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Personnel note: Vern Buchanan hires Gretchen Andersen as new press secretary

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Sarasota Republican U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan said Wednesday that Gretchen Andersen will be the new press secretary for his Washington, D.C., office.

Andersen previously was press secretary for U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy of Pennsylvania, a senior member of the Energy and Commerce Committee. Murphy also wrote a sweeping mental health reform bill co-sponsored by Buchanan.

Before her stint in Murphy’s office, Andersen was press secretary for New York City-based Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, as well as an intern for NBC and CBS affiliates in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Andersen is a University of Pittsburgh graduate, earning a BA in English and political science.

Buchanan, as a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee, oversees tax reform, health care, welfare reform, international trade, Medicare and Social Security.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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