Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis intends to have a lean, nimble campaign team. So far it includes a bunch of veterans of Marco Rubio campaigns. The hires also seem to signal a concerted effort to court Hispanic voters, as did the appearance of U.S. Rep. Jenniffer González-Colón of Puerto Rico at DeSantis' kickoff rally Monday.
The DeSantis team:
Media and overall strategy: Something Else Strategies, Rubio longtime senior consultants. That includes Heath Thompson, Malorie Thompson, and Daniel Huey, the lower profile part of the operation, and Todd Harris and Brad Herold, who are more visible in the media.
Campaign manager: Brad Herold. The bow tie aficionado and Rubio alum is tight with DeSantis and used to be executive director of the Republican Party of Florida.
Polling: Whit Ayers and North Star Opinion Research. Widely respected, Ayers is another Rubio alum, and also a longtime crusader for the GOP to more actively court Hispanic voters.
Fundraising: Finance Director Heather Baker, who also has worked as finance director of the Florida GOP and Florida Senate President Joe Negron.
Digital: Ello Creative. Jordan Gibson, the firm's president, has worked with DeSantis since 2016 and is an alum of Rick Scott's re-election campaign, as well as a assorted state parties, and congressional, legislative and local candidates in Florida.
Communications: Press Secretary David Vasquez most recently worked as associate director of government affairs at the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and previously served as press aide for the Donald Trump Inaugural Committee, campaign manager for Bob Cortez for state House as well as roles with the Florida GOP and DeSantis for Senate campaign.
The prevalence of Rubio advisers obviously will fuel speculation about a Rubio endorsement, though Florida's Republican senator has said he won't endorse in the primary. DeSantis is competing for the Republican nomination against Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and, probably, Florida House Speaker Richard Corcroan.
Rubio has said positive things about both DeSantis and Putnam. He was conspicuously quiet about Corcoran, his former chief of staff in the Florida House who endorsed Jeb Bush over Rubio for president in 2016.