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Sen. Marco Rubio hires Cesar Conda to be chief of staff

WASHINGTON — Florida Sen. Marco Rubio on Friday named a former aide to Vice President Dick Cheney and adviser to 2008 presidential candidate Mitt Romney as his chief of staff.

Cesar Conda was involved in Rubio's campaign and headed his transition into the Senate.

Like many Republicans, Conda once thought Charlie Crist would be the next senator but later distanced himself from the former Florida governor, saying he lacked conservative credentials.

Conda has worked as a lobbyist and analyst for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and founded the Washington office of Navigators, a lobbying/consulting firm where another top Rubio adviser, Todd Harris, also worked.

The firm's clients included GlaxoSmithKline, At&T, Visa and Citigroup, which got $45 billion under the bank bailout. Rubio on the campaign trail was highly critical of bailouts.

A Navigators official said Friday that the company started working for Citigroup in 2009 and that while Conda was initially listed as a lobbyist, he did not do work for Citigroup.

Conda, 49, is returning to familiar territory, having previously served as legislative director to former Michigan Sen. Spencer Abraham.

Conda is a graduate of the College of William and Mary in Virginia.

Sen. Marco Rubio hires Cesar Conda to be chief of staff 01/28/11 [Last modified: Friday, January 28, 2011 4:08pm]

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