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Federal

Rick Scott announces new chief of staff, state director

A new communications director is expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

Sen. Rick Scott announced Thursday that Craig Carbone will become his next chief of staff and John Tupps will become his new state director.

Craig served as Scott’s deputy chief of staff during his time as a Florida Governor and a Florida Senator. He will take the helm in January.

“Craig has been an integral part of my team for years and his organizational skills and commitment to serving the state of Florida will be a huge asset to me and my office,” Scott said in a news release.

Craig replaces current Chief of Staff Jackie Schutz Zeckman.

She now moves on to serve as the National Republican Senatorial Committee’s Executive Director.

“Jackie is truly a powerhouse and has been an integral part of my team since I was Governor – she successfully led my campaign for U.S. Senate, and has helped build our office from the ground up,” Scott said. “I look forward to continuing to work with her at the National Senatorial Republican Committee.”

Tupps will begin his service as state director effective Dec. 2., a news release said.

He most recently served as VISIT FLORIDA’s Vice President of External Affairs, where he oversaw corporate communications and intergovernmental relations.

Tupps also served as then-Gov. Scott’s Communication Director and Press Secretary.

“John was one of the earliest hires in my office after I was elected Governor and will bring significant experience to a job that is critical to serving Florida families,” Scott said. “Both John and Craig are dedicated to our state and I’m proud to welcome John back to the team!”

Tupps will replace Leda Williams Kelly.

“Leda has been on my team for years serving in various capacities before she took on the vital role as State Director when I was sworn in,” Scott said. “She developed an incredible constituent services operation and a hardworking team throughout the state that works every day to solve problems and get information to Floridians.”

Communications Director Chris Hartline plans to depart from Scott’s office in January, the news release added.

He will go on to serve as the National Republican Senatorial Committee’s Communications Director.

Hartline’s replacement is expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

Written By

Jason Delgado covers news out of the state capital for Florida Politics. After a stint with the U.S. Army, Jason attended the University of Central Florida where he studied American Policy and National Security. His past bylines include WMFE-NPR and POLITICO Florida. Throw him a line at jason@floridapolitics.com or on Twitter at @JasonDelgadoFL.

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