Gov. DeSantis hires new external affairs director

State Capitol
The Historic Capitol, foreground, and Florida Capitol buildings. Photo Colin Hackley

Mara Gambineri, communications director for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, will replace Justin Caporale as director of external affairs for Gov. Ron DeSantis, supervising advance work for his public appearances.

Meredith Beatrice, deputy communications chief to the governor, confirmed the hire Monday following a report about the personnel move by Florida Politics.

Caporale, a veteran both of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and DeSantis’ campaign for governor last year, left his administration position on Friday. He was among five staffers “voluntarily terminated,” as DeSantis communications director Helen Aguirre Ferré told the news website at the time. Like Ferré, Caporale was one of a number of former Trump aides who joined the DeSantis administration. Beside his campaign work, he was special assistant to Trump and operations director for First Lady Melania Trump.

Gambineri has held her position at DEP since January. Earlier, she worked in former Gov. Rick Scott’s communications office and held positions in various state agencies dating to 2012. She holds undergraduate and master’s degrees from Florida State University.

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