Mee⁠t⁠ Em⁠i⁠ly Duda Buckley — One of ⁠t⁠he 30-under-30 R⁠i⁠s⁠i⁠ng S⁠t⁠ars of Flor⁠i⁠da Pol⁠i⁠⁠t⁠⁠i⁠cs

By: Guest Author / 2016



As a member of the powerful Duda agriculture family,Emily Duda Buckleygrew up at the intersection of farming and politics.

Buckley, a 2013 Florida State alumna, is taking over the lobbying efforts for her family’s business while also representing a host of other clients for the firm Jones Walker.

Here’s Duda Buckley in her own words.

I am (age) …25

I live in …Tallahassee, but I grew up in Oviedo, Florida.

I got into politics because… growing up in Florida agriculture meant growing up in Florida politics. From an early age, I knew I had a passion for politics and the political process and that I wanted to be a part of it.

One principle I always put above politics is… integrity. People might not always remember what you did, but they remember how you made them feel. It never makes you feel good when you realize someone wasn’t being truthful or sincere.

Person or people who gave me my first shot…David Rancourt, who gave me my first look at the world of lobbying. Everyone at The James Madison Institute and in GovernorRick Scott’s Legislative Affairs Office, who helped mold my passion for the process. SpeakerWill Weatherford, who brought me over to the Legislature Legislative Branch and gave me my first paying job. Finally,Chris Moya, who hired me right out of college and gave me the opportunity to work on many various issues and learn many valuable lessons.

When I begin a project or first work on a campaign, I look for… aDiet Coke and a notebook. Once I’m caffeinated and have some notes jotted down and a to-do list ready, then it’s a matter of assembling the troops.

I’ve been blessed to have these people as my mentors… my nana,June Duda, and my aunt,Tracy Duda Chapman. How they have the time to do all they do and always be there for me, I don’t know, but I’m very thankful to have them.

The people I most admire in politics are… the ones that understand the value of loyalty. It’s easy to get bogged down in politics, but I really admire those that stick to their principles.

One lesson I’ve already learned is… know the good and the ugly sides of the issues you’re working. It’s the lobbyist version of “never ask a question unless you already know the answer.” Things just run much smoother if you’re prepared on all fronts.

If I wasn’t working in politics, I’d be… teaching kindergarten or working for my family’s business.

In 10 years, you’ll read about me… as a footnote in the story of my clients’ successes. My best achievements are helping my clients shine as leaders in our great state, and I look forward to continuing to work hard for them for the next 10 years and beyond.