Rick Scott's spokesman, Brian Hughes, is leaving the governor's office to become the chief mouthpiece of the Republican Party of Florida, according to an email sent to top Republicans. Don't call it a shakeup, though, unless Stapleton was forced out. We don't know. He sent an email out to friends earlier saying he and his new wife, Tea Party In Action's Marianne Moran, wanted to move to DC.
Hughes brings a a heavier-hitting rapid-response style to RPOF, where Stapleton was often tough to reach and slow to respond. If Hughes' time flacking for Scott is any indication, reporters can expect quick calls or emails challenging them on stories or blogs. There'll be a lot this year and next. Florida is a must-win for Republicans seeking the White House, and Scott is already fighting the perception he's a drag on the ticket/party.
Here's the email sent to Republicans about Hughes' promotion:
Before joining Governor Scott’s staff, Hughes served as Communications Director to Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater’s successful statewide campaign. Atwater’s CFO campaign received the most votes of any statewide candidate on the ballot in the last election. Hughes also produced television commercials for Republican legislative candidates and conservative issue advocacy campaigns. He has been a strategic advisor to Florida campaigns since 1994.
“Brian is a skilled communicator and campaign strategist,” said RPOF Chairman David Bitner. “I am excited to have him join our team as we prepare for Presidency 5 and the crucial 2012 elections.”
Hughes is replacing Trey Stapleton who recently decided to relocate to Washington, DC.