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GOP announces new Florida hires


The Republican National Committee has hired three new Florida staffers as the GOP gears up for the 2016 election.

Brian Barrett will serve as state director, Alex Garcia as deputy state director and director of Hispanic initiatives, and Ben Shankle as data director. Working for the RNC, the team will coordinate with the Republican Party of Florida on field activities such as attending community events and registering voters, according to a news release.

"The RNC is building the largest, earliest and most data focused field program in GOP history," RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement. "This new wave of staff will help us train our team, register voters, and meet one-on-one with activists, to build our infrastructure now in order to hand our eventual nominee a fully functional ground operation on day one."

"The road to the White House goes through Florida, and our State Party is fighting for every vote across the state with a commitment to the ground game unparalleled in the history of Florida politics," RPOF Chairman Blaise Ingoglia said in a statement. "That is why we are excited to welcome this new wave of staff that will play an essential role in preparing our grassroots army and building our data and digital operations that will deliver Florida to a strong Republican nominee."

Here are the bios provided for the three new staffers: 


Brian Barrett, State Director for Florida

Brian Barrett most recently served as the RNC Victory Director for the State of Georgia, overseeing the grassroots program for both Governor Nathan Deal and Senator David Perdue’s successful 2014 campaigns.  Brian also oversaw the ground operations that helped unseat Democratic incumbent John Barrow in Georgia’s 12th Congressional District.  Brian started working in Victory in 2009, where he was the Absentee Ballot Director for the Republican Party of Virginia, which helped Governor Bob McDonnell win office with historic margins.   

Alex Garcia, Deputy State Director and Director of Hispanic Initiatives for Florida

Prior to overseeing the RNC’s Hispanic Initiatives in Florida for the 2104 cycle, Alex Garcia spent over four years working in the Florida Legislature as a Legislative Aide for Senator Anitere Flores and Representative Michael Bileca.  He oversaw research and strategies for moving legislation and policy items through the legislative process.  Alex also worked as the  Deputy Campaign Manager for the Anitere Flores for State Senate campaign in the 2010 election cycle and as the Campaign Manager for the Michael Bileca for State Representative in 2012.

Ben Shankle, Data Management Director for Florida

Ben Shankle has developed an extensive background in political research and analytics, working on campaigns both in Florida and nationally.  For the past two years, Ben has been working with varying State House and Senate campaigns across the state. Additionally, he worked as an Attorney for the Florida Senate, Committee on Judiciary.  Ben is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and Wake Forest University, School of Law.