House candidate Audrey Henson, founder of College to Congress, leaves the organization

State House Candidate Audrey Henson separated from From College to Congressa program she founded to financially assist Congressional interns.

The organization no longer lists Henson on its “Leadership” or “Team” web pages. Additionally, the candidate’s campaign began listing her as the nonprofit’s former CEO.

College to Campus provided a statement announcing Henson’s departure from the organization last fall.

“On behalf of the Board of Directors and all of C2C, we thank Audrey for founding this organization and illuminating the mission to systematically change Congress by empowering diverse, inclusive, and effective public servants,” reads the interim CEO’s statement. Dennis Ross and Chairman of the Board Kay Ann Schoeneman.

“She has been instrumental in the growth of the organization, establishing a comprehensive program that levels the playing field for Congressional interns. We wish him well and look forward to continuing the College’s strong commitment to Congress to make Capitol Hill a more efficient and inclusive place for generations of public servants.

Henson’s campaign did not respond to questions about what caused the split.

Now, there are hints the St. Petersburg Republican could challenge whether the group should keep its tax status.

“501c3 nonprofits that do politics should lose their nonprofit status,” Henson tweeted. It was not immediately clear whether this referred to potential legislation she intended to introduce in the Legislative Assembly or a blow to the organization she founded six years ago.

As recently as July 9, the website still listed Henson as founder and CEO of College to Congress and featured a complete biography detailing his journey from volunteer at the Republican National Convention to congressional intern to nonprofit CEO. The group, the page says, was founded to cover the real cost of unpaid interns from rural, low-income and disadvantaged backgrounds.

Notably, Henson is still featured prominently on the “History” page of the College to Congress website.

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“Audrey Henson founded College to Congress in 2016 based on her own experience as a Capitol Hill intern and full-time staffer from welfare programs and as a Pell Grant recipient who held two jobs and took out student loans just to intern in Congress,” the site says.

“Recognizing the political decisions made by staff members and their impact on underrepresented communities, she set out to create pathways into public service for those who came from similar backgrounds.”

Henson previously filed to run for Congress, seeking an open seat for Florida’s 13th congressional district. But in June she quirky his bid to run for the Legislative Assembly in House District 60. Henson won a Republican primary for the seat in August. She confronts the Democrat Lindsay’s Cross in November.

Henson also owns the excavation company, By the Bay Bobcats.


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Virginia S. Braud