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Rick Scott taps top aides to head Senate campaign committee

Rick Scott taps top aides to head Senate campaign committee
© Greg Nash

Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) will tap two senior aides to run the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) when he takes over next year ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.

Jackie Schutz Zeckman, Scott’s chief of staff and the veteran operative who managed Scott’s 2018 Senate campaign, will become the NRSC’s next executive director. Chris Hartline, Scott’s Senate communications director, will become the group’s chief spokesman.

Zeckman has served Scott for almost a decade, beginning with his first term as Florida’s governor. Hartline is a longtime Republican spokesman and a veteran of Scott’s gubernatorial administration before he joined the 2018 campaign.

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Scott won election this week to replace outgoing NRSC Chairman Todd YoungTodd Christopher YoungShelton's Fed nomination on knife's edge amid coronavirus-fueled absences Grassley quarantining after exposure to coronavirus Rick Scott to quarantine after contact with person who tested positive for COVID-19 MORE (R-Ind.), who led the group over the past two years. Scott’s elevation will put him in a position to meet with and pitch top Republican donors around the country ahead of the 2024 presidential contest, if he decides to run for the Republican nomination.

Republicans will defend at least 20 Senate seats in 2022, and perhaps 21 seats if Sen. Kelly LoefflerKelly LoefflerLoeffler to return to campaign trail following second negative COVID-19 test Poll: Majority say Trump should concede Biden moves forward as GOP breaks with Trump rise MORE (R) wins a special election runoff to be held in January in Georgia. Republican incumbents have already said they will retire in North Carolina and Pennsylvania, and the GOP will defend battleground states like Wisconsin, Iowa and Florida, where Scott’s seat mate Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioDemocrats brush off calls for Biden to play hardball on Cabinet picks GOP senator congratulates Biden, says Trump should accept results GOP lawmaker patience runs thin with Trump tactics MORE (R) will be up for election.

Democrats are defending 13 seats in the midterm elections. None of the Democrats up for a new term are running in states President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden team wants to understand Trump effort to 'hollow out government agencies' Trump's remaking of the judicial system Overnight Defense: Trump transgender ban 'inflicts concrete harms,' study says | China objects to US admiral's Taiwan visit MORE won in 2020. Sen.-elect Mark KellyMark KellyTrump nominee's long road to Fed may be dead end McSally, staff asked to break up maskless photo op inside Capitol McSally's final floor speech: 'I gave it my all, and I left it all on the field' MORE (D-Ariz.) is likely to face a significant challenge in a state that will be at the center of the political map going forward.