Meet Taylor Biehl – one of the “30 under 30” rising stars in Florida politics

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In almost a decade in the political arena, Taylor Biehl has developed an impressive resume and skill set.

He knows how to track voting trends. He can hold his own in a discussion of appropriations and taxation. And he tirelessly fights for issues whether they were on the behalf of state Sen. Mike Haridopolos, when he was Senate President, or for the Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association. He is now legislative programs director of Capitol Alliance Group.

This year Taylor and Dr. Jeffrey Sharkey formed the Medical Marijuana Business Association of Florida to help promote the emerging medical marijuana industry.

Policymaking has its perks.

Taylor and Dr. Sharkey recently had lunch with a constituent with a big interest in medical marijuana, the environment and margaritas — Jimmy Buffett.

Here is Taylor in his own words:

I am 29 years old, turning 30 on Nov. 12.

I live in Tallahassee but grew up in West Warwick, Rhode Island and Melbourne, Florida. I graduated from the University of Florida

I hope to visit Myanmar before it becomes as commercialized as the rest of Southeast Asia.

I got into politics working on Mike Haridopolos’ House campaigns in the early 2000s and subsequent special election for Senate in 2003.

 One principle I always put above politics is…LOYALTY. My father was an O331 Machine Gunner in the Marine Corp, serving in Vietnam and the recipient of  two Purple Hearts, two Bronze Stars and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. He instilled loyalty and its importance above everything else. As a child, on our way up North, we, as a family, would stop in Parris Island, watch the young Marines train and Dad explained that the Marine Corps shaped his life with discipline, loyalty and pride, and that we all have character defects as well as special attributes.

Person or people who gave me my first shot…Mike Haridopolos on his House campaign in 2002

I’ve already worked for and on…many state and local campaigns in Florida over the past decade, and I have also served in a variety of public and private sector roles.

 When I begin a project or first work on a campaign, I look for…Leaders.

I’ve been blessed to have these people as my mentors…Mike Haridopolos, Dr. Stephanie Haridopolos, Steve Winn, Jeff Sharkey, Anthony Pedicini, Mike Watkins, Bill Pfeiffer, my brother and attorney, Jordan Biehl, my best friend, Rep. Dane Eagle, and of course my parents, Carl and Christine Biehl.

The people I most admire in politics are… Elected officials who do what they believe is right and decent, even when it is not necessarily what is popular or what their peers want or expect them to do.

One lesson I’ve already learned is…That bureaucracy moves slowly, and few issues, even those for which there is consensus, are resolved quickly. At the end of the day, democracy, even though it’s not perfect, works well.

If I wasn’t working in politics, I’d be working in (which field)… I really can’t imagine me doing anything else but politics or government. From the time I was 14, I knew what I wanted to achieve and be a part of.

In 10 years, you’ll read about me… In 10 years I hope to be in a good place and be able to give back. I’ve been blessed with phenomenal mentors, friends and family. I was raised to never forget my roots.

You can connect with me on social media:Twitter @TaylorBiehl LinkedIn Taylor Patrick Biehl

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.