Jeb Bush Veterans Will Lead Tim Pawlenty Team in Florida
Around the State
With his eyes on the Republican presidential nomination, former Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, who launched his campaign earlier in the week, named his campaign team Thursday to help him carry Florida -- and he is turning to some old Jeb Bush hands.
On Thursday Pawlenty named Phil Handy, who headed Bush’s gubernatorial bids as campaign chairman in 1994 and 1998 and as campaign co-chairman in 2002, to head up his efforts in the Sunshine State as state chairman. Handy, who served as state chairman for John McCain’s presidential bid in 2008, will also serve as a national finance co-chairman for Pawlenty’s team.
“I look forward to working with Phil throughout our campaign, and am grateful for his support,” Pawlenty said. “We are fortunate to have his experience and credibility, and he will be a key member of our team. He brings years of experience to the table as a leader in business, and in the field of education policy."
Pawlenty also turned to a very familiar figure in Florida politics -- Republican activist Justin Sayfie, the publisher who runs the Sayfie Review and Sayfie News websites. Sayfie served as adviser, speech writer and spokesman for Bush, and helped his brother’s successful bid to win a second presidential term in 2004.
Sayfie will serve as a state co-chairman for the Florida campaign.
“Justin's reputation as a skilled communicator and business leader is well-known in Florida politics,” Pawlenty said. “He's a true rising star, and I'm grateful for his support."
Pawlenty named another old Jeb Bush hand to his team -- Ann Herberger -- as the national senior finance adviser. Herberger has helped raise money for the Bush family throughout the years, helping both George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush raise funds. In 1997, Herberger moved to Florida to help with fund-raising for Jeb Bush’s successful gubernatorial bid the next year. Herberger also helped Mitt Romney’s presidential bid and later John McCain during the 2008 campaign cycle.
Gretchen Picotte was named as Pawlenty’s state finance director. Picotte is no stranger to fund-raising in the Sunshine State. The owner of Political Capital, Picotte led former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s fund-raising efforts in the Sunshine State during his bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008. She also helped then-Attorney General Bill McCollum’s fund-raising in his failed bid to defeat Rick Scott for the Republican gubernatorial nod in 2010.
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (850) 727-0859. Derby was previously employed by the Sayfie Media Group, which is owned by Justin Sayfie.