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Ballard Partners continues D.C. expansion, adds public policy veteran Rebecca Benn

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Ballard Partners is continuing to expand its Capitol Hill footprint with the addition of veteran policy professional Rebecca Benn.

Benn joins the Florida-based firm’s recently opened Washington, D.C. office. She brings more than two decades of Congressional and corporate experience.

“We are pleased to welcome Rebecca to our growing team in the nation’s Capital,” said Ballard Partners President Brian Ballard, known to many in the industry as Donald Trump’s longtime Florida lobbyist.

“From negotiating billion-dollar budget bills in the Senate to advancing Congressional legislative priorities for the largest Eastern freight railroad,” Ballard added, “Rebecca’s extensive expertise in both the public and private sector ensure our diverse client portfolio will continue to receive the best guidance and advocacy for their issues.”

Before joining Ballard, Benn spent five years as director of federal affairs for Jacksonville-based CSX Transportation. During that time, Benn managed government relations initiatives on safety, environmental regulation and security, as well as overseeing federal constituent relations for seven states.

Benn also served as a staff member with the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations – working with the Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies, the Subcommittee on Veterans Affairs, Housing and Urban Development, and Independent Agencies. She was lead Republican negotiator for several billion-dollar federal appropriations bills, in addition to drafting legislative documents and analyzing budget requests.

A Dartmouth College graduate, Benn began her career with U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi as a legislative assistant.

Ballard Partners has been busy of late amid an aggressive global expansion, highlighted by the Florida firm’s opening an office in the nation’s capital in February, and emphasizing ties to the Trump administration.

As Ballard told the Tallahassee Democrat: “When the president was elected, a lot of corporations we represent in Florida and folks from around the country started to call up and say we don’t know folks in the administration and we’d like to get know some folks in the administration. Can you help us.”

That approach is seeming to pay off, as the firm soon inked a $1.5 million contract with the government of Turkey, with newly hired former Florida Congressman Robert Wexler providing representation.

The Turkey deal follows the addition of two other high-profile international clients: A $900,000 contract with the Dominican Republic in March and an April agreement worth $240,000 with the Socialist Party of Albania, which rules the Balkan nation.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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