Latest on the legislative staffing merry-go-round (Senate version)

merry go round 2.6

With a tip of the hat to LobbyTools, here are the latest movements — both on and off — of the legislative merry-go-round in the Florida Senate.

Off and on: Andrew Liebert and Jae Williams became legislative assistants, and Karen Whaley became district secretary for Republican Sen. Ben Albritton of Bartow. Williams previously worked for former Sen. Denise Grimsley. Whaley worked with Albritton during his time in the House.

Off and on: Taylor Ferguson became a legislative assistant for Republican Sen. Rob Bradley of Orange Park. Ferguson previously served as a legislative assistant for former Rep. Jake Raburn.

On: Jena Kingery and Sebastian Belloni are legislative assistants for Democratic Sen. Janet Cruz of Tampa.

Off and on: Mauricio Montiel and Judith Ruiz became legislative assistants for Republican Sen. Manny Diaz of Hialeah Gardens. Montiel worked for Diaz in the House and former Rep. Carlos Trujillo before that.

Off: Kathy Galea is no longer chief legislative assistant for Senate President Bill Galvano of Bradenton.

On: Darlene VanRiper became a legislative assistant for Republican Sen. Gayle Harrell of Stuart.

On: Brian Flaherty and Mari Riba became legislative assistants for Republican Sen. Ed Hooper of Clearwater.

On and off: Melonie Hoyt replaced David Ballard as a legislative assistant for Republican Sen. Tom Lee of Brandon. Hoyt previously worked for former Sen. Dana Young of Tampa. Ballard is now legislative assistant got freshman Republican Rep. Tommy Gregory of Sarasota.

On: Teri Cariota is a legislative assistant for Democratic Sen. Jason Pizzo of Miami. She’s also listed as a legislative assistant for Democratic Rep. Dotie Joseph of North Miami. Cariota previously served as a legislative assistant for former Rep. Roy Hardemon.

On: Laura Jimenez returned as a legislative assistant for Democratic Sen. Jose Javier Rodriguez of Miami.

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 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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