Getting word that incoming Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford might be in the process of making the smartest of picks for his chief of staff: Kathy Mears, who last worked in high advisory posts for Gov. Charlie Crist. Before then, she was twice a top adviser to back-to-back Florida Senate presidents, Ken Pruitt and Tom Lee. She also worked for former House Speaker and current Congressman Dan Webster.
Mears has represented Weatherford in the private sector in her current job, at On 3 Public Relations, where she began working in 2011. Whether Mears was offered the job and whether she'll take it, we'll see. But it's a pretty good bet that she'll work in or for the House under Weatherford in some capacity. She knows the Legislature, the politics and the policy. Mears is also a key figure in a Tallahassee tradition: The Florida Press Skits, where her sketches often earn the loudest of laughs.
Neither Mears nor Weatherford could be reached.
So who loses out? Christina Johnson, On 3's founder. Here's the announcement of Mears' hiring at the firm in Feb. 2011:
Kathy Mears comes to On3PR having served over 15 years at the highest levels of state government. She has worked in the offices of the Florida House Speaker, two Florida Senate Presidents, and the Florida Governor, holding leadership roles in policy and communications. Mears was most recently the Director of Communications for the Daniel Webster for United States Congress campaign in Central Florida’s 8th District. Webster defeated the Democrat incumbent by an impressive 18% vote margin.
“Kathy Mears’ extensive background in public policy combined with her extraordinary communications and political experience will complement our current and future client’s strategic efforts,” said Johnson. “Expansion is exciting and even more so that I am going to be working with Kathy.”