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Movers and Shakers: Obama '08 FL troops on the move

Several veterans of President Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign in Florida received promotions last week. Adora Andy, the Florida campaign's deputy press secretary, will become the U.S. Department of Justice's new press secretary. Her fiancé, Nate Jenkins -- deputy campaign manager of Alex Sink's run for governor and the Obama campaign's deputy political director in Florida in 2008 -- is the new White House liaison to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. And Betsaida Alcantra, press secretary for Hispanic affairs in 2008, was named the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's press secretary.


Philip Twogood is secretary of the Senate no more. He left his job of nearly three years to become coordinator of the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability (OPPAGA), reports the Florida Current. The OPPAGA position had not been filled since December, when Gary VanLandingham left after seven years. As the Current notes, Twogood was chosen under a process started this year that allows the Senate president and House speaker to choose the OPPAGA coordinator instead of going through the old process, which required a majority vote in both legislative chambers.

The interim secretary of the Senate is Debbie Brown, who already works in Senate Present Mike Haridopolos' office. Haridopolos announced Brown's appointment Monday. She has worked in either the Senate president's office or Senate secretary's office since 1993.


U.S. Sens. Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio have introduced a joint resolution honoring Tallahassee attorney and Everglades restoration leader Thom Rumberger, 79, for his lifetime achievements. The senators offered S.RES.249 to highlight Rumberger's 50-plus years of public service, including his time as a judge, a Marine in the Korean War and a champion for the "River of Grass," as Nelson put it in a speech on the Senate floor Wednesday.

"His brilliant, incisive mind, his creativity and his fearlessness combine to make Thom one of Florida’s most influential Everglades leaders,” Nelson said.

Rumberger is a founding partner in Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell and lead counsel for the Everglades Foundation. He is also stepfather to Hayden Dempsey, who resigned as Gov. Rick Scott's legislative affairs director and special counsel last week to spend more time with his daughters. Jon Costello, who also worked to pass Scott's agenda last session, will take Dempsey's place.


Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti is the new executive director of Florida's Turnpike Enterprise. Florida DOT Secretary Ananth Prasad announced the pick last week. Gutierrez-Scaccetti previously led the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.


Obama last week named Betty Castor, a former state senator, Florida education commissioner and University of South Florida president from 1994-99, to the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. Castor started her career teaching secondary school in Uganda in 1963.

She left her role  in 2009 as the first executive director of USF's Dr. Kiran C. Patel Center for Global Solutions, a position she took in January 2007. Castor lost her bid for U.S. Senate to former Republican Sen. Mel Martinez in 2004.

*Former state Sen. Rick Dantzler has joined Morgan & Morgan.  Dantzler, close friends with firm founder John Morgan, will lead the new Winter Haven/Tampa branch of the firm's business trial group. An earlier version of this post incorrectly characterized his new position.


Sunshine State News reporter Gray Rohrer will join LobbyTools' Florida Current on Sept. 15. Rohrer, a University of Central Florida alumnus, joined the online operation in July 2010 after working for the Cape Coral Daily News and Ponte Vedra Leader.

Rohrer will take over for Brent Henzi, who left LobbyTools this summer for a job in the communications department of the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety in Tampa.

Send your personnel news to ksanders [at] sptimes [dot] com or via Twitter @katielsanders.