Governor-elect Ron DeSantis has tapped powerful Tallahassee and Washington, D.C. lobbyist Brian Ballard to co-lead his inaugural committee. It’ll be the third time Ballard has chaired an inaugural for an incoming Republican governor. He previously had the same role for Governors Rick Scott and Charlie Crist. Ballard is also close to President Donald Trump, who’s endorsement of DeSantis propelled him to the Republican nomination for governor. 

Ballard will serve on the committee with other lobbyists and prominent Republicans in raising money and planning for DeSantis’ inauguration activities that take place January 7 and 8. 

Joining Ballard and his wife Kathryn as co-chairs will be:

— Stanley and Gay Hart Gaines, Republican activists from Palm Beach County
— Lobbyist Bill Rubin and his wife and Lys

“We are excited to announce this special group of Florida leaders who have graciously agreed to serve on the 2019 Inaugural Committee,” said Governor-elect Ron DeSantis and incoming First Lady Casey DeSantis. “The 2019 Inauguration will be a celebration of our great state as we move forward together toward continued success. The Inaugural Committee will play a critical role in organizing inclusive inaugural events which reflect the diversity and uniqueness of Florida.”

Inaugurations are a big deal in Tallahassee, a city driven by politics and influence. The inaugural events that rap around the swearing in of Gov.-elect DeSantis are an opportunity to reward the new governor’s supporters, which includes grassroots activists and lobbyists. 

Other people named to the various inaugural committees are:

Inaugural Finance Committee:

  • Chair, Nick Iarossi
  • Co-Chair, James “Bill” Heavener
  • Co-Chair, Mori Hosseini

Inaugural Host Committee:

  • Slater Bayliss
  • Rodney Barreto
  • The Honorable Allan Bense
  • Brady Benford
  • David Browning
  • The Honorable Dean Cannon
  • Thomas L. Corr
  • Carson Good
  • Representative Byron Donalds
  • Rebekah Dorworth
  • Tre Evers
  • Joseph G. Fogg III
  • Anthony Farhat
  • Dr. Jeffrey Feingold
  • Tony Grippa
  • John Hamlin
  • The Honorable Adam & Jillian Hasner
  • Jeff and Sonya Hartley
  • Dr. Roy Hinman
  • Ken Jones
  • Marva Johnson
  • Jeff Johnston
  • Manny Kadre
  • Fred & Autumn Karlinsky
  • Tom Kukk
  • Ben Leon Jr.
  • Kelly Mallette
  • Albert Maury
  • Chris Moya
  • The Honorable Pat Neal
  • Bridget Nocco
  • Richard Parrillo
  • Robert Pereira
  • Tom Petway
  • Ike & Laura Perlmutter
  • Ambassador John Rood
  • The Honorable Robert Schenk
  • Ambassador Mel & Betty Sembler
  • Kent Stermon
  • Rick Sontag
  • Monte Stevens
  • Heather Turnbull
  • The Honorable Will Weatherford
  • Katie Webb
  • Derek Whitis
David Bishop is a native Floridian, husband and father. During his 30 year career, David has been a journalist, political operative and communications consultant.