Incoming House Speaker Will Weatherford on Thursday named Kathy Mears as his chief of staff and Ryan Duffy as communications director.
Mears most recently has worked as vice president of On 3 Public Relations in Tallahassee but earlier served as a top aide to former House Speaker Daniel Webster and former Senate presidents Tom Lee and Ken Pruitt. Mears also worked as a deputy chief of staff and legislative director for former Gov. Charlie Crist.
Duffy serves as press secretary for leadership in the House and also previously worked as a speechwriter for former Gov. Jeb Bush and former U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez.
“Kathy is a true professional with invaluable experience in the highest levels of state government and the private sector,” Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, said in a news release. “As my chief of staff, she will play a central role in helping the Florida House develop solutions to address the many challenges facing our state. Ryan has served with excellence on the House communications team, and he will do great work with (the) press and public to keep them informed and us accountable.”