Press Release

Rep. Castor Announces Staff Leadership Changes for 117th Congress

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Washington, December 7, 2020 | comments

Today, U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (FL14) announced today that her longtime chief of staff, Clay Phillips, will take on a Tampa-based senior advisory role at the start of the 117th Congress and Lara Hopkins, Castor’s deputy chief of staff, will be elevated to Castor’s chief of staff.

Phillips has been on Castor’s team from day one, starting on her campaign and then being appointed as her first and only chief of staff after being elected to Congress in 2006. Phillips has served the State of Florida throughout his life of public service, including as former Congressman Jim Davis’ (FL-11) District Director. Beginning in January, Phillips will serve in a dual-role as senior counsel in an official capacity and senior campaign adviser for Castor’s reelection efforts.

Replacing Phillips as chief of staff is Lara Hopkins, a Florida native and University of Florida graduate who has served Castor since her first campaign for Congress. Hopkins has served Castor in multiple roles, including finance director for her campaign, scheduler and office manager; administrative director; and in her current role as deputy chief of staff and part of the management team since 2012. In this position, she advises the congresswoman on all critical issues and specifically on Cuba, foreign affairs, travel and tourism issues, so key to the well-being of so many in Tampa.

“Lara has been an invaluable member of my team from the very first day of my very first campaign and I look forward to her seamless transition into her role as chief of staff. As a native Floridian and trusted adviser on the issues that matter to our Tampa neighbors, she is the ideal person to serve in this position. I look forward to local partners and our neighbors getting to know her even better in the days ahead.

“There are few people in the Tampa area who haven’t worked with Clay, and I am grateful for the work he has done to strengthen our community and shore up federal aid through his long tenure as my chief of staff. From the economic downturn and housing crisis to the fights for affordable health care and social justice, he has used his deep Florida roots to tirelessly serve our neighbors, and I know that he will continue to be a valuable member of my team in his new positions.”

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