Veteran Florida Republican operative Susie Wiles will be heading Donald Trump‘s campaign in Florida while Karen Giorno, who had been Trump’s top aide in the crucial Sunshine State, will move to a “bigger role” with the national Trump campaign as chairwoman of coalitions.
The changes happened late Wednesday.
“I would say we’re moving the chairs around a little bit,” said Wiles, who only last week was tapped by the Trump campaign to oversee communications for battleground states such as Florida, Ohio and North Carolina.
“I was asked if I would change and come to Florida and relieve Karen Giorno to do this bigger role, which is the coalitions role,” Wiles said.
Giorno couldn’t immediately be reached. Giorno spearheaded Trump’s successful Florida primary campaign, which saw the part-time Palm Beacher win the state and knock Sen. Marco Rubio out of the race.
Wiles last year was named co-chair of Trump’s Florida campaign, a largely ceremonial role. She also was one of two Florida representatives on the Republican National Convention Rules Committee, which beat back efforts by Trump foes to unbind convention delegates.
Wiles said her immediate tasks will include opening about two dozen field offices around the state in cooperation with the Republican National Committee. The Clinton campaign has about 50 such offices while the Trump campaign opened its first one — aside from its headquarters in Sarasota and three RVs that are traversing the state — on Tuesday in Winter Garden.
Wiles managed Republican outsider Rick Scott‘s victorious GOP primary campaign in 2010, stunning party establishment favorite Bill McCollum. She lives in Jacksonville and is a partner in the powerhouse Ballard Partners lobbying firm. Lead partner Brian Ballard is Trump’s Florida finance chairman.