Personnel note: Dave Karvelas, former chief of staff to Vern Buchanan, joins Ballard Partners

Ballard Partners
The hill veteran worked more than a decade as chief of staff to Vern Buchanan.

Ballard Partners has hired Dave Karvelas, U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan’s former chief of staff and a veteran of The Associated Press.

“Dave’s experience as one of the most seasoned veterans of Capitol Hill brings an exponential dimension to our firm’s bipartisan advocacy in the halls of Congress and the Ways and Means Committee,” said Brian Ballard, president and founder of Ballard Partners. “We are honored that Dave is joining our top-tier team of Washington professionals.”

Of particular value to the lobbying firm, Karvelas comes on as a lobbyist at a moment when Buchanan appears poised to chair the House Ways & Means Committee if Republicans win the majority in November.

Karvelas worked 15 years for Buchanan, from 2006 to 2021. He served as senior advisor to the Congressman from January 2021 to June. Before that, he served as chief of staff from the start of 2007 to the end of 2020.

Buchanan is not the only Ways & Means Committee member Karvelas has served. He also worked as chief of staff to former Reps. Nancy Johnson, a Connecticut Republican, and Rep. Dick Zimmer, a New Jersey Republican.

Now he moves to the lobbying corps after lengthy tenures as House staff and before that in the press galleys. “I am delighted to join Brian and the bipartisan team at Ballard Partners,” Karvelas said.

Working with Buchanan, Karvelas helped bring 24 legislative initiatives originating in the Sarasota Republican’s office to law, an achievement reached across four presidential administrations including Republicans George W. Bush and Donald Trump and Democrats Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

While working for Johnson, he also helped to craft the Children’s Health Insurance Program and to expand Medicare coverage.

Before working on the hill as a congressional staff member, he covered Congress as both a policy and political reporter. He most notably worked for The Associated Press and as statehouse bureau chief for the Burlington Free Press. During his days as a journalist, he covered races for House, Senate and President.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


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