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

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

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, who went from living off of savings and credit cards so he could do an unpaid internship at the Capitol to running his own consulting firm, where he’s known as the “Hip-Hop Lobbyist.”

And Samantha Sexton, who went along with her parents on hurricane relief efforts and coastal cleanups, developing her sense of service. She went on to become a Bob Graham Civic Scholar.

What they all share is a level of accomplishment at a (relatively) early age.

Some may be an arm’s reach from power; others are working behind the scenes, arranging meetings or grinding out research reports.

Many can claim significant campaign or lobbying experience. All can credit one or more mentors who took notice and helped them focus their interests or gave them a break. received over 2,500 nominations from political veterans, lobbyists, public officials and others for those they see as rising stars on Florida’s political scene.

As always, those nominations were reduced to 30 up-and-comers under the age of 30 who represent different backgrounds, outlooks and walks of life.

So, without further delay, the start of the “30 under 30” for 2015 begins today at 10 a.m. We’ll reveal five or six names every day. And the overall list will be updated below…

30 under 30 - keaton alexander

Keaton Alexander

30 under 30 - william arnold

William Arnold

30 under 30 - christina barker

Christina Barker

30 under 30 - zane beard

Zane Beard


Edward Brigg

30 under 30 - brittany dover

Brittany Dover

30 under 30 - brody enwright

Brody Enwright

30 under 30 - ida eskamani

Ida Eskamani

30 under 30 - cesar fernandez

Cesar Fernandez

rpof - new logo

Fresh Faces of the RPOF: Jordan Gibson, Wadi Gaitan, and Clay Barker

30 under 30 - matt galka

Matt Galka

30 under 30 - jen gaviria

Jen Gaviria

30 under 30 - andy gonzalez

Andy Gonzalez


Harrison Grandwilliams

30 under 30 - taylor nix hatch

Taylor Nix Hatch

30 under 30 - chelsi henry

Chelsi Henry

30 under 30 - Berny Jacques

Berny Jacques

30 under 30 - edward james

Edward James

30 under 30 - sara johnson

Sara Johnson

30 under 30 -ryan reiter

Ryan Reiter

jared rosenstein

Jared Rosenstein

30 under 30 - nick scher

Nick Scher

30 under 30 - samantha sexton

Samantha Sexton

30 under 30 - phillip singleton

Phillip Singleton

Megan Sirjane-Samples copy

Megan Sirjane-Samples

30 under 30 - jodi stevens

Jodi Stevens

30 under 30 - christopher warren

Christopher Warren

30 under 30 - josh weierbach

Josh Weierbach

30 under 30 - marlene williams

Marlene Williams


Before joining Florida Politics, journalist and attorney James Rosica was state government reporter for The Tampa Tribune. He attended journalism school in Washington, D.C., working at dailies and weekly papers in Philadelphia after graduation. Rosica joined the Tallahassee Democrat in 1997, later moving to the courts beat, where he reported on the 2000 presidential recount. In 2005, Rosica left journalism to attend law school in Philadelphia, afterwards working part time for a public-interest law firm. Returning to writing, he covered three legislative sessions in Tallahassee for The Associated Press, before joining the Tribune’s re-opened Tallahassee bureau in 2013. He can be reached at

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