Rubio's chief heads to PAC ahead of 2016

Sen. Marco Rubio's (R-Fla.) chief of staff is stepping down to help lead the Florida senator's leadership political action committee, his office announced Friday.  

Cesar Conda, who served as Rubio's chief of staff since 2011, will become a senior adviser to Rubio's Reclaim America PAC. Conda will also continue to serve as a part-time adviser to Rubio's Senate office. 

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Rubio is considered a possible GOP presidential candidate in 2016, and the move signals a step closer to a run.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), another potential presidential candidate, made a similar move last year, when his former chief of staff Doug Stafford became executive director of Rand PAC. 

“As we look forward to big things the rest of this year and beyond, this will allow us to maximize our team’s strengths as we work to outline a conservative governing vision for the 21st century and elect a Republican Senate majority," Rubio said in a statement. 

The Florida lawmaker has said he would decide on a presidential run this time next year. His leadership PAC has brought in nearly $2.3 million this cycle as of the last filing.  

Rubio's current deputy chief of staff, Alberto Martinez, will move up to chief of staff and Rubio's state director, Todd Reid, will fill the deputy chief of staff position. 

Conda worked on Mitt Romney's presidential campaign in 2008 as an economic policy adviser and held a similar position during former Sen. Bob Dole's failed presidential bid in 1996. He also worked on Rubio's 2010 campaign. 

Conda has served in various positions on Capitol Hill in the past and acted as assistant to former Vice President Dick Cheney for domestic policy in 2001.