A longtime Vern Buchanan staffer is coming home to The Hill. Dave Karvelas, who in January joined Ballard Partners, will return to Buchanan’s office as a senior advisor to the Congressman.
“Vern called me back into action and when the coach calls, you slap on your gear and get back on the field,” he said.
The move comes as Buchanan prepares to chair the powerful House Ways and Means Committee if Republicans retake the majority in the midterms. Regardless of the upcoming election result, Buchanan — a favorite for re-election — will enter the next Congress as senior member of the most powerful panel in Congress.
The senior advisor post is one Karvelas held before, from January 2021 until he took on the role at Ballard. Prior to that, he served as Buchanan’s Chief of Staff from 2007 through the end of 2020.
During his previous time with the Congressman, Karvelas helped bring 24 legislative initiatives originating in the Longboat Key Republican’s office to law. His achievements came across four presidential administrations including those of Republicans George W. Bush and Donald Trump and Democrats Barack Obama and Joe Biden.
“Dave has been with me from the beginning and in addition to being a close friend is one of the most talented people on the Hill,” Buchanan said. “We have a lot of unfinished business left to accomplish.”
Buchanan is not the only Ways & Means Committee member Karvelas has served. He also worked as Chief of Staff to former Republican Reps. Nancy Johnson of Connecticut and Rep. Dick Zimmer of New Jersey. Under Johnson, he also helped craft the Children’s Health Insurance Program and expand Medicare coverage.
It’s part of why it makes sense for Buchanan to marshal the resource to help clinch the role of Ways and Means Chair. Until that point, Buchanan already serves as the ranking member on the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee, where he will craft GOP health care policy and benefit from Karvelas’ expertise in that field.