Life and politics from the Sunshine State's best city

Meet Andy Gonzalez, one of the ’30 under 30′ rising stars of Florida politics

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Andy Gonzalez knows fundraising.

He’s director of political development at the Florida Chamber of Commerce, where he “coordinates fundraising efforts for the Florida Chamber’s Political Action Committees (PACs).”

Gonzalez “works to ensure Floridians continue to elect pro-business, pro-jobs leaders with clear positions on job creation and economic growth,” the Chamber’s website says.

Before that, he was was a political affairs manager for the League of Southeastern Credit Unions. Again, he was responsible for fundraising for the League’s state and federal PACs and advocating for Florida’s credit unions.

His government experience includes work as a legislative aide in the Florida House of Representatives and he’s worked on several campaigns.

A Miami native, Gonzalez graduated from Florida State University with a degree in political science. He followed that with a master’s in applied American politics & policy, also from FSU.

Here’s Andy in his own words:

I am … 29 years old

I live in … Tallahassee for the past 10 years.

I got into politics … my senior year of high school because I got suckered into volunteering on the Mel Martinez for U.S. Senate campaign. After my first day in the Miami field office I was hooked. Let me tell you, there’s nothing quite like campaigning in Miami.

One principle I always put above politics is … loyalty.

Person or people who gave me my first shot … The amazing team at PooleMcKinley and state Rep. Matt Gaetz.

I’ve already worked for/on (campaign, issues, etc.) … Florida Student Association, PooleMcKinley, Rep. Gaetz, League of Southeastern Credit Unions. I have also had the opportunity to work on or assist in a multitude of campaigns across the state throughout the years.

When I begin a project or first work on a campaign, I look for … a passionate, dedicated and ambitious team. Three traits that can’t be taught and are invaluable in this process.

I’ve been blessed to have these people as my mentors … my mother Jeanette Gonzalez, who inspires me each and every day. Whatever I am today is due to the values my mom instilled in me. Professionally, I’ve been fortunate to have so many individuals give me guidance and advice throughout my career. They know who they are and I can’t thank them enough.

The people I most admire in politics are … any elected official that puts principles before politics and wakes up each and every day fighting for their constituency.

One lesson I’ve already learned is … be nice to the person at the front desk.

If I wasn’t working in politics, I’d be … a pilot. When I was a kid, my dad would take me to Miami International Airport to watch planes land and take off. Ever since, I’ve been obsessed with aviation. I hope to get my pilot’s license one day.

In 10 years, you’ll read about me … giving back to my alma mater, The Florida State University. Go Noles!!

Before joining Florida Politics, journalist and attorney James Rosica was state government reporter for The Tampa Tribune. He attended journalism school in Washington, D.C., working at dailies and weekly papers in Philadelphia after graduation. Rosica joined the Tallahassee Democrat in 1997, later moving to the courts beat, where he reported on the 2000 presidential recount. In 2005, Rosica left journalism to attend law school in Philadelphia, afterwards working part time for a public-interest law firm. Returning to writing, he covered three legislative sessions in Tallahassee for The Associated Press, before joining the Tribune’s re-opened Tallahassee bureau in 2013. He can be reached at [email protected]

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