BATON ROUGE – The Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI) is pleased to announce its most recent addition to the political arm of the organization, John “Bo” Staples, who will assume the role of Director of Political Action Committees (PACs). .
Staples comes to LABI with more than a decade of experience working in Louisiana politics and campaigns. In his new role, Staples will focus on efforts to advance LABI’s long-standing mission of promoting the principles of free enterprise by maximizing engagement in LABI’s four independent PACs – NORTHPAC, EASTPAC, SOUTHPAC and WESTPAC.
LABI president and CEO, Stephen Waguespack said, “Bo is a vital addition to the LABI political team. He will play a key role in implementing concentrated strategies for political engagement in what is arguably the most critical election cycle of the next few decades. We are excited to bring Staples on to execute a targeted campaign strategy for 2019.”
Staples said, “LABI is truly one of the cornerstone advocacy groups in the state, and has been a pillar in Louisiana politics for more than 40 years. I’m excited to join their talented team as we move into what will be a pivotal election year for the state of Louisiana.”
In another development in LABI’s political team, John Diez Jr. will pivot from Political Director to an outside consultant. Diez has accepted a full-time position as the Marketing Director for Louisiana with Volkert, Inc. Volkert is a top 100 U.S. infrastructure engineering firm serving state and federal agencies, local and municipal governments, private industry, and select international clients.
The latest staffing moves amplify an already robust unit focused on political activity at LABI. In addition to Diez as an outside consultant, Staples as Director of PACs, Renee Amar will remain Deputy PAC Director, Mariah Manuel as Political Manager and Marie Centanni will head up the Louisiana Free Enterprise Institute, while Courtney Baker joins the team for strategic fundraising. Waguespack continued, “This carefully crafted, high caliber team is poised and ready to take on the challenge of 2019 and beyond, and I’m pleased John will remain a critical part of that. The reality is our political world has changed, the challenge is more demanding, and our approach must evolve to meet that new demand.”
Staples got his start in 2008 working for the Republican Party of Louisiana as the Deputy Political Director and Communications Director. In both capacities, Staples was immersed in statewide campaign operations, intergovernmental relations, data management, opposition research, candidate recruitment and coalition building.
Staples has since then developed a name for his campaign ground game. He has served as everything from the Field Operative for Senator Bill Cassidy’s campaign for Congress, the Finance Director for Neil Riser for Congress to the Campaign Manager for Scott McKnight for State Senate and the Political and Executive Director for the Republican Party of Louisiana.
In 2009, Staples started his own political consulting firm, Politiceaux Consulting. His firm focused on campaign, grassroots and messaging strategy. Staples comes to LABI from his most recent position as the Chief of Staff for PSC Commissioner, Craig Greene.