Chris Dorworth, the Lake Mary Republican who lost his seat in the state House two years before he was to become speaker, says he’s looking forward to his new career as a lobbyist with GOP fundraiser Brian Ballard.
“I chose to work with Ballard because I’ve seen that over my tenure in government, it seems that on every major battle that plays out in Tallahassee, Brian Ballard has been right in the middle of it advocating for his clients,” Dorworth told the Sentinel, a few hours after Ballard Partners announced it had hired him to launch a new Orlando office. “When government is going to suffocate a business from existing through onerous regulation or by creating a lopsided playing field, the party under attack gravitates to him because he’s the best in the business. I felt the same way and am honored to join his firm.”
Florida lawmakers are prohibited by law from lobbying the Legislature for two years after they leave office. But like House Speaker Dean Cannon, the Republican formerly of Winter Park who just launched his own lobbying firm in Tallahassee, Dorworth will get around that by focusing temporarily on other areas — such as the Governor’s Office and executive agencies.
“For the next two years, I expect to be involved in setting strategy and establishing a strong presence here in central Florida. To whatever extent I can help our clients with executive branch, regulatory or local government issues, I will be happy to help there as well,” Dorworth said.
Dorworth will then begin lobbying the Legislature.
“He’s going to play an important role for us when his two-year ban is up, lobbying not only the House but the Senate,” Ballard said.
“Obviously, everyone was shocked by the election results,” Ballard added. “But there’s nobody that has left the House of Representatives in my memory, really since [former House Speaker] Allan Bense, that has had the love of the membership as much as Chris Dorworth.”