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4th Floor Files talks to Darrick McGhee about marriage, less government and fiscal conservatism

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The newest chapter of the “4th Floor Files” features lobbyist Darrick McGhee of Johnson & Blanton. McGhee, with more than 13 years of experience in government, was the former director of legislative affairs in the Executive Office of Gov. Rick Scott.

Significant other? Children? Grand kids?

Happily married to Tikia McGhee (12 years); Two children: Darrick II (9) and Tania Lauren (4)

In 25 words or less, explain what you do.

I provide hands-on representation to wonderful people and organizations who strive to better the lives of those home (Florida) and abroad (the world)

Without using the words Democrat, Independent or Republican, conservative or liberal, describe your political persuasion.

Less government makes me happy and is the American way

If you have one, what is your motto?

Psalm 118:8 — It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.

During your career, have you had a favorite pro bono client?

I have just begun my private sector career so I am six months into it; however, I’ve had the pleasure of working with Family First (Mark Merrill) on a couple of matters. Awesome guy and ministry!

Three favorite charities.

Big Bend Cares; Moffitt Cancer Center (I lost three close family members to cancer); Lupus Foundation of America (my sweet mother battles lupus everyday).

Any last-day-of-session traditions?

Getting home as soon as possible. Once you’ve seen one hankie drop, you’ve seen them all.

What are you most looking forward to during the 2015 legislative session?

The convening and the adjourning! LOL

If you could have another lobbyist’s client list, it would be…

Travis Blanton/Jon Johnson

Professional accomplishment of which you are most proud?

Being Florida’s first African-American legislative affairs director (Gov. Rick Scott: January 2013=July 2014)

Lobbyists are often accused of wearing Gucci loafers; do you own a pair of Gucci loafers? If not, why not?

I do not own a pair. I am fiscally conservative and believe I can use the money for better reasons.

Who is your favorite Florida Capitol press corps reporter and why?

Tia Mitchell (because she is a fellow Rattler and I am very proud of her) or Steve Bousquet (He’s watched my career from the beginning and has treated me the same).

Other than, your reading list includes…

Sayfie Review (Justin is someone else who has watched my career from the beginning); Sunshine State News; ESPN; and most importantly, Twitter (LOL)

What swear word do you use most often?

I do not swear. I can get my point across and the full intent without it.

What is your most treasured possession?

Wedding band. Happily married to my college sweetheart.

The best hotel in Florida is…

It’s a tie between — Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa (Destin FL) or Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa (Bonita Springs FL)

You’ve just learned that you will be hosting a morning talk show about Florida politics. Who are the first four guests you’d invite to appear?

Gov. Jeb Bush, Gov. Rick Scott, Mac Stipanovich and Kathleen Shanahan

Favorite movie.

Hitch (Will Smith and Kevin James)

When you pig out, what do you eat?

Pancakes. (I can eat them for breakfast, lunch or dinner … please don’t tell my trainer).

If you could have dinner with a historical figure no longer living, who would it be?

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (without a doubt)

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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