Meet Kathy San Pedro – one of the 30 under 30 rising stars in Florida

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If Kathy San Pedro hadn’t gotten laid off in 2009, she might still be a paralegal.

But when the law firm she worked for closed, she found herself with lots of time and energy. She attended a fundraiser for Jeanette Nunez, who was running for the Florida House.

“She seemed like a breath of fresh air. She was young, married, a mom. She had accomplished so much. I told her, ‘If you need help, I just got laid off.’ I went from being a volunteer to campaign manager to a legislative aide.”

She never thought about working in politics, but now she can’t see herself doing anything else.

“I love to get good people elected,” she said. “I like being behind the scenes, organizing, thinking up plans and implement them.”

She is currently running Bryan Avila’s campaign for state house.

Kathy says she owes it all the Jeanette Nunez. “She took a chance on someone who wasn’t a political science major or a Young Republican. She gave me an opportunity as a novice when she had dozens of people who could be her chief of staff or legislative aide. I stuck by her as a volunteer and she stuck by me and trusted me.”

Election season doesn’t give her much free time, but when she has it you’ll find her playing dominoes with her family and watching baseball. She comes from a baseball family — her dad played in Cuba and her brother played for the Washington Nationals. Kathy is a diehard Marlins fan.

Here is Kathy in her own words:

I am 29 years old and everyone calls me Kathy. I am a proud, first generation Cuban American daughter to the two hardest working parents I know.  People know me as the funny, energetic, insanely fast spoken Cuban coffee maker of the Capitol.

I was born and raised in the wonderful “City of Progress”, Hialeah.  I graduated from The University of Miami.  I still continue to live in Miami and hope to be able to travel the country for work and pleasure.

I got into politics … I never thought I’d be working in the political process.  I studied Philosophy. I wasn’t a “poli-sci” major or a Young Republican aficionado.  Now I really couldn’t see myself doing anything else. I was a plus one to a fundraiser in 2009 and was captivated by the candidate.  I began as a volunteer and the rest is history.

One principle I always put above politics is… Humility. Always be yourself and never forget where you came from.

Person or people who gave me my first shot… I wouldn’t be where I am had it not been for the opportunity and knowledge State Rep. Jeanette Nunez and consultant David Custin have given me.  They took me in, green and inexperienced.  She was a powerhouse lobbyist running for office.  The only thing I knew about campaigning was my unsuccessful elementary school vice-presidency race.  She trusted me to help her get elected and then offered me my first state job as her legislative aide.  We were freshman together and it’s been an amazing experience being able to work with such a star, now powerhouse member of the Legislature.  David Custin is the best in the business.  He’s a bulldog and I was terrified of him.  Now I am honored and grateful to have learned so much from him in a Padawan to Jedi Master sort of way. They taught me everything I know and I am blessed to call them not just mentors, but family.

I’ve already worked for/on…

State Representative Jeanette Nunez’s campaigns and legislative office.

John Couriel for State Senate District 35

Bryan Avila for State Representative campaign in District 111

When I begin a project or first work on a campaign, I look for… Believing in the person and being proud of the work win or lose. After that…it’s lots of Cuban coffee.

The people I most admire in politics are… Candidates who stay true to their beliefs and principles, and run for the right reasons.

One lesson I’ve already learned is…Keep your mouth shut. Breathe before you speak and if you don’t want it on the front page of the paper, don’t say it.

If I wasn’t working in politics, I’d be working in (which field)…A sports/entertainment attorney or a baseball commentator on ESPN.

In 10 years, you’ll read about me…Being a successful, respected woman in the political process like those I look up to.

You can connect with me on social media…I don’t believe in Facebook. If you want to know something about me just ask  🙂

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, 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.