Mayor Lenny Curry turns to top political operative for chief of staff post

Mayor Lenny Curry named Brian Hughes his chief of employees Wednesday, a transfer that formally installs a key determine in Curry’s political world into the equipment of metropolis authorities.

Hughes, who has been a Tallahassee-based mostly political operative since Curry’s election, was already working as a sort of unofficial chief of employees. Curry has been with no chief of employees since Might, when Kerri Stewart, a Metropolis Corridor veteran, resigned in Might to take a job as considered one of JEA’s executives.

Hughes has made hundreds of dollars since Curry’s election in consulting charges — paid out of the mayor’s political committee — in addition to having represented shoppers keen on operating for Metropolis Council lengthy earlier than the 2019 elections happen. He’s a registered metropolis lobbyist for Buckeye Companions LP, an power distribution firm, and in addition signed as much as work with the Jacksonville Port Authority.

He has remained one among Curry’s closest confidants and has helped push the mayor’s priorities by means of the Metropolis Council.

A information launch stated Hughes “will fulfill his enterprise and shopper commitments by month’s finish.”

Curry’s spokeswoman didn’t instantly say what Hughes can be paid.

“To me and dozens of different elected officers, Brian Hughes has been a senior advisor on essential issues of public coverage and communications,” Curry stated in a written assertion. “Working with me, Brian has already put a strong imprint on our metropolis’s future.

Hughes, who together with Jacksonville-based mostly marketing consultant Tim Baker ran Curry’s hardball political group, has an abrasive type that should mesh with Metropolis Corridor, which is charged with operating a laundry listing of apolitical priorities like street upkeep.

Jessica Baker, a former marketing consultant with Ballard Companions and the spouse of Tim Baker, additionally works in Curry’s administration.

Curry’s workplace won’t lack for giant personalities.

Hughes will spherical out Curry’s group of prime administration officers. He’ll work with Sam Mousa, Curry’s chief administrative officer, and Mike Weinstein, the town’s finance director. Each males are longtime and revered Metropolis Corridor veterans. Mousa can also be recognized for his onerous-charging persona. Curry himself is relentlessly aggressive and talks typically concerning the significance he locations on profitable.

Hughes has an in depth historical past in Florida Republican politics, together with a stint spokesman for Gov. Rick Scott and as a marketing consultant for former Florida…

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