Gov. Rick Scott on Tuesday appointed two new members of his leadership team: Will Spicola as general counsel and Kevin Reilly as legislative affairs director.
Both appointees are University of Florida graduates with strong ties to Tampa Bay. Spicola hails from a politically prominent Tampa family and Reilly grew up in Palm Harbor. The Times/Herald reported last week that Spicola was poised to win the appointment.
Spicola, 32, has been the general counsel at the Department of Business and Professional Regulation since January 2015, and before that held other posts at DBPR. Reilly, 29, has been deputy staff director for House Majority Leader Dana Young, R-Tampa, since November 2014. He's a former legislative affairs director for the Florida Commission on Offender Review and was a regional director on Scott's first campaign for governor in 2010. Reilly is a former student body president at UF.
As general counsel, Spicola will serve as Scott's chief legal adviser, while assisting on appointments to judgeships and to judicial nominating commissions. He replaces Tim Cerio at a pivotal time, as Scott will make his first appointment to the Florida Supreme Court in early 2017 following the retirement of James Perry, one of two African-Americans on the seven-member court.
As LAD, as Reilly's new post is known in Tallahassee jargon, his responsibility is to manage Scott's relationships with members of the Legislature in his final two-and-a-half years in office. Reilly replaces Kim McDougal, who replaced Melissa Sellers as Scott's chief of staff and top adviser.