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Meet Dustin Daniels — One of the 30-under-30 rising stars of Florida Politics

DanielsDustin Daniels has enjoyed quite a ride over the last few years, going from the position of student government president at FSU to chief of staff for Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum.

In addition to his role in the mayor’s office, Daniels sits on the Board of Directors for the Challenger Learning Center and the Board of Governors of the Leon County Research and Development Authority.

Here is Daniels in his own words.

I am (age) … 27

I live in … Tallahassee, Florida. Was raised near Weeki Wachee, and went to school at Florida State University and the London School of Economics.

I got into politics because … I remember what it was like to see my family and my community struggle, and I remember what it felt like to have leaders that had little concern for issues that they didn’t understand. I learned at a young age that the political process defines who and what gets prioritized; and if you aren’t at the table, you’re on the menu. I was also a bit of a career politician during my formal education. Class representative at Chocachatti Elementary, Senior Class President of Nature Coast Technical High School (campaign slogan: Throw some D’s on Exec!), and Student Body President at FSU.

One principle I always put above politics is … respect. Whether you assume good intentions or practice paranoia, recognize that almost everyone brings value to the space they occupy.

Person or people who gave me my first shot … Mayor Andrew Gillum, Dr. Laura Osteen, and Rick Watson.

I’ve already worked for/on (campaign, issues, etc.) … the public, private, and nonprofit sectors in more than ten countries. Much of my professional career has been spent in the international development and corporate social responsibility spaces, working with clients like IBM, Barclays Banks, and the Rwandan Ministry of Education. As far as campaigns, I’ve assisted Congresswoman Gwen Graham and Leon County Commissioner Nick Maddox and served as the campaign manager for Mayor Gillum’s successful run in 2014. I also currently serve as a volunteer for the Hillary for America campaign.

When I begin a project or first work on a campaign, I look for … the data. I like to know and understand an issue inside and out before putting any novel efforts forward. I don’t like to lose, and winning often happens on the margins.

I’ve been blessed to have these people as my mentorsSean Pittman, Jay Landers, Ben Crump, and Adam Corey.

The people I most admire in politics are … those that ground their work in something greater than themselves; whether it be faith, family, community, etc.

One lesson I’ve already learned is … “Never wrestle with pigs. You both get dirty, and the pig likes it.” – George Bernard Shaw

If I wasn’t working in politics, I’d be … a professor and part-time talking head on CNN and the Daily Show.

In 10 years, you’ll read about me … working to improve the state of Florida.

Connect: Instagram/Twitter/Snapchat: @DustinRDaniels

Written By

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including Florida Politics and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Schorsch is also the publisher of INFLUENCE Magazine. For several years, Peter's blog was 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.

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Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Renzo Downey, Rick Flagg, A.G. Gancarski, Joe Henderson, Janelle Irwin, Jacob Ogles, Scott Powers, Bob Sparks, Andrew Wilson.
Phone: (727) 642-3162
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St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

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