Reporter William March has covered state and national politics since 1994. Email
Reporter Mike Salinero has covered Hillsborough County government since 2007. Email
Reporter James L. Rosica covers state government from the Tribune's Tallahassee bureau. Email
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Mitchell manages Nelson’s campaign
Posted Jul 16, 2012 by William March
Updated Jul 17, 2012 at 02:23 PM
Sen. Bill Nelson’s long-time chief of staff Pete Mitchell will manage his re-election campaign.
According to a Nelson campaign news release, Mitchell has been in the Florida political scene for three decades. He was director of the state House budget committee and chief of staff for Nelson when Nelson was state Treasurer in the mid-1990s.
Mitchell makes $169,459 a year as Nelson’s chief of staff, according to the Legistorm congressional salary website. A campaign spokeswoman said Mitchell will take an 80 percent cut in his Senate office pay to reflect that he’ll work four-fifths of his time for the campaign.
Nelson campaign spokeswoman Marley Wilkes said under a 1978 Senate Ethics Committee ruling, a staff member’s Senate salary must be reduced by the amount of work time spent on campaign activities, “in this case, 80 percent.”
Nelson’s likely Republican opponent, Rep. Connie Mack IV, has also tapped his congressional office chief of staff, Jeff Cohen, as his campaign manager when he entered the race last year.
Cohen remained on both jobs at least through the end of March, according to Legistorm , though his salary was reduced at the beginning of this year from a rate of about $165,000 a year to a rate of about $112,000 a year.
Unlike Nelson, Mack faced a primary battle until his opponent, George LeMieux, dropped out in June.