Meet Sydney Ridley — one of the “30 under 30” rising stars of Florida politics

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Sydney Ridley, 25, entered politics by complete accident. A Tampa native, Sydney had been working for an investment bank in NYC after college and started volunteering in the interim summer on a congressional campaign. She fell in love and decided to stay in Florida and work in politics.

Her first shot was with Mike Prendergast during his 2010 congressional campaign where she started as a volunteer and ended up running the entire ground game.  Sydney has also worked for the Senate campaigns of Jeff Brandes and Dorothy Hukill, and credits her current “rock star” boss, Rep. Dana Young, as her biggest cheerleader and as someone that Sydney strives to be like some day.

Sydney’s first step when taking on a new project or campaign is to look at the numbers and demographics.

“Nothing excites me more than a detailed excel spreadsheet,” she writes, “Seriously!!”

Latest tweet from @sydneyridley88: “I love vacations but I hate packing!!” 

Here is Sydney in her own words:
 
I am 25 years-young.
 
I live in Tampa … Am from Tampa …. I went to THE University of Virginia….WAHOOWA. I hope to visit any place but Tallahassee soon enough 😉 
 
I entered politics by complete accident. I had a job in New York City working for an Investment Bank in the fall after college, and started volunteering in the interim summer on a congressional campaign.  I quickly fell in love and decided to stay in Florida and work in politics.
 
One principle I always put above politics is honesty!!  
 
Person or people who gave me my first shot: Mike Prendergast. I started working as an intern on his congressional race in 2010 and ended up running the entire ground game for his campaign … And of course, my wonderful boss Dana Young, who is my biggest cheerleader.  
 
I’ve already worked for/on: Mike Prendergast for Congress, Dana Young for State Rep, Jeff Brandes for State Senate, Dorothy Hukill for State Senate, and as Dana Young’s Legislative Aide.
 
When I begin a project or first work on a campaign, I look at the numbers and demographics. Nothing excites me more than a detailed excel spreadsheet…seriously!! 
 
I’ve been blessed to have these people as my mentors: My dad, Fred Ridley, who is the hardest working person I know. My rockstar boss, Dana Young, who I strive to be like some day.  I am so blessed and lucky to work for such a great lady!
 
The people I most admire in politics are: Dr. Condoleezza Rice and my boss Dana Young.  
 
One lesson I’ve already learned is …pick your battles — best lesson to learn in this business. (Got that one from DY)
 
If I wasn’t working in politics, I’d hopefully be working for ESPN.
 
In ten years, you’ll read about me … hopefully nowhere!  I like being the person behind the person.  
 
You can connect with me via Twitter: @sydneyridley88

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.