Page 143

“It’s a shame that, because of a few bad apples, the whole industry gets taken down. Ninetynine percent of lobbyists are really good, down-toearth people trying to get their clients a voice in state government.” — JUSTIN DAY

national finance committee, as Tampa Bay regional finance chairman for the campaign, and as national chair for the DNC’s Gen44 program. After Sink’s nail-biting loss to Rick Scott in November of 2010, Day said he felt at a crossroads. He was burned out by working on campaigns, but wanted to stay involved with politics. And he wanted something long term. There was an offer to become an insurance agent, which he says simply “was just not very appealing to me.” The idea of becoming a lobbyist then entered into his consciousness. “I thought I could become a good lobbyist. I think I could help bring some clients in,” he remembers thinking at the time. Day says he believes most people probably don’t grow up wanting to be a lobbyist, and it certainly wasn’t one of the professions he aspired to while in high school. “I think it just kind of happens naturally, and when you’re in that environment, up in Tallahassee, you’re in the policy process, it’s just sort of a natural transition, to go that route. But that seemed to be a natural step in a long-term career that I thought I could be successful and bring value to the firm, and bring value to clients. “ While Day works hard for his clients, he also has a lot of fun. Sky diving? Check. Mountain climbing? Yes. Bull riding (in St. Cloud)? Yes. And add some surfing in St. Bart’s. “I consider myself something of an

adventurer, and like to do some crazy things,” he says, quoting lyrics from Tim McGraw’s 2004 hit, “Live Like You Were Dying.” But there’s more on the horizon, including a possible statewide run by one of his friends, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn. Like Buckhorn and Sink, Day’s personal brand of Democratic politics seems to be on the centrist level. He says he’s really about getting things accomplished for the

people, party be damned. “To me, it’s not about party. It’s about people who are going to go to Tallahassee or Washington and get stuff done. I might be a Democrat by my registration, but at the end of the day I’m a moderate. I just want to get good people in — I’m supporting some Republicans just like I’m supporting Democrats who I think are good people who are going to go to Tallahassee and do good work.” ][

WINTER 2016 INFLUENCE | 141

Profile for Extensive Enterprises Media

INFLUENCE Florida Winter 2016  

The people, professionals and lifestyle of Florida politics

INFLUENCE Florida Winter 2016  

The people, professionals and lifestyle of Florida politics