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Lobbyist Brian Ballard continues trend of inaugurating ceremonies for Florida governors

CHRIS URSO | Times Florida Governor elect Ron DeSantis along with his wife Casey wave to the crowd Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018 in Orlando. DeSantis defeated Democratic candidate Andrew Gillum.

Powerful Tallahassee and Washington lobbyist Brian Ballard will continue the trend of organizing inaugural ceremonies for Florida's governors, Governor-elect Ron DeSantis announced Tuesday.

Ballard, who co-chaired the inaugural committees of former Republican governors Rick Scott and Charlie Crist, is in charge of planning the Jan. 8 event for the new governor, along with Ballard's wife, Kathryn.

Also helping are co-chairs Stanley and Gay Hart Gaines, a longtime Republican activist, and lobbyist Bill Rubin and his wife Lys.

“The 2019 Inauguration will be a celebration of our great state as we move forward together toward continued success," DeSantis and incoming First Lady Casey DeSantis said in a statement. "The Inaugural Committee will play a critical role in organizing inclusive inaugural events which reflect the diversity and uniqueness of Florida.”

Leading the finance team, which is in charge of raising money for the events, is lobbyist and chair Nick Iarossi, along with co-chairs James “Bill” Heavener, the CEO of the for-profit Full Sail University, and Mori Hosseini, Chairman and CEO of ICI Homes.

The rest of the inaugural committee includes some of DeSantis' biggest donors and supporters, including the reclusive GOP donor and Marvel chairman Isaac "Ike" Perlmutter.

You can view the entire list of inaugural committee members here.