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4th Floor Files talks with Nelson Diaz about his junk food addiction and dedication to kids in need

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As a partner at Southern Strategy Group, Miami native Nelson Diaz  maintains strong relationships with both the Florida Legislature and contacts in his home base of Miami-Dade County, and was recently chosen as chair of the Republican Party of Miami-Dade County. Previously, Diaz worked as chief legislative aide to former Speaker of the Florida House, now-U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio.

Here is the file on Nelson Diaz:

Significant other? Children? Grandkids?

Amazing wife (Lisette) and beautiful 4-year-old girl (Liliana Maria).

In 25 words or less, explain what you do.

I help organizations communicate their needs to their government, be it locally in Miami-Dade County or in Tallahassee, and help ensure that the message and request is received, understood and addressed.

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

I believe strongly in personal responsibility and that each citizen is responsible for him or herself. Government should be small and limited in scope and our society should be as free as possible with as few regulations as possible. Entitlements should be limited to only those who are in absolute need and incapable of helping themselves and for only so long as is it is needed by those people.

If you have one, what is your motto?

A few: Be prepared. Hope for the best; prepare for the worst.

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

Kristi House — It’s a great organization. I served as president and on their board. We provide treatment for sexually abused children and trafficked kids. We also work with the state attorney to prosecute perpetrators.

Three favorite charities.

Kristi House, Amigos for Kids (helps child abuse victims), League Against Cancer.

Any last-day-of-Session traditions?

Not last day, but last week. Order Gumby’s Pizza (pizza, pokey sticks and that cinnamon pie thing) to the Capitol for me and my friends.

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

I love my clients. Wouldn’t want anyone else’s.

Professional accomplishment of which you are most proud?

Along with my other partners, helping to build up the Miami office at Southern Strategy Group.

Lobbyists are often accused of wearing Gucci loafers; do you own a pair of Gucci loafers?

I don’t. I’m more about comfort than looks and I just don’t find those shoes to be all that comfortable. Shoes just aren’t that far up on the priority list.

Who is your favorite Florida Capitol Press Corps reporter?

Trick question!

Other than, your reading list includes …

Of course, Sayfie, Politico, The Miami Herald, The Washington Post, CNN and Fox News websites.

What swear word do you use most often?


What is your most treasured possession?

My home.

The best hotel in Florida is …

Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club.

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?

Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Reubin Askew and Jon Mills.

Favorite movie.

Not sure. I don’t really watch movies. Too short of an attention span. I suppose Goodfellas or Scarface.

When you pig out, what do you eat?

Chicken tenders or pizza. Or anything (everything) at Joe’s Stone Crab.

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

Ronald Reagan or Abraham Lincoln.

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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