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Crist Names Top Officials -LeMieux Is Chief of Staff

by Palm Beach Post Staff | November 21st, 2006

Governor-Elect Charlie Crist, today announced George LeMieux as Chief of Staff for his administration. Crist also announced the appointments of four deputy chiefs of staff, general counsel, director of Office of Policy and Budget and deputy budget director.

“I am pleased these outstanding individuals have accepted the call to public service,” said Crist. “I know they will represent the people of Florida with honor and integrity.”

“We look forward to implementing Charlie Crist’s vision for a better Florida,” said LeMieux. “We are humbled to answer the call to serve.”

Executive Office of the Governor appointments announced today include:


George LeMieux, Chief of Staff: Mr. LeMieux has been the Chief of Staff for the Crist-Kottkamp Campaign and currently serves as Transition Executive Director. He served as the Chief of Staff and Deputy Attorney General for the State of Florida from 2003 through 2006. LeMieux oversaw more than 450 lawyers and 1,300 total staff. LeMieux has also served as a member of the Gunster, Yoakley & Stewart law firm, most recently as a shareholder managing the firm’s litigation practice in the Fort Lauderdale office. Mr. LeMieux is a graduate of Emory University and Georgetown Law School.

Arlene DiBenigno, Deputy Chief of Staff: Ms. DiBenigno has been the Political Director for the Crist-Kottkamp Campaign and currently serves as Transition Appointments Director. She formerly served in two senior-level positions in the Office of Governor Jeb Bush. From 2000 through 2002, Ms. DiBenigno was External Affairs Director where she managed the scheduling, community and outreach operations for Governor Bush. From 1999 to 2000, she was the Appointments Director, responsible for advising the Governor on all senior administration positions as well as executive appointments to state boards and commissions. She has advised various presidential campaigns on Florida politics and Cuba policy since 1992.

Eric Eikenberg, Deputy Chief of Staff: Mr. Eikenberg currently serves as chief of staff to U.S. Representative E. Clay Shaw, Jr. of Florida. He has served as Congressman Shaw’s chief of staff since April 2002. Mr. Eikenberg served as Deputy Executive Director of the Republican Party of Florida from 2001 to March 2002. In 2000, he served as campaign manager to U.S. Representative Shaw’s re-election. Mr. Eikenberg is a graduate from the American University in Washington, DC.

Jim Rimes, Deputy Chief of Staff: Mr. Rimes most recently served as Director of Operations for the Crist-Kottkamp Campaign and currently serves as Transition Operations Coordinator. He served as the Campaign Manager for Attorney General Charlie Crist’s 1998 United States Senate campaign. Mr. Rimes received his Bachelors degree in Political Science from Florida State University.

Lori Sellers Rowe, Deputy Chief of Staff: Ms. Rowe served in the Office of the Attorney General in the roles of Director of Multi-State Litigation, Assistant Deputy Attorney General and Executive Deputy Attorney General from 2003-2006. Ms. Rowe received her law degree and MBA from Florida State University in 1997, after graduating from Vanderbilt University in 1992

Paul Huck, General Counsel: Mr. Huck joined the Office of the Attorney General in 2003, serving as the Regional Deputy for South Florida and later as Deputy Attorney General. Prior to joining the Attorney General’s Office, he was a shareholder in the Miami law firm of Kenny Nachwalter. Mr. Huck is a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School

Kamilah Prince, Director of External Affairs: Ms. Prince most recently served as the Community Outreach Director for the Crist-Kottkamp Campaign and currently serves as Transition Deputy Appointments Director. She served several years under the Bush administration in a number of positions. She served as the Executive Assistant in the Governor’s Appointments Office, Office Manager in the Governor’s Office of External Affairs, Intergovernmental Affairs Specialists for Front Porch Florida, Interim Director of External Affairs for the Department of Education, and was a registered lobbyist for the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. She attended the Ohio State University.

Jerry McDaniel, Director of Office of Policy and Budget: Mr. McDaniel has a record of public service spanning nearly 30 years. He served in the Office of the Attorney General as Director of Administration and Technology and currently serves as Transition Budget Advisor. He has served under three Attorney’s General, and worked with both the Executive Office of the Governor and the House of Representatives. Mr. McDaniel is a graduate of Florida State University.

Robert Beck, Deputy Budget Director: Mr. Beck has extensive experience in public sector budgeting and appropriations, financial management, and policy development. His leadership in public service includes assignments with the Florida Senate as both policy advisor to the President and Deputy Staff Director for the Public Safety and Judiciary Appropriations Committee. Other prior assignments include Budget Director for the Department of Children and Families, Director for the Division of Financial Services and Contract Administration with the Department of Elder Affairs, private-sector consulting, and nine years service with the United States Marine Corps. He graduated from Auburn University.

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