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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

As wedding draws near, Gov. Rick Scott's chief of staff plans to move on



Now that Gov. Rick Scott has combed through the budget, completed a list of likely vetoes and made his support for Donald Trump official, he's planning for another big change in his inner circle on the Capitol's plaza level.

Scott's chief of staff, Melissa Sellers, is getting married April 16 in Tallahassee. People in Scott's political orbit say she plans to leave the administration soon afterward, though she will continue to play an important role in Scott's political life as he decides whether to run for the U.S. Senate in 2018.

Sellers, 33, recently bought a home in northeast Tallahassee and her fiancé, Alan Stone, owns an established landscaping and agricultural service business in the capital city, so she has established roots in the capital.

She's expected to transition out of state government and into a new job at Let's Get to Work, Scott's political committee, before the summer begins, and the speculation in the Capitol is that Scott will promote his legislative affairs director, Kim McDougal, to be his fifth chief of staff in less than six years.

Scott's office did not dispute the accuracy of this report.

A spokesman for the governor, John Tupps, said Wednesday: "When we have an announcement to make, we will make it."

Sellers came to Tallahassee in 2012 after the Republican National Convention in Tampa. As communications director, she sharpened his messaging and improved Scott's beleaguered press operation. She successfully managed Scott's re-election campaign in 2014 and became chief of staff on Dec. 1, 2014.

[Last modified: Wednesday, March 16, 2016 2:38pm]


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