:03 pm

    He needs to hire TJ Cole!!

Comments are closed.


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