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Incoming Speaker Crisafulli's first (smart) moves: Mears as staff chief, Prater and Smith as deputies


It's official: Kathy Mears is the must-hire chief of staff in the state Capitol.

And it's also official: Incoming Florida House Speaker Steve Crisafulli is certainly smart enough to know that, tapping Mears to stay on as chief of staff after she served in that capacity for two years under Speaker Will Weatherford. Mears was then-Republican Gov. Charlie Crist's deputy staff chief and was a top advisor to former Senate Presidents Ken Pruitt and Tom Lee.

Brett Prater, staff director currently for Crisafulli and former state party development director, will be Cruisafulli's deputy staff chief. And Ryan Smith, former deputy director of Republican House campaigns efforts, will serve in the same role.

Update: In typical Tallahassee fashion, after someone mentioned this to us and we waited for confirmation, Saintpetersblog posted this first 24 minutes ago.