Political strategist helped him unseat incumbent Alvin Brown in 2015.
Mayor Lenny Curry on Wednesday named his political strategist, Brian Hughes, as chief of staff.
The move comes six months after Kerri Stewart left the job to become chief customer officer at JEA.
Curry’s official announcement came after Politico Florida reported the hiring Wednesday morning.
In a statement, Curry said Hughes has “already put a powerful imprint on our city’s future.”
“From the pension solution to restructuring how we serve Jacksonville’s children with the Kids Hope Alliance, Brian applied his strengths to benefit this great city,” Curry said.
City Council President Anna Lopez Brosche said it was her understanding that Wednesday’s announcement was “just formalizing how things have functioned for quite some time.”
Hughes is the architect of Curry’s 2015 mayoral campaign, helping him unseat incumbent Alvin Brown. In addition, Hughes also has been instrumental in managing Curry’s legislative priorities, including pension reform and reshaping the city’s programs for children, including the formation of the Kids Hope Alliance to replace the Jacksonville Children’s Commission and Jacksonville Journey.
“I am honored to have him join my administration in a leadership role to help manage this successful team as we continue to accomplish big things,” Curry’s statement said.
Hughes is the founder and president of the Tallahassee-based public relations and political strategy firm, Meteoric Media Strategies LLC, and co-founder of the Jacksonville-based public consultancy business, Bold City Strategic Partners, with fellow political consultant Tim Baker.
Hughes is an U.S. Air Force veteran and a former professor at colleges and universities in New York, New Jersey and Oregon.
His businesses have advised many Florida Republicans, both in Jacksonville and statewide, including Curry and former Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater.
Hughes previously served as Gov. Rick Scott’s communications director.
Since Stewart’s departure in May, chief of staff duties have been shared between Chief Administrative Officer Sam Mousa, Marsha Oliver, the city’s director of public affairs, and other high-ranking staff at City Hall.
In May, Curry declined to say if he would fill the role.
According to the news release, Hughes will “fulfill his business and client commitments by month’s end,” and begin his official tenure at City Hall.