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Ryan Ray - page 90

Ryan Ray has 632 articles published.

Ryan Ray writes about campaigns and public policy in Tampa Bay and across the state. A contributor to FloridaPolitics.com and before that, The Florida Squeeze, he covers the Legislature as a member of the Florida Capitol Press Corps and has worked as a staffer on several campaigns. He can be reached at ryan@floridapolitics.com.

Ballard Partners inks Washington Nationals amid West Palm Beach stadium land deal

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Major League Baseball’s Washington Nationals have opted to retain Ballard Partners to represent them in Tallahassee this legislative session as the club navigates a tricky land proposal requiring city, county and state cooperation. The Nats — along with the Houston Astros, who have also hired Ballard — are pursuing a delicate and process-intensive initiative that would redesignate a tract of Palm Beach County land currently protected by Florida’s Water Catchment Act in order to build a joint spring training facility there. The land was recently…

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Cissy Proctor tapped as new DEO Chief of Staff

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The Department of Economic Development’s Cissy Proctor will be promoted to Chief of Staff, according to an internal department announcement. The position has been vacant since Chad Popell left the office to become Secretary of the Department of Management Services back in mid-December. Proctor currently serves the DEO in the role of Director of Strategic Business Development. She has been with the department since 2013, holding the post of Deputy Legislative Affairs Director. Previously Proctor — a graduate of Florida…

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As Approps chair rumors circulated, committee tied to Tom Lee raked in the bucks

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The political committee of state Sen. Tom Lee has taken in more than $214,000 since mid-November. That’s when SPB first forecasted that Lee would ultimately assume the reins of one of the Legislature’s most powerful posts, the Senate Committee on Appropriations. Now that he has, there’s little reason to believe the contributions will slow down much. The Lee-affilliated Electioneering Communications Organization — formerly a “Committee of Continuous Existence” before CCEs were legislated out of existence in 2013 — received major contributions primarily from business-backed…

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Chancellor Randy Hanna Leaving Florida Division of Colleges

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According to an internal Department of Education email from Commissioner Pam Stewart released late on Friday afternoon, Chancellor Randy Hanna is leaving his post as head of the Division of Colleges. The governing body of the state colleges — as Florida’s community colleges were recently re-christened — has been led by Hanna for most of Gov. Rick Scott’s tenure in office. The memo indicates that Hanna is leaving to pursue his ambition to become a college president. The Florida College System…

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Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum visits Civil Rights exhibit, calls for state museum in capital city

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Amid a national fervor surrounding failures to indict the white police officers who cut short the lives of two unarmed black men, newly sworn-in Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum visited the Florida Museum of History’s new collection of Civil Rights-era artifacts Friday morning. The mayor called the exhibit “very powerful” and wondered aloud about the efficacy of a permanent display of related materials housed in Tallahassee. “I think it would be incredibly powerful for the capital city of Florida to be the collector…

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Rep. Bryan Avila, William Sykes begin 2016 campaigns

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The Republican field of state House candidates continues to fill out this week as Hialeah Rep. Bryan Avila and District 54 hopeful William Sykes filed their paperwork and opened campaign accounts ahead of 2016 elections. Avila, a freshman lawmaker recently coming off a 60-40 November victory over Democrat Mariano Corcilli, is an English professor at Miami-Dade College, where he was once president of the Wolfson campus’ student government. Avila is also vice chair of the Miami-Dade Republican Executive Committee and…

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Personnel note: Sara Decker, Scott Parkinson climb the ranks in Sen. Marco Rubio’s office

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While the 2014 midterm elections have sent scores of Democratic Capitol Hill staffers scrambling after new employment, this fall is a season of change for some Republicans too: domestic policy specialists Sara Decker and Scott Parkinson are set to take on higher-ranking roles within U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio’s staff. Sara Decker is currently Rubio’s head legislative staffer on his work as ranking member on the Senate Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and Coast Guard as well as Professional Staff Member…

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