Cesar Fernandez has been working on the Charlie Crist campaign for months, but the man who helped Rick Kriseman get elected mayor in St. Petersburg last fall is now officially listed as political director for the Crist campaign, just as summer hits. The political wunderkind graduated from Florida State University in 2011, and had already proven his credentials by leading South Florida state Senator Jeff Clemens to a victory in 2012 when Kriseman chose him to be his campaign manager last year. A former Seminole Heights resident, Cesar has (we hear) made the big (inevitable?) move to St. Pete.
Another familiar name to those who follow politics in Tampa Bay is Victoria Kirby, named by the Crist campaign to serve as Deputy Field Director. The 27-year-old previously served as the State Coordinator for Organizing for Action (OFA) Florida and as a Regional Field Director for President Obama’s Florida re-election efforts in the Tampa Bay area. She also worked for a period as outreach director for Kathy Castor's office in Tampa. She served as the first openly LGBT elected member of the Board of Trustees of Howard University, where she graduated with a B.A. in Communication & Culture and a Master’s in Public Administration.
And serving as Deputy Field Director is Jacob Smith, who has lots of recent experience working in St. Petersburg and Pinellas as field director for Kriseman's campaign as well as on Alex Sink's recent effort to win CD15.
Click through to see the rest of the lineup announced by the Crist campaign:
Katie Bohnett, Director of Scheduling
Bohnett attended Florida State University and majored in political science. She began working on political campaigns on Charlie Crist's 2006 successful run for governor. After serving in the administration as Governor Crist's director of scheduling — as well on his 2010 run for the U.S. Senate — Bohnett has worked as finance director for Linda McMahon's Senate campaign. Most recently she worked on the Department of Children and Families' policy and research team, focusing on the Economic Self-Sufficiency (ACCESS) Program.
Jessica Clark, Deputy Campaign Manager/Finance Director
Clark has more than eight years of experience in Democratic political fundraising in Florida. She got her start on U.S. Senator Bill Nelson's re-election campaign in 2006. She worked for President Obama (on both of his campaigns and at the Democratic National Committee) from 2007-2012 and served as Florida finance director for his re-election campaign. In 2013, Jessica merged her passion for politics and the environment as the director of strategic partnerships at the NRDC Action Fund before returning to her native Florida in late 2013 to join Governor's Crist's campaign.
Brendan Gilfillan, Communications Director
Gilfillan has nearly a decade of experience in political communications. He served for four years in the Obama Administration, first at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and then as communications director for the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force. Prior to that Brendan was a regional press secretary for the Democratic National Committee and held communications positions in multiple states for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
Greg Goddard, Florida Finance Director
Goddard has been involved in Florida political fundraising since 2006. Preceding his role as Florida finance director for Charlie Crist for Governor, Greg spent five years working on and off for U.S. Senator Bill Nelson, most recently as North Florida finance director for his 2012 re-election campaign. Goddard was also a fundraiser for the Florida Democratic Party and Mayor Alvin Brown. He is a native of Boca Raton, FL.
Amanda Litman, Digital Director
Litman came to Florida from Chicago, where she worked as the deputy email director at Organizing for Action, helping support grassroots organizing around President Obama's second term agenda. Prior to that she worked as an email writer for Obama for America. Amanda is a graduate of Northwestern University.
Jake Mathai, Director of Special Projects
Mathal has years of experience working in research, polling, direct mail, and finance for local, state, national, and international campaigns. He also worked on the 2012 Obama campaign in Chicago. Mathai attended Blanche Ely High School in Pompano Beach and Florida International University.
Rick Minor, Policy Director
A native Floridian, Minor has a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Florida and a Master in Public Administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Prior to joining the Crist for Governor campaign, Rick served as chief of staff to the Mayor of Tallahassee, managing both the mayor’s office and the city’s involvement in various projects. In addition to his experience developing public policy for state and local governments Minor spent a decade in the private sector as a business and information technology consultant.
Jared Mueller, Director of Budget and Operations
Mueller previously served as a policy adviser to Administrator Karen Mills at the U.S. Small Business Administration, after heading up sourcing on the 2013 Presidential Inaugural Committee and managing the field budget on President Obama's re-election campaign. Before joining the Obama campaign in 2011, Mueller was an associate at The Boston Consulting Group.
Cedric McMinn, Outreach Director
McMinn served as executive director of the Miami-Dade Democratic Party and was the deputy political and African-American outreach director for the Obama/Biden Campaign in 2008. McMinn has worked for the state legislative offices of State Representative Cynthia A. Stafford and Miami-Dade School Board Member Dr. Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall. He also served as president of the Miami-Dade Young Democrats and is the current president of Young Professionals Network (YPN) Miami.
Jacob Smith, Deputy Field Director
Smith is a South Florida native proud to be organizing in his home turf. As a volunteer for Barack Obama's first campaign in 2008, he learned first hand the kind of difference one person can make in a community. In 2012, he joined the president's campaign in Southwest Florida, leading a team of organizers to build the largest grassroots operation Sarasota County had ever seen. He was the field director for Rick Kriseman's mayoral campaign and historic victory in St. Petersburg.