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Chloe Coney stepping away from district director job in Kathy Castor’s office

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Chloe Coney, the “women who wears many hats” and the only district director to have served Tampa Bay area Congresswoman Kathy Castor since she was elected a decade ago, is retiring.

“Chloe’s passion and expertise have served our neighbors, families and businesses well,” Castor said in a statement released Wednesday. “She is revered by Tampa’s community for her lifetime of service and my congressional district has been fortunate to have her as district director. Moreover, it has been my honor to call her my friend.”

Coney founded and was the president of the Corporation to Develop Communities of Tampa in 1992. The agency was create to raise the  the economic, educational and social levels for residents in East Tampa. It’s currently run by her son, Ernest.

She started her career in law enforcement as the first black female Probation and Parole Officer with the Florida Department of Corrections in 1972. She then went on to became an intake counselor/mediator with the 13th Judicial Circuit Court of Hillsborough County and marketing representative for Florida Power, Inc. in Clearwater. She then went on to become the center manager of the Lee Davis Neighborhood Service Center.

Coney did have one try at elected office, where she lost in the Democratic primary for the County Commission District 3 race to Kevin White in 2006. That was the same year that Castor was elected to Congress, and she hired Coney shortly after taking office.

Castor said Coney was a tremendous asset in helping coordinating activities as the Great Recession rocked her district.

“With Chloe by my side, we held seven foreclosure prevention workshops, several job fairs and other district events to reach thousands in our district and help lift them as well as our businesses into economic recovery,” Castor says.

With Coney’s departure comes a general shakeup inside Castor’s district office in Tampa.

Communications director Marcia Mejia will replace Coney as district director. Steven Angotti, who has served as grants coordinator and press assistant will now assume the role of press secretary and continue to reach out to individuals and organizations with grant opportunities.  Dewayne Mallory, a U.S. Army veteran who has worked as legislative aide for several state legislators representing Tampa Bay, will serve as Castor’s outreach director.

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Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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