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Stacey Webb, admired Tallahassee lobbyist, dies after heart surgery

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Stacey Smelser Webb, a Tallahassee-based lobbyist with Southern Strategy Group, died Sunday. She was 46.

Webb died after experiencing complications from recent heart surgery at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, said her husband, John Webb. 

Her firm issued a statement saying Webb “saw each new challenge as an opportunity to grow and learn.”

“Although small in stature, she carried within her a champion’s heart, and she tirelessly worked to help her clients and her partners,” the lobbying firm said. “We grieve her passing, but we will always remember her remarkable presence and the beauty of her spirit.”

Webb led the lobbying firm’s education practice. She represented the Association of Florida Colleges, Broward College Foundation, Florida Prepaid College Foundation, University of Central Florida Foundation, the school boards of Clay and Seminole counties, as well as Apple Computers and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, lobbying registrations records show.

Webb’s colleagues at SSG were deeply saddened by her passing.

“We started at Southern Strategy Group around the same time and bonded over laughing at a photo shoot,” said Kelly Cohen, a firm partner in its Orlando office. “Stacey was a true team player and cared deeply about her family, friends and our firm. Today the world lost a friend, a mother, a wife, a chef, a bright and kind soul. She was an exceptional individual and I know she will be greatly missed but never forgotten.”

According to her online biography, she previously served as Assistant Chancellor for Community Colleges and Workforce Education at the Florida Department of Education.

Webb was President of the Foundation for Florida’s Community Colleges, raising an additional $15 million for student scholarships, her bio says.

She also was a staff director and Majority (Republican) Office senior analyst at the Florida House of Representatives, covering higher education, criminal justice, state administration, local government, and education appropriations.

Webb attended Brevard Community College, received her undergraduate degree from Stetson University and a Master’s degree in public administration from the University of Central Florida.

Her family has set up a memorial page on Facebook, where friends can post condolences. Webb is survived by her husband and 14-year-old son Walker. A memorial service has not yet been arranged.

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.

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