In Florida’s campaign organizational primary, Romney and Perry are clear leadersby George Bennett | October 6th, 2011
Republican presidential hopefuls Mitt Romney and Rick Perry made new Florida endorsement and organizational announcements this morning as they continued to distance themselves from the rest of the GOP field in ground-game measures in the Sunshine State.
(A cautionary historical note: Romney, Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson had the most conspicuous Florida organizations at this stage of the 2008 campaign before John McCain‘s seat-of-the-pants Florida operation won the primary.)
Romney, who announced key Florida staffers last week, today announced endorsements from two former co-chairs of Tim Pawlenty‘s campaign: political webmaster and former Jeb Bush speechwriter Justin Sayfie and GOP operative and former Bush aide Slater Bayliss.
Perry this morning announced seven Florida field staffers. Read about them after the jump….
From Rick Perry’s campaign:
AUSTIN – Texas Gov. Rick Perry today announced additional field staff in Florida to help organize local campaign efforts around the state.
“I am proud to have these hard-working individuals join our campaign efforts in Florida,” said Gov. Perry. “They are crucial assets to my campaign team as we work together to share my plan to get America working again.”
Ashley McElheny, Southeast Florida Field Director: McElheny most recently served as regional field manager for Marco Rubio 2010. She has been involved in the Republican Party of Florida since 2004 as a field director, then as director of special events. She also served as southwest Florida district director for the Charlie Crist for Governor Campaign, and worked on both President Bush and Governor Rick Scott’s inaugural committees. McElheny is a graduate of Palm Beach Atlantic University.
Craig Briscoe, Southwest Florida Field Director: Briscoe most recently served as the regional victory director for Southwest Florida for the 2010 election cycle. He is also a member of the Lee County Executive Committee and served as Lee County Chairman for John McCain’s presidential campaign. Briscoe is a graduate of Florida Gulf Coast University.
Lazaro Fields, South Florida Field Director: Fields is a native of Miami Dade and most recently worked as a field coordinator for Rep. Carlos Trujillo’s successful campaign for the Florida House. A graduate of Belen Jesuit, Fields is currently enrolled at Florida State University.
Todd Lewis, West Central Coast Field Director: Lewis most recently worked for the Marco Rubio for Senate Campaign as the Central Florida regional and coalitions director. Prior to Senator Rubio’s campaign, he served as campaign manager for Sen. Carey Baker’s run for Agricultural Commissioner. Lewis earned a master’s degree in Applied American Politics from Florida State University.
Jose Romano, Tampa Bay Region Field Director: Romano has spent the last four years working in various departments within the Executive Office of the Governor including Economic Development, External Affairs, and Chief of Staff. He is a graduate of Florida State University and a native of the Bay Area.
Mike Shirley, Central Florida Field Director: Shirley most recently served as Central Florida field coordinator for the successful Rick Scott for Governor Campaign. He previously worked as campaign manager for Joe Durso for City Commissioner. Shirley is a graduate of the University of Central Florida.
Ash Mason, Northeast Florida Field Director: Mason is a veteran of legislative races, having worked in various capacities including Speaker Larry Cretul’s 2006 re-election campaign, and the 2008 campaigns of Speaker Pro-Temp John Legg and Rep. Rachel Burgin. He also served as a senior legislative assistant to Speaker-Designate Will Weatherford and Representative Ed Hooper. Mason is a native of the Jacksonville area and graduate of Florida State University