Life and politics from the Sunshine State's best city

4th Floor Files talks with Heather Turnbull about David Beckham and other passions in the capital city

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Rubin Group partner Heather Turnbull represents several interests before local governments in South Florida, as well as the Florida Legislature, executive branch and the Cabinet. She started with Rubin in 2003 as a consultant and promoted to vice president last year.

Turnbull began her career as a legislative assistant in the Florida House and previously worked as a governmental consultant before the Florida Legislature for a former member of Congress.

Here is the file on Heather Turnbull:

Significant other? Children? Grandkids?

For the past six years I’ve shared my life with Juan Muriel. I am also the very proud aunt of the most adorable niece (Hadley, 3) and nephew (Dane, 5).

In 25 words or less, explain what you do.

Navigate clients through Florida local and state government and provide a strong voice for them with elected and government officials.

Without using the words Democrat, Independent or Republican, conservative or liberal, describe your political persuasion.

After years of working in the political process, I’ve learned my clients generally appreciate me keeping my mouth shut on this topic, so I will keep it brief. I’ve evolved from very partisan beliefs to learning the best policies usually come from the center. I most enjoy working with moderate and pragmatic elected and government officials rather than those with extreme views. I hold strong beliefs on social justice and personal freedoms and believe governmental practices should be adjusted as society evolves.

If you have one, what is your motto?

“If you obey all the rules, you miss all of the fun.” — Katherine Hepburn

During your career, have you had a favorite pro bono client?

Over the years I helped on a few pro bono appropriation items for charitable organizations: helped secure a specialty license plate for the Transplant Foundation to encourage organ donations and assisted on a few Animal Rights Foundation of Florida initiatives. However, I haven’t done my fair share and need to dedicate real time to focus on an organization or issue I am passionate about and try to make a difference.

Three favorite charities. American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), Companion Animal Rescue Endeavor (CARE), Florida Suicide Prevention Coalition.

Any last-day-of-session traditions?

Fight until the very end followed by dinner and lots of red wine with my favorite people in the Capitol.

If you could have another lobbyist’s client list, it would be …

I would not trade my clients for the world; however, I’m available pro bono to work with Brian Ballard on David Beckham’s issues anytime he needs my help.

Professional accomplishment of which you are most proud?

Surviving this long in this business and Bill Rubin making me a partner.

Lobbyists are often accused of wearing Gucci loafers; do you own a pair of Gucci loafers?

No. I’m really hard on my shoes (try being a woman walking around the Capitol grounds), so designer shoes are a complete waste of money for me. However, maybe I should try a good pair of loafers instead of heels.

Who is your favorite Florida Capitol press corps reporter?

I read them all and find them all very talented and fair. However, Marc Caputo makes me laugh the most.

Other than, your reading list includes …

For Florida politics, my go-to reading list is The News Service of Florida, Sayfie Review, Lobbytools and Sunshine State News. I also love to read anything unrelated to politics in my free time. Right now I’m reading the Game of Thrones series.

What swear word do you use most often?

All of them and often. Most of the time I sound like a cast member of the The Sopranos.

What is your most treasured possession?

Right now it is my Kindle reader. I love to read and travel a lot. It is the perfect way to have a book and reading materials at your fingertips without weighing you down or disturbing other people on a plane.

The best hotel in Florida is …

Toughest question on the list, since Florida is home to the best hotels. To narrow it down … Fontainebleau for dining and nightlife and Watercolor Inn & Resort for relaxation and enjoying my favorite place in the world … 30A.

Favorite movie.

True Romance, circa 1993. It’s written by Quentin Tarantino and has everything you want in a movie … all-star cast, romance, violence, drugs, Elvis, the best dialogue exchange in movie history between Christopher Walken and Dennis Hopper in the “Sicilian Scene,” and the movie’s opening scene begins with, “I had to come all the way from the highways and byways of Tallahassee, Florida … to find true love.”

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.

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