Orlando Republican Dean Asher has brought on Anna Taylor, one of Gov. Rick Scott’s top Central Florida operatives, as his campaign manager in the Senate District 13 race.

Taylor, whose hiring was first reported by Frank Torres of the Orlando Political Observer, was the field director for Scott’s efforts in West Orange County in his 2014 campaign and has worked as a regional representative for the governor handling his Central Florida press conferences and rallies since his second inauguration.

Asher said he was “very excited” by the hire, and rightly so. Even though the Orange County Realtor is the frontrunner for termed-out Senate President Andy Gardiner’s seat, he’s up against former Democratic Reps. Linda Stewart and Mike Clelland, whose campaigns were bolstered by an infusion Democrats when Florida courts approved new district maps.

Taylor hasn’t been in the game long, but already looks to be a rising star in the Republican Party. Before joining Scott’s re-election campaign, the University of Central Florida alumna was a board member of UCF’s College Republicans branch and eventually served as the executive director of the Florida Federation of College Republicans, the group that oversees the chapters at more than a dozen Florida universities.

Taylor started her political career with an internship at Orlando consulting shop Swift, Vose and Pena in 2013 and in the same year founded the “Liberty Belles,” a club for conservative women at UCF. In 2014, she was named a “future leader at the heart of our party” by the Orlando Republican Women’s Network.

Asher currently leads the five other candidates in the race with more than $150,000 on-hand, though Clelland is already nipping at his heels after raising $130,000 his first month in the race. If Taylor brings enough ground game to Asher’s camp, though, he should be able to take over for Gardiner in the GOP-leaning district.

 

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