Sen. Marco Rubio has hired veteran strategist Terry Sullivan to serve as his deputy chief of staff, rounding out a staff filled with heavyweights in both politics and policy.
Sullivan will oversee communications and messaging when he joins the Florida Republican’s office in early March. He has worked as a senior strategist and adviser for a number of powerful Republicans, including former Gov. Mitt Romney (Mass.), Sen. Jim DeMint (S.C.) and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (Texas).
“Terry brings critical experience and valuable strategic insight to our Senate office as we expand and further our goal of serving all Floridians,” Rubio said in a statement to Roll Call.
Sullivan has deep roots in South Carolina politics and served there as state director for Romney’s 2008 campaign for the GOP presidential nomination.
Although Rubio’s name has been dropped in the 2012 vice presidential mix, sources close to the freshman Senator have said he intends to avoid the national spotlight and focus on Florida.
The sources stressed that Sullivan was hired for his ability to handle the large volume of speaking, media and endorsement requests typical of a high-profile public official, not to help launch a national campaign.
Sullivan’s background in politics will complement Rubio’s chief of staff, Cesar Conda. The former Hill aide and lobbyist is known as a policy wonk.
Before working on the Romney presidential campaign, Sullivan served as regional political director for the National Republican Senatorial Committee in 2006 and as DeMint’s campaign manager in his 2004 Senatorial campaign.
Sullivan currently is the managing partner of First Tuesday Strategies. Under his leadership, the consulting group helped elect dozens of Republicans over the past two cycles, including four new Members of Congress and three Senators.