The House Democratic Office announced Tuesday that it promoted David Grimes to staff director and brought on a pair of new staffers.
Grimes is House Democrats’ lead adviser on rules, appropriations, constitutional law, and redistricting. He previously served as the office’s analyst for justice, ethics, finance and taxation policy. He was bumped up from deputy staff director.
Before signing on with the House Democratic Office, Grimes spent three years working as an Assistant Attorney General specializing in civil rights and constitutional law litigation with the Florida Office of the Attorney General.
A Key Largo native, Grimes is a double alumnus of Florida State University, where he earned a bachelor’s in political science and a law degree, graduating cum laude. He has remained involved with his alma mater, serving on the board of the FSU Pride Alumni Network.
He has presented continuing legal education courses on LGBTQ+ history, law, and bias elimination for several bar associations and a state agency. He was the inaugural recipient of the Tallahassee Women Lawyers Diversity and Inclusion Award for his work on LGBTQ+ advocacy.
Grimes is currently a Governor for The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division for the Second Judicial Circuit. He is also President Emeritus of the Florida Government Bar Association and holds board seats at Legal Services of North Florida, the Survive and Thrive Advocacy Center, which works to end human trafficking in the Big Bend.
The House Democratic Office is also welcoming a couple of new faces: Attorney Krista Dolan and deputy communications director Joey Arellano.
Dolan will serve as an analyst for justice, finance and taxation silos. She is an experienced public interest attorney having worked on post-conviction issues for the past 8 years, first with a public defender agency, and most recently the Innocence Project of Florida.
Dolan holds a master’s degree in applied American politics and policy as well as a law degree from FSU. She later earned an LL.M. from American University with a concentration in civil rights and constitutional law.
She is the author of several publications and currently serves as the Treasurer of the Public Interest Law Section of The Florida Bar.
Arellano is a Florida native hailing from Port Saint Lucie by way of North Miami Beach. The first-generation Mexican American is also an FSU alumnus with a dual degree in international affairs and editing, writing, and media. He also holds a certificate minor in disaster management and homeland security.
He got his start in communications as a press intern for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection in 2015. After graduation, he took a position at the Florida Commission on Human Relations in 2016 as a housing intake coordinator, where he was tasked with reviewing housing discrimination complaints.
After a year at FCHR, he transitioned to a publications coordinator/editor role with Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, now DXC.technology, where he fine-tuned his communication skills serving the Florida Medicaid community before leaving in 2019.
Last year, he worked as a risk and compliance subcontractor for KPMG before joining Alton Edmond’s campaign for Brevard County Sheriff as a consultant tasked with communications and social media strategy, and at times served as the campaign communications chair.