Another longtime staffer to Florida Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson is stepping down.
Dan McLaughlin, Deputy Chief of Staff and Communications Director, will retire at the end of the year, after a 21-year association with Nelson, the past 15 in the Senate.
“Dan has been my confidant and friend all these years, and is recognized in both journalism and communications as one of the best,” Nelson wrote in a memo to staffers.
McLaughlin is a former reporter for The Tampa Tribune. He will be replaced by Ryan Brown.
in October, Pete Mitchell, Nelson’s longtime chief-of-staff, announced that he would be departing from Nelson’s staff. However Nelson noted at the time that Mitchell would “begin laying the groundwork for my re-election in 2018.”
The 73-year-old Nelson has been Florida’s highest-ranking Democrat for years, and flirted with running for governor of 2014, but never appeared serious. He clearly indicated that he’d like to challenge Rick Scott, and he may get his wish in 2018.
Scott has not discouraged talk that he would be a candidate for the Republican nomination for Senate in ’18.