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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

A departing Eric Eikenberg reflects on his tenure



After nearly two years as Gov. Charlie Crist's chief of staff, Eric Eikenberg is moving on, and while the whole political world expects Eikenberg will manage Crist's U.S. Senate campaign, the aide isn't yet talking about what he'll be doing two weeks from now.

"Today is not about me and what I'm going to be doing,. It's about Shane Strum, who's a dedicated public servant who will serve the office of governor with great distinction," Eikenberg said. "I'm excited for my friend."

P1020657 Eikenberg (seen here with Crist at a Tallahassee business Tuesday) said being chief of staff to a governor has been the most enjoyable experience of his life. "My only advice to Shane is to listen ... and to give the best advice and counsel to the governor of this state," he said.

Speculation had centered on Eikenberg joining the campaign around Jan. 1. A move now will be viewed in many quarters as a signal that Crist is worried about his Senate campaign challenge from ex-Speaker Marco Rubio and needs to have a strong political hand on board sooner rather than later. 

Eikenberg managed campaigns for his former boss, U.S. Rep. Clay Shaw of Fort Lauderdale, and ran George LeMieux's 1998 race for a state House seat.

The 40-year-old Strum keeps a tradition going: He is the third straight chief of staff under Crist to be a product of Broward County.

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 2:23pm]


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