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CD 11 GOP candidate Justin Grabelle announces his campaign team

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Justin Grabelle, the former chief of staff to retiring CD 11 Congressman Rich Nugent, announced his campaign team on Tuesday as he attempts to get a jump in the race to replace Nugent, who will not run for reelection in 2016.

Here’s the new personnel:

Nick Catroppo, Campaign ManagerMost recently, Catroppo served as deputy chief of staff for Congressman Nugent. Additionally, Catroppo served as Congressman Nugent’s campaign manager and district staff. Prior to joining Congressman Nugent’s office, Catroppo served as deputy chief of staff for Congressman David Jolly (R-FL-13), as well as campaign manager during his successful 2014 Special Election. He is from Brooksville, Fla.

Caroline Engeman, Deputy Campaign Manager: Engeman started her political career in Congressman Nugent’s Washington, D.C., office, where she served as legislative correspondent and scheduler. Engeman grew up in Winter Park, Fla., and graduated from the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor of Science in Event Management.

Pat Bainter and Joel Searby, General ConsultantsGainesville-based Data Targeting is a leading national consulting firm that continues to build on nearly three decades of success with clients in 13 states. Data Targeting handles strategic direction, data, polling, digital, direct mail and other campaign needs for clients, to deliver strategic council and contribute to winning local, statewide and national campaigns.

Sarah Bascom, Communications Director/Spokesperson: Bascom, a long-time GOP communications consultant and president of Bascom Communications and Consulting, LLC, has served as spokesperson and topline communications consultant for numerous candidates, including Congressman David Jolly; Senators John Thrasher, Joe Negron, John Legg, Rob Bradley, Aaron Bean and Travis Hutson; and Representatives Doug Holder, Travis Cummings and Paul Renner. Additionally, Bascom served as the late Senator Jim King’s campaign and family spokesperson for more than eight years, and as his communications director during his Senate presidency.

Josh Sharp, Media Strategist: Sharp is an award-winning producer, editor and media strategist who works at the cross-section of traditional and digital advertising as a partner at Harbinger Outreach. In the 2012 presidential cycle, Sharp led the creative advertising efforts at the Republican National Committee, and previously worked for the House Republican Conference and The Stevens & Schriefer Group, producing advertising for campaigns and causes at the local, statewide and national level.

Matt Hall, Media StrategistHall brings nearly a decade of high-level campaign operations experience. Prior to founding Harbinger Outreach, an events and marketing firm, in 2013, Hall worked in campaign operations for three presidential campaigns and the White House, in addition to multiple local and statewide races. Hall is a Florida native.

GOP Congressman Daniel Webster, who is being redistricted out of his CD 10 seat, has made noises in recent weeks about possibly running for the CD 11 seat.

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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