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Chris Spencer among ‘key additions’ to Ron DeSantis staff

Chris Spencer will join the Ron DeSantis administration as Policy Director, one of several hires for the Executive Office of the Governor that the transition announced Wednesday.

Justin Caporale — a top aide to President Trump — will serve as DeSantis’ Director of External Affairs; Amanda Emmons will be Director of Scheduling; and Makenzi Mahler will become Director of Appointments.

“This team of qualified, dedicated and talented individuals will help us deliver on the issues that matter most to Floridians from economic growth to water quality and more,” the Governor-elect said in a statement. He will be sworn in on Tuesday, as will Lt. Governor-elect Jeanette Nuñez.

“I’m proud to announce their service to our state and I have every confidence in their commitment to the people of Florida.”

Added Susie Wiles, Executive Director of the DeSantis-Nuñez Transition: “This is a talented group of individuals who have demonstrated the aptitude to serve not only the Governor-elect, but the people of Florida with distinction.”

Spencer, who had been a lobbyist with the GrayRobinson firm, has been managing Transition Advisory Committee efforts for DeSantis in recent weeks.

Before that, he was chief legislative aide to state Sen. Jeff Brandes, a St. Petersburg Republican.

“Chris Spencer has a breadth of policy knowledge virtually unmatched in Florida,” Brandes told Florida Politics. “By selecting him as Policy Director, Governor-elect DeSantis is bringing aboard one of the brightest minds in the state. I look forward to working with them as we cast a bold vision for the future of Florida.”

Caporale is an “experienced advance and operations professional with an extensive background in developing the strategy and overseeing the management of political events and advocacy campaigns,” the transition’s press release says.

“He worked as a senior Advance and Operations lead throughout the 2016 Donald J. Trump for President campaign before serving in the White House as a Special Assistant to the President and the Director of Operations for the East Wing.”

Caporale also served as Director of Operations and Chief of Staff for Concerned Veterans for America and was Director of Advance operations for the Ron DeSantis for Governor campaign before serving in his current role as Executive Director of the DeSantis-Nuñez Inauguration.

Emmons previously served in the Governor-elect’s Transition as the Director of Scheduling, a role she also held throughout the DeSantis-Nuñez campaign. Prior to her role in the campaign, Emmons worked as a Staff Assistant to Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio where she served as a grant and intern coordinator for the Senator’s office.

Mahler was Deputy Finance Director for the DeSantis-Nuñez campaign. Before that, she spent over three years at the Republican Party of Florida where she worked on strategic initiatives and in finance for the House Majority effort.

The staff will begin working together Jan. 9, immediately after DeSantis and Nuñez take the oaths of office, the release added.

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