Jacksonville's Adam Hollingsworth to Replace MacNamara as Chief of Staff

By: Nancy Smith | Posted: May 13, 2012 3:55 AM
Adam Hollingsworth

Adam Hollingsworth

Confirming a rumor circulating around the Capitol late last week, Gov. Rick Scott announced Saturday that he has appointed Adam Hollingsworth, 43, as his new chief of staff. His appointment takes effect July 1.

Hollingsworth, who replaces Steve MacNamara, is no stranger to the governor. He served as director of agency review for Scott's transition team.

On paper anyway, this Jacksonville native looks almost the perfect cross between tea-party outsider and party-vetted insider. He is highly regarded among the state's Republican leadership, having worked as chief of staff for former Jacksonville Mayor John Peyton, a tea-party favorite who had no experience in political, or even public, office.

"Hollingsworth is a straight shooter. He did a heck of a job transitioning John to elected office," said Harold Fry, one of Peyton's early tea party supporters. "I would think that experience would be invaluable to Governor Scott at this juncture."

Republican Party of Florida Chairman Lenny Curry, who is well acquainted with Hollingsworth because he also heads the Duval County GOP, said the governor's new appointee is a perfect fit for the job.

"Adam is a problem solver and that's what we need to continue on Governor Scott’s successes," Curry said. "This is a big win for Florida."

Besides serving on the governor's transition team, Hollingsworth performed other delicate duties for Scott previously. After the August 2010 primary, he was recruited by Scott campaign manager Susie Wiles, a prominent Jacksonville political consultant, and state Sen. John Thrasher, R- St. Augustine, to help mend fences between Scott and a GOP establishment that supported his opponent, former Attorney General Bill McCollum.

In June, Hollingsworth was appointed to the board of Enterprise Florida, the state's economic development arm. He resigned, however, before Scott had to make his reappointments.

He was one of Scott's first appointments after taking office, named to the Republican Executive Committee.

When Hollingsworth left the mayor's office he took an executive position with real estate company Flagler Development Group. He will stay with the company until he officially joins the Scott administration on July 1.

MacNamara has been the subject of numerous allegations of ethics violations in the last 10 days. He told reporters last week that he was planning to leave his $189,000-a-year job before the end of the year anyway.

Hollingsworth and his wife, Amy, have two children, ages 4 and 2.

Reach Nancy Smith at nsmith@sunshinestatenews.com or at (850) 727-0859.

Comments (1)

Conservative Voice
9:06AM MAY 13TH 2012
It is my hope that Hollingsworth comes in with an industrial size broom to clean out all of MacNamara hires and that the Governor allows him to do the cleaning. If not, then an underground MacNamara government will exist. No doubt reporting every decision to their former mentor and every move by our Governor. There is time to undo this mess and now is as good as any. Good Luck Mr. Hollingsworth.

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