Rachel Cone, a veteran of state and local governments and early hire of Gov. Rick Scott‘s administration, is joining top Tallahassee lobbying firm Southern Strategy Group.
In the run-up to Scott’s 2014 re-election campaign, she was one of the go-to senior staffers who was known for doing her homework, being a straight shooter and maintaining relationships in a town where that’s hard to do.
“Rachel has been a superstar in Governor Scott’s administration and brings the same problem-solving skills to the private sector. She’s a skilled advocate who will perfectly mesh with our team and clients,” SSG founder Paul Bradshaw said.
Florida Politics recently named Cone of the 2017 Session winners, and she served as interim Secretary of the Florida Department of Transportation in what was one of the most divisive legislative sessions on record.
One fan of Cone is state Sen. Jeff Brandes, one of the Legislature’s leaders on all issues transportation-related.
“Rachel is an incredible leader with an impressive background,” Brandes said. “When she took on the role of interim Secretary at FDOT, she did so with ease, and I truly enjoyed working with her during her time there.”
Continued Brandes: “I know she will continue to be successful in the next chapter of her career.”
Since January 2015, she has served on FDOT’s executive leadership team, managing the department’s $11 billion work program, and overseeing the offices of procurement, technology, budget, public-private partnership financing, human resources and other administrative units.
Cone joined the administration in 2011 to direct communications strategies for the Department of Environmental Protection and the state’s water management districts. She then joined the governor’s office as a deputy chief of staff managing a broad portfolio of agencies primarily in the transportation, economic development, tourism, procurement and environmental areas.
She also served in the administration of Jacksonville Mayor John Peyton. Cone began her career as a reporter at the Florida Times-Union.
At SSG, Cone will certainly have her hands full.
Among the group’s long advocacy list include transportation-related clients American Traffic Solutions; highway construction firm Anderson Columbia Co.; Central Florida Expressway and Central Florida Regional Transportation authorities; Cruise Lines International Association; the Florida Trucking Association; Okaloosa County’s Mid-Bay Bridge Authority and Sunshine Gasoline Distributors in Doral.
By: Peter Schorsch