Democrat Janelle Perez filled a pivotal role in her Florida Senate campaign this week with the addition of a campaign manager, Orlando native Gianna Trocino Bonner.
Perez announced the hire by email Wednesday.
“I am excited to welcome Gianna to the team as we fight to take back Senate District 37 and share our message of freedom, equality, and opportunity,” Perez wrote. “Gianna’s policy and grassroots organizing experience will help us connect with voters and run a campaign focused on the real issues facing our communities, like access to affordable, high-quality healthcare, combatting the climate crisis, and supporting small businesses.”
Before joining Perez’s campaign, according to her LinkedIn page, Bonner worked for 10 months as policy and campaigns manager for The CLEO Institute, a Coral Gables-headquartered nonprofit dedicated to nonpartisan climate crisis education and advocacy.
A Perez victory next year would mark something of a homecoming for Bonner, who from September 2019 to December 2020 served as chief legislative aide to former Sen. José Javier Rodríguez. Rodríguez represented SD 37 before losing his seat in November in a controversial race that has since led to felony charges of election meddling.
Perez is now running to reclaim the seat from Republican Sen. Ileana Garcia, who won SD 37 by just 34 votes.
Bonner has also served as the assistant scheduling coordinator and surrogate staffer for former Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum’s gubernatorial campaign, field organizer for Tallahassee with progressive group For Our Future Florida and public affairs account executive with Florida public relations firm SalterMitchell PR.
She also interned for three months under Democratic former Rep. Daisy Baez and is a past fellow of New Leaders Council Tallahassee, a nonprofit group that “develops, connects, and uplifts inclusive, cross-sector leaders who transform our country through social and political change rooted in equity.”
Bonner holds bachelor’s degrees in political science and philosophy from Florida State University, where she was assistant director of the FSU Women Student Union. Her bio with the group says she was a previous president of Planned Parenthood: Generation Action and “is passionate about politics, women’s rights, reproductive justice, and LGBTQIA rights.”