Make us your home page
Instagram

Eric Eikenberg lands job lobbying for Holland & Knight

TALLAHASSEE — Six weeks after he quit as Gov. Charlie Crist's U.S. Senate campaign manager, Eric Eikenberg's brief period of unemployment is over.

Eikenberg has landed a high-profile job as a lobbyist for Tampa-based Holland & Knight — a sign that the law firm is looking to strengthen its lobbying presence in the state capital.

He starts work Monday in Tallahassee as senior policy adviser and co-leader of the firm's Florida government advocacy team working with former Gov. Bob Martinez of Tampa. Eikenberg is not a lawyer, but it has been common for law firms with big lobbying practices to hire nonlawyers with political connections as key decisionmakers.

"We're extremely fortunate to get Eric to join us," said the firm's managing partner, Steve Sonberg. "It's extremely important geographically for us to be strong in Florida, and I think Eric adds enormous strength to the firm overall and particularly in the government area."

Holland & Knight's clients in the state capital include the city of Tampa, the Hillsborough County School District, Waste Management, PCS Phosphate, CCE Entertainment, Dave & Buster's and the National Safety Commission. Holland & Knight also has clients in Washington, D.C., including the National Indian Gaming Association, Florida Power & Light and Dow Chemical.

As a former chief of staff to Crist, Eikenberg is barred by the state Constitution from lobbying his former employer, the Governor's Office, through November 2011. But he can legally lobby state agencies that were under his direction during a two-year tenure in the Governor's Office.

Eikenberg, 34, a Coral Springs native and graduate of American University, was making $15,000 a month as Crist's campaign manager. He quit shortly after Crist announced he would leave the Republican Party and seek Florida's open U.S. Senate seat as a nonpartisan candidate.

His salary at Holland & Knight was not disclosed.

"I look forward to working with the team in Tallahassee, the lawyers and policy advisers, to make the firm a go-to place in the state capital," Eikenberg said.

Eikenberg said he bonded with Holland & Knight partners in Washington when he worked as chief of staff to then-U.S. Rep. Clay Shaw of Fort Lauderdale. He said he also was close to the late Tillie Fowler, a former Jacksonville-area U.S. representative who also worked for Holland & Knight.

Eikenberg said he maintains good relations with Sen. Mike Haridopolos and Rep. Dean Cannon, the likely incoming leaders of the Legislature in November and said he gets along with Democrats, too. "I'm grateful for their support," he said.

Holland & Knight also employs former U.S. Rep. Jim Davis, the Tampa Democrat whom Crist defeated in the 2006 race for governor. Davis is a partner in the firm's public policy and regulation group.

"He's a good man," Eikenberg said of Davis. "I look forward to joining him in this effort."

Steve Bousquet can be reached at [email protected] or (850) 224-7263.

Read more

Help wanted

Read our story about Eric Eikenberg's job search and previous stories on unemployment in Tampa Bay at links.tampabay.com.

Eric Eikenberg lands job lobbying for Holland & Knight 06/25/10 [Last modified: Friday, June 25, 2010 9:23pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Wing of Channelside Bay Plaza being demolished to make way for Water Street Tampa

    Business

    TAMPA — The developers of Channelside Bay Plaza originally wanted the name to include "Garrison." That would have fit, in a way, because the complex turned out to be fort-like, inwardly focused and unwelcoming.

    Demolition of the southwest wing of Channelside Bay Plaza is underway, with a big chunk of the building expected to come down today.
  2. City Council candidates weigh in on noise ordinances, pier reconstruction

    Local

    ST. PETERSBURG — Residents of Bayfront Tower Condos peppered City Council candidates Tuesday night with questions about noise ordinances, road repairs and the multi-million-dollar plan to rebuild the pier.

  3. Black entrepreneur says city stiffing him on project after he endorsed Rick Baker

    News

    ST. PETERSBURG — A prominent African-American resident says his endorsement of mayoral candidate Rick Baker has led city officials to freeze him out of a major construction project along the historic "Deuces" stretch of 22nd Street S.

  4. Sen. Nelson urges FEMA to examine high number of denied flood claims

    Banking

    Sen. Bill Nelson urged FEMA on Tuesday to ensure fairness, proper oversight and transparency in processing Hurricane Irma aid following a report by the Palm Beach Post that 90 percent of Irma claims under the National Flood Insurance Program had been denied.

    Sen. Bill Nelson is calling for FEMA to ensure the flood claims process post-Hurricane Irma is fair and ethical following reports that 90 percent of claims under the National Flood Insurance Program were denied. | [Times file photo]
  5. Amazon expands in Tampa with Pop-Up shop in International Plaza

    Retail

    TAMPA — A new retailer known largely for its online presence has popped up at International Plaza and Bay Street.

    Shoppers walk past the new Amazon kiosk Tuesday at the International Plaza in Tampa. The kiosk, which opened last month, offers shoppers an opportunity to touch and play with some of the products that Amazon offers.
[CHRIS URSO   |   Times]