This blog has moved.

Please visit our new page here

« Merry X-mas from FL: State gives up collecting $124m in taxes, fees, fines | Main | Memorial service for Bill McBride is Friday »

U.S.-Rep.-elect Joe Garcia hires key staffers

Joe Garcia, who will be sworn in to Congress on Jan. 3, has hired some familiar faces to work in his D.C. and district offices.

Jeffrey Garcia (no relation) will make the jump to chief of staff after working as Garcia's campaign manager in 2012 and 2010. Giancarlo Sopo, who handled Garcia's communications in 2010, will be director of communication. And Raul Martinez Jr., the son of former Hialeah Mayor Raul Martinez, will be Garcia's district director. (Jeffrey Garcia ran the elder Garcia's unsuccessful congressional campaign in 2008. The younger Martinez worked on President Barack Obama's campaign this year.)

Garcia, who will represent the Kendall-to-Key West 26th District, plans to move into outgoing U.S. Rep. David Rivera's West Miami-Dade district office, and to have satellite offices at City Hall in Florida City and in Key West, Jeffrey Garcia said.

In Washington, Garcia will serve in the House Judiciary Committee.

"As a member of the Judiciary Committee, I look forward to working with my colleagues in a bipartisan manner towards securing passage of comprehensive immigration reform that will boost our economy and impact thousands of families in South Florida," he said in a statement. "I am eager to work on defending the security and civil liberties of our citizens; protecting American trade from unfair practices and upholding the Constitution of the United States."

Read the full list of Garcia's staff hires after the jump.

MIAMI – Congressman-elect Joe Garcia is pleased to announce that the following people will help lead his congressional offices in Washington, D.C., and South Florida to serve the people of our community:
Washington, D.C. Staff
Jeffrey Garcia (Chief of Staff): A South Florida native and graduate of Belen Jesuit, Jeffrey Garcia has over 20 years of campaign management and strategic communications experience. Jeffrey was previously a partner at Rindy Miller Garcia, a national political advertising firm, and served as the general consultant to Congressman-elect Joe Garcia’s 2012 campaign. Mr. Garcia also served as a partner at Balsera Communications where he specialized in Hispanic media and public relations. He and his wife, Patty, live in South Florida.
Giancarlo Sopo (Director of Communications): Giancarlo Sopo has over six years of political communications and public opinion research experience. Giancarlo joins Congressman-elect Garcia’s staff after having worked at Inktel, a South Florida-based business process outsourcer, where he managed its government business portfolio. Additionally, Giancarlo served as a communications and political adviser to Benenson Strategy Group, a global strategic research and consulting firm, in Latin America. Giancarlo was born and raised in Miami, graduated from Christopher Columbus High School, and his family resides in the Kendall area of Florida’s 26th District. 
Anna Gonzalez (Senior Policy Adviser): Born and raised in Miami, Anna has spent the last five years on Capitol Hill, most recently as Rules Committee associate for Rep. Alcee L. Hastings (D-Miramar) where she oversaw a legislative portfolio including immigration, financial services, education, social security, and Western Hemisphere issues. Additionally, Anna served as Rep. Hastings's lead staffer on the Rules Committee, providing her with a unique, in-depth understanding of congressional rules and procedures.
Lindsay Marks (Legislative Correspondent): Lindsay was an adviser to Congressman-elect Joe Garcia’s winning campaign. As a legislative correspondent to Congressman-elect Garcia, Lindsay will be responsible for the office’s constituent communications. She previously worked as a finance director for Congressman-elect Pete Gallego and former DNC Chairman, Senator Tim Kaine (Virginia). 
District Staff
Raul Martinez Jr. (District Director): Raul Martinez Jr., a graduate of Florida International University and 
Christopher Columbus High School, was born and raised in South Florida and has over ten years of public relations and communications experience . Previously, Raul served as the Hispanic Vote Director for Organizing for America Florida. Additionally, Raul has been an active civic leader having served on the United Way of Miami-Dade County Board of Trustees and the South Florida Super Bowl XXXIII host committee. Mr. Martinez and his wife, Isabel, have two children.
Julie Nissenbaum Caputo (Deputy District Director): Julie Nissenbaum Caputo is an experienced government relations professional.  In 2012, she served on Congressman-elect Joe Garcia’s campaign as a senior adviser. Previously, she served as a senior associate at NVG, a public affairs firm in Washington, D.C.. Julie and her husband, Chris, live in South Florida and are enthusiastic supporters of  the University of Miami’s basketball team.
Kevin Chambliss (South Miami-Dade District Director): Kevin Chambliss joins Congressman-elect Garcia’s staff after having served as the South Miami-Dade vote director on his 2012 campaign and a field organizer in 2012. Kevin, who was born in Mississippi, attended Jackson State University and earned his bachelor’s degree in Psychology. He then went on live in DeKalb, Illinois where he worked as a program coordinator for Northern Illinois University's Upward Bound Program and served on the DeKalb County Board from 2008-2010. 
Jen George-Nichol (Florida Keys District Director): Jen George-Nichol will serve as the full-time district director in Monroe County where she will work to deliver effective, reliable and accessible constituent services throughout the Florida Keys. Previously, Jen served as the Florida Keys vote director on Congressman-elect Garcia’s 2012 campaign. In addition, Jen worked as a senior political aide at the Truman National Security Project in Washington, D.C. where she worked with members of congress and locat officials on national security and foreign policy issues. Jen holds a Masters in Foreign Affairs and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Columbia University.