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Personnel note: Stephen Lawson heading to DBPR

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Stephen Lawson tells he’s departing as communications director for Enterprise Florida for the same job at the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.


Lawson’s last day at EFI is Thursday. He starts at DBPR next week, replacing Chelsea Eagle. She wasn’t immediately available Wednesday.

Eagle departs in the wake of a high-profile battle with POLITICO Florida over the release of depositions and other material related to the state’s legal fight with the Seminole Tribe of Florida over gambling.

Lawson, an expert in “rapid response” PR, had his work cut out for him at EFI, the state’s public-private economic development organization.

The agency has taken hits as its proposed $250 million incentives fund failed during the 2016 legislative session, and outgoing CEO Bill Johnson has been questioned over his hiring and expenses.

The University of Florida graduate, a veteran of ScottWorld, was featured in SaintPetersblog’s “30 Under 30” in 2014. He has worked on Gov. Rick Scott‘s re-election campaign and for the Republican Party of Florida.

He grew up in Tallahassee, got a bachelor’s degree in political science and classics at the University of Florida and a master’s in applied American politics and policy at Florida State.

Asked how he got into politics, Lawson said his mother “had a pretty big impact.”

“She worked at DOE (Dep’t of Education) under Governor [Jeb] Bush and later in the Senate on the Education Committee, so I grew up around it,” he said in the 2014 “30 Under 30” article. “Having a part, however small, in the process of making Florida a better place has always been a huge draw for me.”

Lawson is on Twitter at @StephenLawsonFL.

Before joining Florida Politics, journalist and attorney James Rosica was state government reporter for The Tampa Tribune. He attended journalism school in Washington, D.C., working at dailies and weekly papers in Philadelphia after graduation. Rosica joined the Tallahassee Democrat in 1997, later moving to the courts beat, where he reported on the 2000 presidential recount. In 2005, Rosica left journalism to attend law school in Philadelphia, afterwards working part time for a public-interest law firm. Returning to writing, he covered three legislative sessions in Tallahassee for The Associated Press, before joining the Tribune’s re-opened Tallahassee bureau in 2013. He can be reached at

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