Meet Toby Philpot – one of the “30 under 30” rising stars of Florida politics

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For Toby Philpot, 30, involvement in politics is a moral duty.

Quoting Dutch statesman Abraham Kuyper to that effect, Toby believes that political battle is a calling, and for him this means the protection of constitutional fidelity.

Constitutional fidelity, to Toby, is “a principle that serves not only to preserve the Constitution’s meaning over time, but also to maintain its authority and legitimacy.”

Toby’s first break came from Alan Levine and Steve Madden, who hired him as a deputy communications director and special assistant to the secretary at AHCA after his graduation from the University of Florida.  From there Toby held roles as political director to Senate President Mike Haritopoulos, and deputy legislative affairs director for the Florida Department of Transportation.  Today, Toby serves as director of government relations for Health Management Associates.

Toby looks for people with shared values and goals when beginning a project or campaign, and admires ambition, motivation and purpose.

Latest tweet from @tobyphilpot: “What a country!”

Here’s Toby in his own words:

I am 30 years-young.

I live in Tallahassee …from Pensacola, FL …. I went to school at the University of Florida.

I entered politics because: As famous Dutch statesman Abraham Kuyper said, we not only have reason to become involved in the political process, we have a moral duty: “When principles that run against your deepest convictions begin to win the day, then battle is your calling, and peace has become sin; you must, at the price of dearest peace, lay your convictions bare before friend and enemy, with all the fire of your faith.”

One principle I always put above politics is: Constitutional fidelity. A principle that serves not only to preserve the Constitution’s meaning over time, but also to maintain its authority and legitimacy.

Person or people who gave me my first shot: Alan Levine hired me at AHCA after my graduation from the University of Florida. I had the good fortune to work under Steve Madden who was Chief of Staff.

When I begin a project or first work on a campaign, I look for people with shared values and goals, prodigious work ethics and a sense of ambition, motivation and purpose.

I’ve been blessed to have these people as my mentors: Slater Bayliss, Stephen Shiver, Charlie Dudley and Gus Corbella have all generously shared their time and sage advice over the years. I am grateful for their friendships.

The people I most admire in politics are: People who stand up for what they believe in even if they are standing alone.

One lesson I’ve already learned is: “Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance” – James A. Baker, III (former U.S. Secretary of State, U.S. Treasury Secretary and White House Chief of Staff).

If I wasn’t working in politics, I’d be fascinated by the opportunity to travel the world as a location scout for a motion picture company.

In ten years, you’ll read about me continuing to advance my notion of a robust society — limited government, individual liberty, and constitutional fidelity.

You can connect with me via Facebook: Toby Philpot, Twitter: @tobyphilpot  

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.