Meet Tyler Hudson — one of the “30 under 30″ rising stars in Florida politics

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Tyler Hudson remembers thinking, at age 15, that politics was “an exciting, challenging profession where people worked hard each day to improve the lives of their fellow citizens.”

Twelve years later, Tyler continues following that dream, blending his University of Florida law degree with political action.  He has worked as a press intern for John Edwards for President 2004; as a speechwriter for the 2004 Democratic National Convention and Jim Davis for Governor 2006; has consulted in DC for Hilltop Public Solutions; was a Florida Deputy Field Director for Obama’s 2008 election; and will be joining the Tampa office of Holland & Knight in the Fall of 2013.

When beginning a project or campaign, Tyler looks for talent. “The success of any collaborative effort, whether a project or campaign, is determined by the human beings involved,” he writes. “Identifying talent is always step one.”

Tyler values “self-aware” people in politics who care more about solving problems than taking credits, and has learned (the hard way, it seems) to always “double-check the directions you get from the advance team” on campaign assignments.  Ten years from now, we’ll be reading Tyler’s op-ed’s, pressing the legislature to move from Tallahassee to Lakeland.

Latest tweet from @TylerJHudson: “Things more fun than studying for the Florida Bar: nearly everything imaginable”

Here’s Tyler in his own words.

I am 27 years-young.

I live in Tampa… Am from Tampa…. I got my B.A. in Philosophy at the George Washington University and got my law degree at the University of Florida. I hope to visit New Zealand soon enough.

I entered politics because… as a fifteen year old, I thought politics was an exciting, challenging profession where people worked hard each day to improve the lives of their fellow citizens.

One principle I always put above politics is… loyalty.

Person or people who gave me my first shot: Ana Cruz hired me as an intern in Senator Nelson’s Tampa office when I was 15. My mom had to drop me off at the office because I didn’t yet have a driver’s license.  

I’ve already worked for/on:

–          John Edwards for President 2004 (Press Intern – New Hampshire)

–          2004 Democratic National Convention (Program Staff / Speechwriter)

–          Jim Davis for Governor 2006 (Communications Staff / Speechwriting)

–          Hilltop Public Solutions (Consulting in Washington, D.C.)

–          Obama for America 2008 (Florida Deputy Field Director)

–          Joining the Tampa office of Holland & Knight in fall 2013.

When I begin a project or first work on a campaign, I look for… talent. The success of any collaborative effort, whether a project or campaign, is determined by the human beings involved. Identifying talent is always step one.

I’ve been blessed to have these people as my mentors:  Ana Cruz, Tait Sye, Nick Baldick, Jim Davis, Jackie Lee, Steve Schale, Jon Mills

The people I most admire in politics are self-aware, care more about solving problems than taking credit, and have a sense of humor.   

One lesson I’ve already learned is… to always double-check the directions you get from the advance team when you’re driving a van full of national press embeds to a live TV event for your boss John Edwards. This is especially important when you are driving a 15-passenger van for the first time while driving in snow for the first time. You may get lost and get yelled at by hungry, impatient journalists who were planning on doing live shots outside a nice home in Nashua, New Hampshire. You should also know that vans don’t stop as fast in snow – if you knew that, you might not rear-end the New York Times reporter covering the race. (May or may not be based on real experience).

If I wasn’t working in politics, I’d be working in (which field)… Law (where I will actually work starting this fall)

In ten years, you’ll read about me… writing letters-to-the-editor about moving the state capital from Tallahassee to Lakeland.

You can connect with me Facebook.com/TylerJHudson or Twitter: @TylerJHudson or http://www.linkedin.com/in/tylerjhudson/

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.