Rick Scott Brings In New Media Director from RNC, Bobby Jindal

By: Jim Turner | Posted: September 5, 2012 3:55 AM
Melissa Sellers and Brian Burgess

Melissa Sellers and Brian Burgess

Brian Burgess, the director of communications for Gov. Rick Scott, is heading to the Republican Party of Florida.

Burgess will be replaced in the governor’s office by Melissa Sellers, a former communications director for Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and who served as the director of regional media for the Republican National Convention in Tampa.  

Scott praised Burgess as a trusted aide and a strategic and political adviser.

“His strong work ethic, strategic advice and leadership will be missed inside the administration, but he isn’t going far,” Scott stated in a release. “In his new role, he will continue to help tell the story to Floridians and the nation about what we’re accomplishing every day.”   

Sellers helped develop Jindal’s messages in response to Hurricanes Gustav and Ike, and the catastrophic Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010.  She will also be counted on to translate Scott’s message of jobs, business and education creation.

“We have an ambitious agenda to create more jobs and opportunity for the hard-working people of Florida, and while we have made important progress already, there is a lot of work still ahead of us,” Scott stated in the release. “Melissa will bring experience and valued insight to our mission and we are excited to have her join our team.”   

Burgess begins with the RPOF on Sept. 17.

He has been with Scott since January 2009, serving as a consultant with CRC Public Relations, which spearheaded the media strategy for Rick Scott’s Conservatives for Patients' Rights. Burgess would later assist then-candidate Scott during his campaign for governor.

This is the second big name to plan an exit from the governor’s office since Adam Hollingsworth was brought in on July 1 as Scott’s chief of staff to right the ship that had shown signs of foundering under embattled chief Steve MacNamara.

On Aug. 16, Jon Costello, who has been with Gov. Rick Scott since his 2010 campaign and has served as legislative affairs director since the inauguration, submitted his resignation.

Scott had announced that he would appoint Costello to the board of directors for the Northwest Florida Water Management District. On Tuesday, it was announced that Costello is going back to Rutledge, Ecenia & Purnell PA, where he will once again lead the governmental affairs practice.

Reach Jim Turner at jturner@sunshinestatenews.com or at (772) 215-9889.

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