Gov. Scott names veteran bureaucrat McDougal as chief of staff
As expected, Gov. Rick Scott on Monday named Kim McDougal as his new chief of staff, effective April 2.
McDougal, 53, most recently served as Scott's legislative affairs director and education policy coordinator. She has been in state government for nearly three decades and has spent much of that time in the Department of Education.
McDougal has very deep roots in Tallahassee, a rarity in an administration where many in Scott's inner circle are under age 35 and from out of state. She began working for the state in 1989, was an advisor to former Republican Gov. Jeb Bush and served as an advisor to several state commissioners of education. She has a Ph.D. in education from Florida State University.
McDougal replaces Melissa Sellers, who is resigning effective April 1. McDougal's promotion means Scott now must find a new legislative affairs director, but there's no rush because the next session is nearly a year away. Scott also must name a replacement for General Counsel Tim Cerio, who also is leaving April 1.
A new salary for McDougal was not immediately disclosed. She currently earns $130,000 a year as legislative affairs director. Sellers earns $150,000.
The governor's chief of staff, arguably the most powerful non-elected person in state government, acts with the governor's authority in dealing with legislators and other state agencies and plays a key role in hiring and promotions for key jobs in state government. The high-stress job requires saying "No" on a regular basis and has been described as "the governor's designated SOB."
McDougal becomes Scott's fifth chief of staff in less than six years, following Mike Prendergast, Steve MacNamara, Adam Hollingsworth and Sellers.