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30 under 30

Meet Marlene Williams, one of the ’30 under 30′ rising stars of Florida politics

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When General Motors needs the Legislature to know its concerns, it turns to Marlene Williams. She’s the Southeast Regional Manager of Government Relations for the auto company, responsible for Florida, Alabama, and South Carolina. Williams learned her trade in the capital, having been legislative affairs director for the Department of Management Services under Gov. Rick Scott. She began in lobbying at a private law firm. She and her husband, Andrew, live in Tallahassee with their daughter, Mae Marie. Here’s Williams in her own words: I am … 28…

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Meet Josh Weierbach, one of ’30 under 30′ rising stars of Florida politics

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Josh Weierbach is no armchair quarterback, disinterestedly watching elections play out from afar: He spends his time on the front lines of Florida politics. As a one-time field organizer who now oversees the Florida Democratic Party’s often extensive field operations in the vital Tampa Bay region, Weierbach feels the pendulum swings of state political power from as close a range as anyone in the in the arena. The hands-on operations expert – who lives with his girlfriend, a medical student at University of…

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Meet Christopher Warren, one of ’30 under 30′ rising stars of Florida politics

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I am … 27. I live in … Jacksonville, Florida. I got into politics because … I wanted to change the campus culture at the University of North Florida, so I ran for student body president. One principle I always put above politics is … Dependability. I strive to be guy who comes through for his community. Person or people who gave me my first shot … Chris Quinn with JAX Chamber; he had my back and I will always have his.…

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Meet Jodi Stevens, one of the ’30 under 30′ rising stars of Florida politics

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Based on her work, Jodi Stevens might be described as the secret weapon behind Tallahassee’s Mayernick Group lobbying firm. The 28-year-old handles a plethora of behind-the-scenes duties, from coordinating meetings with lawmakers and monitoring legislative hearings to heading the firm’s research projects. She also “works on campaign and fundraising endeavors for several key legislators throughout the state,” she says. Stevens operates a political committee, Alliance For Honest Government, that has raised more than $40,000 since last year and gives mostly to Republican candidates, including state Reps. Matt…

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Meet Megan Sirjane-Samples, one of the ’30 under 30′ rising stars of Florida politics

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When Florida’s cities need help on transportation issues before the Legislature, they turn to Megan Sirjane-Samples. That’s her specialty as a lobbyist for the Florida League of Cities, which represents the interests of Florida’s 411 municipalities. Before she joined the League in 2013, Sirjane-Samples lobbied at Tallahassee’s Pittman Law Group. There, she also represented “a multitude of local governments,” she says. Sirjane-Samples has managed political campaigns, and is president of the Florida Association of Intergovernmental Relations, which promotes and protects home rule. In her off time, she volunteers for American Legion…

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Meet Phillip Singleton, one of the ’30 under 30′ rising stars of Florida politics

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Phillip Singleton is the only consultant in The Process who can lay claim to the title “Hip-Hop Lobbyist.” He also claims a first: In 2010, he says he became the youngest African-American registered lobbyist in Florida history. The next year, the Florida Conference of Black State Legislators recognized him as an Emerging Leader in Politics, and he was included in 850 Business Magazine’s Top 40 under 40 in Florida politics. He founded Singleton Consulting in 2014. It’s a long way from his…

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Who are the ’30 under 30′ rising stars of Florida politics for 2015?

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To mangle Shakespeare, some people are born into politics, some fall into it, and some have politics thrust upon them. This year’s crew of the “30 Under 30” fall into all those categories. Take Keaton Alexander, a scion of a political family. She’s the great-granddaughter of Ben Hill Griffin Jr., longtime lawmaker and gubernatorial candidate in the 1970s, and daughter of JD Alexander, a former legislator who rose to chair the Senate’s influential budget panel. She’s now with the Jeb Bush campaign. There’s Phillip Singleton,…

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