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Movers & Shakers: Gov. Scott's new communications director begins, FL DOT analyst joins FMA

Gov. Rick Scott’s new communications director begins

Melissa Sellers
today replaces Gov. Rick Scott communications director Brian Burgess, who will begin as Republican Party of Florida’s chief spokesman on Sept. 17.

Most recently, Sellers was the regional media director for the Republican National Convention in Tampa. Previous to that, she was spokesperson for Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, where she handled media related to the BP oil spill and Hurricane Gustav.

The Capitol Press Corps knows little about Sellers, but a 2009 Esquire article describes her as "a solid woman in high heels, quick on the draw with both her smile and middle finger."

Burgess’s work with Scott began in 2009, when he helped the former healthcare executive launch his media strategy for Conservatives for Patients’ Rights, Scott’s effort to halt President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act in favor of free-market solutions.

"From the very beginning, Brian has been by my side as a strategic and political adviser, a trusted aide, and loyal member of my team," Scott said in the statement. "His strong work ethic, strategic advice and leadership will be missed inside the administration, but he isn’t going far.  In his new role, he will continue to help tell the story to Floridians and the nation about what we’re accomplishing every day."

Read more here.

Florida DOT analyst joins FMA

Eric Carr, previously a legislative analyst and social media manager for the Florida Department of Transportation, has joined the Florida Medical Association as manager of content marketing and brand development. 

Carr also worked on Scott’s Inaugural Committee and at Southern Campaign Resources. 

He will manage the FMA’s content creation and curation as well as social media channels. Carr has a double major and a double minor from Florida State University.

Clemens campaign manager moves to Florida Justice Association

Coming off of managing Rep. Jeff Clemens’ 17-vote state senate victory against Rep. Mack Bernard, Cesar Fernandez joins the Florida Justice Association, coordinating its campaign operations and strategy for South Florida.

“I’m excited to join the Florida Justice Association,” said Fernandez. “South Florida will see a slate of battleground races that will determine the future of Floridians’ access to our courts.”

The Florida Justice Association is a political organization representing more than 3,000 trial lawyers throughout the state.

Former Senate President Phil Lewis dies

Phil Lewis, who served as Florida Senate president from 1978 to 1980, died Tuesday at his West Palm Beach home. He was 82.

Lewis was a Democratic member of the Senate from 1970 to 1980. He later served as a member of the university system's old Board of Regents.

Movers & Shakers is a (sometimes!) weekly roundup of political personnel changes. Send tips to or via twitter @britt_alana.