John McCain-Organization, Florida
revised March 28, 2008

JOHN McCAIN 2008, INC. (March 1, 2007)
JOHN McCAIN 2008 - THE EXPLORATORY COMMITTEE  (filed with the FEC to establish on Nov. 16, 2006)
Headquarters: 505 S. Flagler, Suite 1450, West Palm Beach, FL 33401  561-253-3235

"more than 15 campaign staff" as of Jan. 20, 2008

More Offices (announced Jan. 20, 2008)
Ft. Lauderdale - 908 S. Andrews Avenue, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Jacksonville - 1046 Riverside Avenue, Jacksonville, FL

Orlando - 234 South Semoran Blvd., Orlando, FL

Pensacola - 744 E. Burgess Road, Unit A-102, Pensacola, FL

Tampa - 142 West Platt Street (Corner of Bayshore Blvd. & Platt St.), Tampa, FL
Co-Chair F. Philip Handy
(announced by Straight Talk America on Aug. 3, 2006)  Chief Executive Officer of Strategic Industries, a worldwide diversified service and manufacturing company, since Oct. 2001.  Chairman of the Florida State Board of Education, appointed by Gov. Jeb Bush.  Has chaired eight statewide political races.  State Chairman of Jeb Bush’s gubernatorial campaigns in Florida in 1993-94 and 1997-98; and co-chairman of his 2002 re-election campaign.  Chairman of Limited Political Terms petition effort in Florida in 1991-92.  CEO of ComBanks Corporation, a bank holding company in central Florida.  Vice President for investment banking with Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, Inc. in New York, 1970-76. Started career as a securities analyst at Fidelity Management and Research in Boston, 1968.  MBA from Harvard Business School; B.A. in Economics from Princeton University.
Co-Chair Brian Ballard
(announced Feb. 5, 2007; also named as National Finance Co-Chair)  Managing partner of the government relations firm Smith & Ballard, P.A. and of counsel for Panza, Maurer & Maynard, P.A..  A co-chair of Florida Gov. Charlie Crist’s inaugural committee.  Served as chief-of-staff to Gov. Bob Martinez, 1988-90.  Graduate of the University of Florida with a B.S., 1984 and a J.D., 1988.

Florida Advisory Committee (announced Feb. 16, 2007)
Hon. Jim Smith - Shareholder in Smith, Ballard and Logan, P.A., Attorneys at Law.  Served as Secretary of State to fill a vacancy created by resignation.  Co-chaired the Florida Election Reform Task Force, 2000-01.  Florida Secretary of State from 1987-95; Florida Attorney General from 1979-87.  B.S. from Florida State University in 1962 and J.D. from Stetson University College of Law in 1967.

J. Allison DeFoor - General counsel of Tidewater Consulting, Inc. of Tallahassee.  Immediate past vice chairman of the Florida Republican Party.  Republican nominee for lieutenant governor in 1990.  In 1988 DeFoor was elected Sheriff of Monroe County; served in that position until he joined as Bob Martinez's ticket.  In 1982 elected Judge of the Monroe County Court at the age of 28; served until 1987.  Assistant public defender and in the state's attorney's office.  B.A. in geography and an M.A. in criminology from USF; law degree from Stetson University, 1978.  M.Div. and a doctorate in Sacred Theology from South Florida Center for Theological Studies.

John “Mac” Stipanovich - Shareholder at Fowler White Boggs Banker in Tallahassee.  Senior advisor to Jeb Bush's 1994 gubernatorial campaign.  Served as chief-of-staff to Gov. Bob Martinez, and ran many of Martinez's campaigns; started working on Martinez's Tampa mayoral campaign in 1979, managed his re-election campaign in 1983, campaign director of his 1986 gubernatorial campaign and his 1990 re-election campaign.   Executive director of President Ronald Reagan’s 1984 re-election campaign in Florida.  B.A. in history from the University of Florida, 1972; J.D. from the University of Florida Law School, 1974.

J. Antonio Villamil - CEO of Florida’s Washington Economics Group.  Former chairman of Gov. Jeb Bush's Council of Economic Advisors.  Served as Chief Economist of the U.S. Department of Commerce and as Under Secretary for Economic Affairs from 1989-93.  Undergraduate and advanced degrees in economics from Louisiana State University.

Cory Tilley - President of CoreMessage, a Florida public relations firm.  Tilley worked as a top public relations adviser to Gov. Jeb Bush for nearly eight years and served as his deputy chief of staff from fall 1999 to summer 2001.  Communications director for the Bush-Brogan gubernatorial campaign in 1998.  Executive and deputy executive director of the Foundation for Florida’s Future.  Communications director for the Republican Party of Florida.  Press secretary for the Bush-Feeney 1994 gubernatorial campaign.  Press secretary to Maine Gov. John R. McKernan.  Executive director of the 1992 Maine Bush-Quayle campaign.  B.S. in political science from The Ohio State University.

Kathleen Shanahan
(announced Dec. 14, 2006 as a Senior Advisor/member of the National Strategy Team)  CEO of WRS Infrastructure & Environment in Tampa and is serving as the vice chair for Governor-elect Charlie Crist's transition team.  Previously the President of Irish ROSE Consulting, LLC.  Senior consultant to John Thain, CEO of the NYSE, from Feb.-Sept. 2004.  Chief of staff to Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Jan. 2001-Nov. 2003.  Worked for Dick Cheney as his chief of staff on the 2000 campaign and presidential transition.  Senior Vice President Public Affairs/Government Relations with New York based Paine Webber Inc., 1996-2001.  Deputy Secretary of Economic Development with the California Trade Commerce Agency, 1993-95.  Senior Vice President with The Wexler Group, 1989-92.  Special assistant to Vice President George H.W. Bush, and staff assistant to President Ronald Reagan’s National Security Council.  Managed Gov. Pete Wilson's 1994 re-election campaign against Kathleen Brown.  Deputy campaign director for the California Bush-Quayle campaign in 1992.  Deputy GOP Convention director for the George Bush for President campaign in 1988.  Undergraduate degree in biochemistry from University of California, San Diego and M.B.A. from the New York University's Stern School of Management.

Hayden Dempsey
(announced Jan. 24, 2007 as Lawyers for McCain Co-Chair)  Shareholder in the law firm of Greenberg Traurig.  Deputy general counsel for Gov. Jeb Bush and lead counsel for Crist-Kottkamp.  Lead counsel and chair of Lawyers for Bush-Cheney ’04 in Florida.

Gus Corbella
(announced Feb. 13, 2007 as a Senior Advisor)  A director of the governmental affairs practice of Greenberg Traurig's Tallahassee office.  Previously, Corbella served as chief of staff to the Florida Senate President, as well as staff director for the majority offices in both the Florida House and Senate.  Master's degree in public administration from Florida State University and a bachelor's degree in political science and international relations from New York University.

Herbert Hill Peyton
(announced April 2, 2007)  Founded Gate Petroleum in 1960.  From Jacksonville, father of current Jacksonville Mayor John Peyton.

Florida Finance Team
Brian Ballard (above)
Marty Fiorentino - (announced Feb. 5, 2007)  President of the business development and government relations firm, Fiorentino and Hewett.  Served on Florida Gov. Charlie Crist’s campaign and as finance chair of his inaugural committee.  Was chief-of-staff of the Federal Railroad Administration under President George H.W. Bush and chairman of the board of the Jacksonville Port Authority under Gov. Jeb Bush.

Manny Kadre - (announced Feb. 5, 2007)  Vice president and general counsel of the de la Cruz Companies.  Was the team leader responsible for the development of management services for Governor Charlie Crist’s transition team.  Has served on the State Judicial Nominating Commission as an appointee of Gov. Jeb Bush, and Florida Federal Judicial Nominating Commission as an appointee of both Gov. Bush and Sen. Mel Martinez.

Florida Police Benevolent Association (President John Rivera)  (announced Jan. 28, 2008)

State Representative Mitch Needelman (R-Melbourne)  (announced Jan. 27, 2008)

former Florida Congressman Lou Frey - represented Central Florida in Congress from 1969-79  (announced Jan. 27, 2008)

Gov. Charlie Crist  (announced Jan. 26, 2008 in St. Petersburg)

Brevard County Commissioner Mary Bolin and Melbourne Beach Mayor William Stacey  (announced Jan. 26, 2008)

U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez  (announced Jan. 25, 2008)

State Senator Charlie S. Dean (R-Inverness)  (announced Jan. 25, 2008)

State Representative Clay Ford (R-Gulf Breeze)  (announced Jan. 25, 2008)

Florida Family Issues Leaders for McCain  (announced Jan. 25, 2008)

Miami-Dade Commissioner Joe A. Martinez  (announced Jan. 24, 2008)

Palm Beach County Republican Party Vice Chair Beth Kigel and Wellington City Councilwoman Laurie Cohen  (announced Jan. 24, 2008)

U.S. Rep. Jeff Miller (FL-1) Chumuckla  (announced Jan. 24, 2008)

General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, U.S. Army (Ret.)  (announced Jan. 23, 2008)

Orange County Mayor Richard Crotty  (announced Jan. 23, 2008)

Jacksonville Area Community Leaders  (announced Jan. 23, 2008)
Jim Adams, Former GOP County Chair in Nassau County and President of the Nassau County School Board
Warren Alvarez, Former member of the Jacksonville City Council
George Banks, Former two term member of Jacksonville City Council
John Bowles, Town Manager of Orange Park (Clay County)
John Browning, Former Chairman of the Putnam County Republican Party
George Bush, Clay County Commissioner
Daniel Davis, Jacksonville City Council President
Jake Godbold, Former two term mayor of Jacksonville
Ray Holt, Jacksonville City Council
Tom Manuel, Chairman of the St. John County Commission
Ambassador Marilyn McAfee, former U.S. Ambassador to Guatemala
John Meserve, Mayor of Atlantic Beach
Jim Renninger, Orange Park City Commissioner
Harold Rutledge, Clay County Commissioner

State Representative Stan Jordan (R-Jacksonville)  (announced Jan. 23, 2008)

State Representative Carlos Lopez-Cantera (R-Miami)  (announced Jan. 23, 2008)

On Jan. 16, 2008 the campaign announced the endorsements of:
State Senator Michael S. Bennett - serves the people of Senate District 21, which includes Sarasota, Manatee, DeSoto, Charlotte, and Lee counties. Prior to that, Senator Bennett was a member of the Florida House of Representatives. Senator Bennett served four tours in Vietnam in the United States Navy as a member of the Air and Sea Rescue.

State Senator Lee Constantine - has served as a member of the Florida State Senate from District 22 since 2000 and as a member of the Florida State House of Representatives from 1999-2000. Senator Constantine chairs the Ethics and Elections Committee and the Responsible Regulation Policy and Calendar Committee.

State Senator Jim King - elected to represent the 8th District in the state Senate in 1999.  Senator King was president of the Florida Senate from 2002-2004 and also served in the Florida House of Representatives from 1986-1999. Senator King will serve as Senate co-chair and northeast Florida co-chair for the McCain campaign.

Former State Senator Jim Sebesta - represented District 16 in the Florida State Senate from 1998-2006 and served as Majority Whip 2002-2004.

State Representative Jimmy Patronis - represents District 6 and currently serves as vice-chair for the Committee on Health Innovation.

Former State Representative Johnnie Byrd - served as a member of the Florida State House of Representatives for District 62 from 1996-2004 and was Speaker of the House from 2002-2004. Speaker Byrd is the founder of the Johnnie B. Byrd Sr. Alzheimer's Center and Research Institute in Tampa.

Former State Representative Sandy Murman - the first Republican woman to hold the position of Speaker pro tempore in the Florida House of Representatives, served the people of District 56 for eight years, from 1996-2004.

Former Secretary Of State Sandra Mortham - served as Florida's 22nd Secretary of State from 1995 to 1999.

Angie Boyton - President of the Marion County Republican Women Ocala-Marion Federated and serves as a member of the Republican Party of Florida African-American Leadership Council and State Secretary for the Florida Federation of Black Republicans.

Jacksonville City Council President Daniel Davis - grew up in Jacksonville and was elected to the Jacksonville City Council in 2003. Before being elected President of the City Council, he served as the Council's Vice President from 2006 to 2007.

Plant City Mayor Rick Lott - has served as Mayor and a city commissioner since 2004. Mayor Lott is a member of the Hillsborough County Metropolitan Planning Organization, the Tampa Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Tourist Development Council.

Atlantic Beach Mayor John Meserve - has served Atlantic Beach for the past 12 years, as both City Commissioner and Mayor. He served in the Navy for 27 years, including two tours in Vietnam, and retired as the Commanding Officer of the Mayport Naval Air Station.

Commissioner Carlos Irizarry - has served as commissioner for the city of Kissimmee since 2006. The first Hispanic of Puerto Rican descent to win an at-large election in the city of Kissimmee, Commissioner Irizarry is a board member of the Osceola Chamber of Commerce, the Early Learning Coalition and Junior Achievement

endorsements Feb.-May 2007
On Feb. 1, 2007 the exploratory committee announced the endorsements of:
U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-18)  Miami-Dade
U.S. Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart (FL-21)  parts of Miami-Dade and southwest Broward Counties
U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25)   western portion of Miami-Dade County and a large part of eastern Collier County
and on Feb. 6, 2007:
U.S. Rep. Ric Keller (FL-8)  most of the southeast and southwest parts of Orlando and adjoining suburbs

On Feb. 8, 2007 the exploratory committee announced the endorsement of:
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez
Elected Mayor of Miami-Dade County in 2004.  Previously director of the Miami-Dade Police Department.  Alvarez is a native of Cuba and arrived in the United States with his family at the age of eight.

On March 8, 2007 the campaign announced the endorsements of:
Miami-Dade County Commissioner Javier Souto
City of Miami Commissioner Joe Sanchez

On March 13, 2007 the campaign announced the endorsement of:
Tom Slade
Chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, 1993-99.  Elected to the Florida House of Representative at the age of 25 and also served in the Florida state Senate.  Slade was Duval County Republican Chairman and has been involved in Florida TaxWatch.

Central Florida Team (announced March 13, 2007)
Commissioner Mildred Fernandez - Currently an Orange County Commissioner.  She was the first Puerto Rican elected to the Orange County Commission.  Previously, Fernandez served as a commissioner on the Soil and Water Conservation Board.

Representative David Simmons - Elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 2000.  He represents portions of Seminole and Orange Counties.   Simmons is also a partner in the law firm of de Beaubien, Knight, Simmons, Mantzaris & Neal.

Representative Bob Allen - Represents portions of Brevard and Orange Counties in the Florida House of Representatives.  He is currently chairman of the Committee on Energy, and a member of the Environment and Natural Resources Council.

Nancy Acevedo - A former chairwoman and founder of the central Florida Chapter of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly of the United States (RNHA).

Brenda Adjamian - The senior aide to state Rep. David Simmons and long time Republican club member and political activist.

Jerry Braley - Currently the Orange County State Republican Committeeman and former chairman of the Orange County Republican Party.  Braley is also chairman of the 8th District congressional caucus and member of the Florida Republican Party State Executive Board.

Bertica Cabrera-Morris - Owner of Bertica Cabrera Consulting, a public relations firm in Orlando.  She was appointed by Gov. Jeb Bush to serve on the Valencia Community College Board of Trustees and most recently served as secretary for the Florida Inaugural of Gov. Charlie Crist.  Has served on the finance committees for both Gov. Jeb Bush and President George W. Bush.  In addition, she was a statewide chair for Governor Charlie Crist.  She is also a member of Senator McCain’s finance committee in Florida.

Alan Florez - An account executive with Brown & Brown, Inc.  Served as the Hispanic outreach director for Bush-Brogan 2002 and as special assistant to Gov. Jeb Bush.  In 2006, Florez was appointed to the board of trustees for the University of Central Florida and served on the transition team for Gov. Charlie Crist.  Florez will also serve as a statewide campaign adviser to Sen. McCain.

Justina Gonzalez-Marti - A retiree from The City University of New York and The University of Central Florida, and an active leader in the Hispanic professional and cultural community.  She has served in various leadership roles in local Hispanic coalitions for the campaigns of President George W. Bush, Governor Jeb Bush, and Governor Charlie Crist.

Marcos Marchena - A senior partner of the law firm of Marchena and Graham.  Serves on the board of directors for the University of Central Florida Foundation Hispanic Business Initiative Fund.  In 2004, Marchena was appointed by Gov. Jeb Bush to the Florida Transportation Commission and was recently reappointed by Gov. Charlie Crist.  He is also a member of Senator McCain’s finance committee in Florida.

Carlos Melendez - A central Florida political consultant; has worked in Republican politics for many years including a role as a former deputy director of party development for the Republican Party of Florida.

Julius Melendez - Has been involved in many Florida political campaigns and led Hispanic outreach for the Republican Party of Orange County.  Previously was a campaign aide to state Representative Sherri McInvale.

Lew Oliver - Chairman of the Orange County Republican Party since 1999.  He serves as a trustee to the Valencia Community College.  He is also the founding Partner of Quiñones, Fitzgibbons, Pfister & Oliver.

John Quinones - Elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 2002 and was the first Puerto Rican Republican elected to that body.  He is currently a partner in the law firm of Quinones, Fitzgibbons, Pfister & Oliver.

Tyler Sirois - Senior aide to state Representative Bob Allen, has previously managed statewide campaigns and is a long time Florida Republican activist.

Tony Suarez - Attorney and law professor at Barry University Law School.  A former Democrat state Representative and was elected as the first Puerto Rican member of the Florida State Legislature.  Switched to the Republican Party in 2001.

Justin York - Executive director of the University of Central Florida College Republicans.

On March 21, 2007 the campaign announced the endorsement of:
Roberto Martin-Perez
Currently the spokesperson for the Association of Cuban Political Prisoners based in Miami, Florida.  Imprisoned for 28 years in Cuba for opposing the Castro regime and immigrated to Miami following his release.  Martin-Perez is a leader in the exile community as an active voice of opposition against Fidel Castro's government on the island.

On March 22, 2007 the campaign announced the endorsements of:
Former Ambassadors Chuck Cobb and Sue Cobb
Chuck Cobb is senior managing director and CEO of Cobb Partners, an investment company headquartered in Coral Gables, FL.  Cobb was appointed by President George H.W. Bush to serve as the Ambassador to the Republic of Iceland.  He served as Under Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce for President Ronald Reagan.  He is the former chairman and CEO of the Disney Development Company and Arvida Corporation.
Sue Cobb was appointed by Gov. Jeb Bush in 2006 as Secretary of the Florida Department of State.  She served as Ambassador to Jamaica, 2001-05.  more >

Co-chairs of legislative leadership team in Florida (announced March 26, 2007):
state Senators Jim King and Durell Peaden; state Representatives Adam Hasner, John Legg, David Simmons, and Bob Allen.

On March 27, 2007 the campaign announced:
Palm Beach County Commissioner Mary McCarty and former Florida state Representative Joe Negron as members of his Palm Beach County Steering Committee.

On April 4, 2007 the campaign announced the endorsement of:
state Representative Ellyn Bogdanoff (she is to serve as southeast legislative co-chair)

Commissioner Mark Sharpe to serve as chair of the McCain campaign in Hillsborough County. (announced May 8, 2007)
Elected to the Hillsborough Board of County Commissioners in 2004. Before his election, Sharpe was an active-duty naval officer; he retired from the Navy after 20 years of service. Tampa native.

Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee as chair of John McCain's Florida Law Enforcement Coalition (announced May 8, 2007)
Has served in the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office for 29 years and became sheriff in 2005.

On May 24, 2007 the campaign announced the endorsement of:
former state Senator John McKay - in the commercial real estate business.  Represented Senate District 26 (Manatee, Hardee, DeSoto, Highlands and Sarasota Counties); served as Senate President; first elected in 1990.  Graduated from FSU in 1971.  Sixth generation Floridian; born in Winter Haven.

Newspaper Endorsements
Bradenton Herald   (01/13/08)
Daytona Beach News-Journal   (01/13/08)
Gainesville Sun   (01/20/08)
Orlando Sentinel   (01/20/08)
Palm Beach Post   (01/20/08)
Pensacola News-Journal   (01/13/08)
The Polk County Democrat   (01/24/08)
South Florida Sun Sentinel   (01/27/08)
St. Petersburg Times   (01/25/08)
Tampa Tribune   (01/11/08)
Copyright © 2007, 2008  Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action