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Personnel note: House Democrats staff-up for 2018 campaign cycle

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Florida House Democrats are beefing up their campaign arm for next year’s elections, hiring a communications chief and operatives to begin work immediately.

Kionne McGhee, scheduled to become House leader following the 2018 elections, said it is “imperative” that Democrats “take back power” in the House.

“I’m pleased to welcome our new staff into the fray,” McGhee said in a written statement.

“They represent part of our bold, aggressive effort towards the critical elections ahead of us. Together, we will hold House Republicans accountable for their extreme policies that have ignored the voters’ will, degraded our environment, put our public schools on the back-burner, and hurt working families across Florida,” McGhee said.

Democratic House Victory’s new operatives include Reggie Cardozo, formerly of the Hillary for America Florida campaign and Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign. State party chairman Stephen Bittel added Cardozo to his staff following his selection in January. He will serve the House Democrats as a general consultant.

Janee Murphy, a political consultant from the Tampa area, former Democratic National Committee member, and former state party secretary, becomes a senior adviser.

Ryan Ray is the new communications director. He covered state government and politics for Florida Politics and the News Service of Florida and was a field director for Gwen Graham’s 2014 congressional campaign.

Scott Kosanovich is voter contact director. He was former Rep. Amanda Murphy‘s field director in 2013 and deputy organizing director for Hillary Clinton‘s Florida campaign.

Also joining the staff is Neil Spencer, a graduate student in politics and policy at Florida State University who organized campus Democrats for Bernie Sanders and served as a field organizer for the Clinton campaign in Pinellas County; and Alec Polansky, a recent FSU graduate and intern in the House Minority Office.

“I’m proud to support Leader-Designate McGhee’s talented team at House Victory,” sitting Democratic Leader Janet Cruz said. “I believe our vision combined with the team’s dedication and experience provides for the leadership needed to make gains in the Florida House.”

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