Good Monday morning.
ICYMI (but how could you) — After nearly three years of serving the Governor — first as a Deputy Chief of Staff and then Chief of Staff — Adrian Lukis is leaving the administration, likely in mid-September with an announcement about the move to come sometime after Labor Day.
The Ron DeSantis administration confirmed Lukis’ plans after Florida Politics first reported his anticipated departure.
When he was asked to fill the shoes of Shane Strum, the Chief of Staff to DeSantis who had served for more than two years, Lukis made clear that his time in the most powerful staff position in state government would not be as long as his predecessor’s.
The father of two young kids, the first of whom was born days after DeSantis was elected Governor in 2018, Lukis made a promise to his wife that he would not be one of those political husbands who missed the formative years of his children’s upbringing.
Six months ago, that promise seemed reasonable. But that was before the state ran headlong into the buzz saw that is the Delta variant.
Lukis had intended to announce his plans for departing sometime in early August. But that was delayed by the realities of the pandemic.
Because Lukis’ personnel move is still freshly decided, there hasn’t been time for him to decide on his next move. Clearly, a former Chief of Staff, even one who served a shorter stint than others, will be in high demand by law firms and lobbying shops.
The Department of Education and Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran are making recent staffing changes permanent, headlined by Bethany Swonson remaining as full-time Chief of Staff.
Swonson had been serving as Interim Chief of Staff since April — when Corcoran’s previous Chief of Staff, Alex Kelly, left to become a Deputy Chief Staff in DeSantis’ office. Corcoran made Swonson and others’ staffing positions permanent during a meeting Thursday.
“The Department of Education is very fortunate to have such an amazing leadership team,” DOE Communications Director Jared Ochs said in a statement to Florida Politics.
Florida Politics was the first to report the staffing realignment Friday.
“For the last few months, we’ve been working as an interim leadership team. This week, we made the interim status permanent,” Ochs said. “Bethany Swonson will be Chief of Staff instead of Interim Chief of Staff. Eric Hall will continue to be a Senior Chancellor, as he was during the interim, and Jacob Oliva will be Senior Chancellor and remain over all K-12 education as well as Early Learning.”
Brittany Morgan Clark is joining Red Hills Strategies. As a professional graphic designer, photographer and videographer, she expands the creative capabilities and offerings of the Tallahassee-based communications firm.
Clark joins Red Hills from the Florida Department of Education, where she served as the Creative Media Director on the Communications team. Aside from directing all photo and video production, she led a variety of creative projects in the agency, managed multiple social media channels, and partnered with many other state agencies to develop their creative content.
During the Rick Scott administration, Clark was often seen snapping photos of the Governor and First Lady while traveling across the Sunshine State.
Clark is also known as a sought-after wedding and family photographer. For nearly a decade, folks inside The Process and across the Southeast have trusted her with their happiest moments and greatest memories.
“With the addition of Brittany Morgan Clark, we’ve significantly expanded what we’re able to offer our clients in print, in broadcast and online,” said Amanda Bevis. “She‘s got the strategic mindset, can-do attitude, and enthusiasm that makes her a great value-add to our clients and a perfect addition to this team.”
Clark makes four on the Red Hills Strategies team. Bevis started the firm in 2018, and the team also includes Julie Fazekas and Madison Dorval. The firm counts among its clients Kathleen Passidomo, Ben Albritton, Tampa General Hospital, TECO Energy, and the Florida Retail Federation.
— SITUATIONAL AWARENESS —
Flag-draped transfer cases line the inside of a C-17 Globemaster II Aug. 29, 2021, prior to a dignified transfer at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. The fallen service members died while supporting non-combat operations in Kabul.
Gone, but never forgotten. pic.twitter.com/7HzJvnFrSD
— U.S. Marines (@USMC) August 29, 2021
—@oldenoughtosay: I’m gonna preemptively remind those of y’all who have never lived in a hurricane zone that the reason people don’t evacuate isn’t because they think they’ll be fine; it’s because they don’t have money to evacuate. Gas costs money. Somewhere to stay out of town costs money. Harder+ pricier with pets and kids. The lower your income, the less likely your employer is gonna cancel your shifts in advance. People aren’t staying in the path of danger just for fun. They can’t leave.
—@MarcoRubio: Get vaccinated today
—@DeForestNews6: .@ spox: “It’s not surprising that Judge (John) Cooper would rule against parent’s rights … but instead rule in favor of elected politicians.” NOTE: The judge *literally* ruled in favor of the plaintiffs (parents) and against the defendants (inc. the elected Governor).
—@SheriffChitwood: Losing too many good people to COVID-19. Judge (Steven) Henderson is another shocking loss. RIP to a true public servant, beloved husband & father. My condolences & prayers to his family. I’m also praying for all the good people battling this awful disease.
—@BubbaProg: Florida didn’t make a strong push to “vaccinate people,” it made a strong push to vaccinate rich white people. When the federal government opened up mass vaccination centers to serve everyone else, DeSantis derisively called them “FEMA camps.”
—@JebBush: (re: Rick Flagg‘s retirement): I always enjoyed our give and take. Congrats on a great career.