Andy Gardiner begins to outline staffing decisions for Senate President’s office

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Andy Gardiner, in line to become president of the Florida Senate later this year, has begun to make key personnel decisions about the staff he’ll put in place once he takes over the Senate President’s Office.

As first reported on this blog, but now confirmed by Senate spokesperson Katie Betta, Reynold Meyer will serve as Gardiner’s Chief of Staff.

Tony Cortese will be overseeing education policy for the President’s Office, among other responsibilities. Cortese is essentially assuming the role of Dr. Frank Fuller, who was a longtime adviser to Senate President Don Gaetz. Fuller retired from his public work with education policy and returned home to Panama City at the end of June.

Also in the departure lounge is Dr. Rick Harper, who has returned full time to his responsibilities as the Director of the Office of Economic Development and Engagement at the University of West Florida. Andrew Mackintosh, who is currently the Deputy Staff Director for the Senate Majority Office, will be moving to the President’s Office to take over those policy areas.

Stacy VanCamp-Garcia, a longtime advisor to Gardiner, will also join his Senate presidency staff. 

Expect to see many familiar faces in the Senate President’s Office: Lisa Vickers, Carol Gormley, George Levesque, Debbie Brown, Carlecia Collins and are all staying in our current roles; however, President-Designate Gardiner will finalize responsibilities and titles for the staff as the transition continues over the summer, Betta said.

Oh, and about Betta, one of the most respected communication pros in the capital … she’s staying right where she is, too.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.