In the Departure Lounge: Ian Martorana, Stephen Lawson, Towson Fraser

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Summertime often sees a flurry of personnel moves in the world of government and politics. Continuing this occasional series, we update you on who’s in the Departure Lounge.

Bruce Ritchie is no longer a part of Extensive Enterprises Media, the holding company for and The award-winning environmental reporter is now with POLITICO Florida.

First up is Ian Martorana, who is leaving his job as communications director for U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis. As someone on the receiving end of Martorana’s emails and press releases, I can attest to the incredible job Martorana has done in this position. Heck, he even has Bilirakis posting on Medium.

Martorana emails that he is starting “a new adventure with Congressman Paul Ryan.” His last day in the Bilirakis office is August 11.

SaintPetersBlog “30 under 30” Rising Star Stephen Lawson has left the Executive Office of the Governor. The devout University of Florida fan is now the communications director at Enterprise Florida.

Lobbyist Towson Fraser is no longer part of Southern Strategy Group, according to the state’s registered lobbyist directory.

Chelsea Murphy is no longer with Adams Street Advocates. Her LinkedIn page states that she is now an account executive with Captiveyes, a media & advertising company based in Tallahassee.

In case you missed SPB’s updates on who’s on and who’s off the legislative staffing merry-go-round, here are a few well-liked staffers who are now in the Departure Lounge:

— Chase Daniels has left his position as a legislative assistant to state Sen. Charlie Dean.

— Carolyn Tucker has left her position with state Rep. Jay Fant‘s office, although she is now his re-election campaign’s finance director.

 J.J. Whitson has left his position as a legislative assistant to state Sen. Travis Hutson.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, 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.