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The Buzz

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Obama senior FL staff growing

UPDATE: The release is out, adding Nick Baldick as senior adviser. The full release with bios is at the jump.

The Buzz is we'll soon see some more Barack Obama Florida staff announcments soon, and it looks like a lot of folks who actually know the difference between Winter Park and Winter Haven, as opposed to out of staters: Jackie Lee, field director for the FDP in 06 and field director for John Edwards in Iowa will leading the coordinated campaign; Stephanie Owens of St. Pete, an old Clinton/Ron Brown hand (I used to cover her from city hall) will be Florida political director; Shannon Valley will be director of operations; Gillian Rosenberg, director of scheduling; Gustavo Rivera, constituency director.

From the Obama campaign:

TAMPA, Fla. - U.S. Senator Barack Obama's presidential campaign today announced that it has deployed a number of key staffers - many with roots in Florida politics - to lead an unprecedented operation in the Sunshine State.  The Obama for America team will work with the newly formed Florida Campaign for Change - a grassroots, voter contact organization funded by the Democratic National Committee.

The Campaign for Change is charged with leading the grassroots effort in Florida to educate voters about U.S. Sen. Barack Obama's plans to change Washington and create good-paying jobs, lower gas prices and bring a responsible end to the Iraq war. It will also work to harness the enthusiasm of Obama's grassroots-level supporters and organize them in communities across Florida as they work for Democratic candidates up and down the ticket.

"We've assembled in Florida a battle-tested group that will help our campaign harness the energy of the tens of thousands of grassroots Obama volunteers who have already been working for months in their communities," Obama Campaign Director David Plouffe said. "The team we've put in place understands that strong organizations are fashioned from the ground up and we look forward to building on the enthusiasm we see across Florida."

"Like I do, Floridians from all walks of life have high hopes for this election because so much is at stake. Florida can't afford a third term of Bush's failed economic and foreign policies through John McCain. Barack Obama will restore to the White House the integrity and respect that we've lost over the last seven years and will finally address the tough challenges our families face," said U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings (FL-23), dean of the Florida Congressional delegation. "This campaign team looks like Florida, talks like Florida, and is Florida. Its diversity is a clear reflection of our state and our values. I feel the winds of change every day in our great state, and I look forward to working with these talented individuals and so many others to elect Senator Obama the next President of the United States."

Below is a preliminary list of the top staffers working in Florida either as part of Obama for America or Florida's Campaign for Change to support Senator Obama and other Democratic candidates up and down the ticket. They join Obama for America State Director Steve Schale and Deputy State Director Ashley Walker, who were previously announced.

Angela Botticella, Field Director
Botticella has contributed to the Obama campaign's voter contact efforts in New Hampshire, South Carolina, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Oregon. In 2006, she served as Deputy Field Director for the Rhode Island Democratic Party Coordinated Campaign, helping elect a Democrat over an incumbent Republican U.S. Senator. She was Deputy Field Director on Francine Busby's campaign for Congress in the June 2006 special election in CA-50 and worked in the field department of the Alliance for a Better California 2005 campaign.

Mark Bubriski, Communications Director
Beginning in early 2006, Bubriski managed and grew the communications and research operation at the Florida Democratic Party. In 2004, he worked in communications and advance for the John Kerry for President campaign and in the press office of the Democratic National Convention in Boston. He advised political organizations and major corporations on diversity efforts as an account executive with the Caraway Group, and has been a member of APIA Vote and the Asian American Journalists Association. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Harvard University.

Stephanie Owens, Political Director
A longtime Floridian, Owens serves as a lead advance consultant for Obama for America. She has served in leadership roles for six presidential campaigns and handled community relations for the 2001 and 2009 Tampa Bay Super Bowl Host Committees. In the aftermath of the city of St. Petersburg's civil unrest in 1996, President Clinton, Vice President Al Gore and HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros appointed Owens to direct the collaborative efforts of nine federal agencies providing $46 million in federal assistance to the city. Owens also orchestrated the launch of the Florida Dialogue on Cancer (FDOC), the organization designated by the state to manage the development of a statewide cancer care and treatment strategy.   

Shannon Valley, Operations Director
Valley has served the Obama campaign in the field in Iowa, Nevada, North Dakota and Texas and in operations in West Virginia and Pennsylvania. She also led campaign outreach to the African-American faith community in West Virginia. She received her Political Science and International Studies degree from Northwestern University and spent a year studying abroad and interning at the UN's International Labour Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. She lives locally with her family in Brandon, FL.

Jackie Lee, Campaign for Change, General Election Director
Lee returns to the Sunshine State for her third election cycle, having served as statewide Field Director twice before: for the Florida Democratic Party in 2006 and for former Sen. John Edwards' campaign during the 2004 presidential primary. In 2007-2008, Lee served as the Iowa Field Director for the John Edwards for President Campaign. Previously, she was Delaware State Director for the Emergency Campaign for America's Priorities and for Americans United to Protect Social Security and Field Director for the Oklahoma Democratic Coordinated Campaign. When she is not campaigning, Lee splits her time between Delaware and Central Florida.

Gustavo Rivera, Campaign for Change, Constituency Director
Rivera, a progressive political organizer born and raised in Puerto Rico, has worked for 10 years in New York City.  He was part of the political team that cut the Republican majority in the New York State Senate from seven to three seats. Most recently, Rivera worked with the Service Employees International Union in Texas, Pennsylvania, Indiana and Puerto Rico, helping elect Senator Obama the Democratic nominee.

Gillian Rosenberg, Campaign for Change, Scheduling Director
Rosenberg has worked for the Obama campaign since February 2007, serving as Iowa Director of Political Operations and the Director of Women for Obama, helping to lead a victorious effort among women in the state's caucuses. She continued with the campaign in Chicago headquarters in various capacities throughout the primaries. In 2003-04, Rosenberg worked for John Kerry in Iowa in both the primary and general election. In 2005-06, she was the Deputy Political Director at the Iowa Democratic Party.  Rosenberg attended the University of Iowa.

Nick Baldick, Campaign for Change, Senior Advisor
President and Co-Founder of Hilltop Public Solutions, Baldick has extensive experience on presidential campaigns in Florida and nationally. Among his achievements, he led the Democratic coordinated campaign to victory in Florida in 1996, the first win for a Democratic presidential candidate here in 20 years. He also served as the National Campaign Manager for Senator John Edwards' presidential campaign in 2004 and held a leading role in Vice President Al Gore's 2000 presidential campaign in Florida. During the Clinton administration, Baldick served as the Eastern Political Director within the White House Office of Political Affairs. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and earned his law degree from the New York University School of Law.   

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 10:28am]


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