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

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

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 South Florida, in Tampa – hopes to oversee an uptick in performance over last year’s disappointing year for legislative Dems. If he does, he will again know the intimate feeling of block-by-block success that only electioneers with a field background can truly know.

Here’s Weierbach in his own words.

I am … 28.

I live in … Tampa, FL in the beautiful neighborhood of Seminole Heights!

I got into politics … Because of the Bush Presidency. I think that if I hadn’t grown up during the early 2000s I would have done something totally different with my life. That time period, the frustration that so many people had with our government, it really shaped my worldview and showed me that elections have consequences. It made me want to get involved.

One principle I always put above politics is … Loyalty. Know who helped you get where you are and never forget.

Person or people who gave me my first shot … Taryn Benarroch and Ashley Ball who hired me as field organizer in 2008 for Obama for America.

I’ve already worked for/on … Obama For America, Florida Democratic Party, Senate Victory, House Victory, Amanda Murphy, Keith Fitzgerald and Reggie Fullwood.

When I begin a project or first work on a campaign, I look for … Data. Voter Registration, age breakdown, ethnicity and election results. I immerse myself in a district’s fundamentals then I learn the texture of the district. Where do these voters live and why they vote the way they do? Over my years working campaigns, I’ve seen that different parts of Florida have very interesting voting patterns that are not told by the party registration, the ethnicity, or the age of voters. I really enjoy trying to find the bigger picture.

I’ve been blessed to have these people as my mentors … Beth Matuga, Stephanie Grutman, Scott Arceneaux and Dan Newman.

The people I most admire in politics are … Volunteers and interns. I started my career as a field organizer and I’ve always been humbled by people willing to work so hard for free for myself and the campaigns I’ve been a part of.

One lesson I’ve already learned is … Trust but verify.

If I wasn’t working in politics, I’d be working in … Public health or teaching high school.

In 10 years, you’ll read about me … helping to successfully bring back parity in Florida’s political arena.

You can connect with me on social media: Twitter: @joshweierbach Facebook: Josh Weierbach

Ryan Ray writes about campaigns and public policy in Tampa Bay and across the state. A contributor to and before that, The Florida Squeeze, he covers the Legislature as a member of the Florida Capitol Press Corps and has worked as a staffer on several campaigns. He can be reached at [email protected]

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