Add eighth-generation Floridian and Keys native Kate DeLoach to the list of heavy hitters in Tallahassee. DeLoach is an avid runner, adventurer and admirer of the island’s salt air. But DeLoach, a lobbyist, also plays a key role when it comes to highlighting complex issues facing the Florida Keys to state leaders and advancing solutions for a better island life. 

The Tavernier resident’s experience in government goes back many years to when she served as an aide to then-State Rep. Holly Raschein for six years. Her time in government opened the doors to relationships with an array of individuals and organizations from the local, state and federal levels. Today, as a lobbyist with The Southern Group, she’s guiding the priorities of her clients, which include organizations like the Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority, Mote Marine Laboratory, Monroe County Schools and Truman Little White House Foundation, to name a few. From environmental policy and housing for first responders in Key West, to simply bringing organizations back the much-needed bread, DeLoach works to ensure Tallahassee isn’t forgetting the southernmost district. 

When she’s not roaming the state capitol’s halls, DeLoach spends time with her husband, John. She enjoys reading, Florida Keys history and fishing. DeLoach also devotes time to the community as a member of the Mariners Hospital Board, Florida Keys History & Discovery Foundation, Good Health Clinic and Monroe County Preservation Commission. 

We tapped DeLoach for a little interview to give us some insight into what makes her tick, what keeps her grounded and what people might not know about her. 

What would your theme song be? “Eye of the Tiger.”

What superpower would you choose? To fly.

What calms your mind after a long day? A cup of tea and some light meditation.

What show did you last binge watch? The Office. It will never not be funny.

What three things would you have to bring with you if you were stranded on a deserted island? Flint, knife and a mosquito net. (We watch too much “Man vs. Wild”.)

What’s your go-to birthday dinner? A delicious broiled Florida lobster tail.

Morning person or a night owl? In yet another sign of my increasing age, I must admit I am now a morning person. Running at sunrise is the most incredible way to start the day. 

What makes you laugh, no matter what? My husband John and our cats, Porkchop and Pickle.

Best piece of advice you’ve been given? Be kind, work hard and try your best to do good.

Who is the most inspirational person in your life and why? Definitely my dad. He’s a force and the true definition of a renaissance man. More than anything, he’s curious, and always ready to see a new place or go on a new adventure. 

Favorite smell? Ohh, that’s tough. After being in Tallahassee for weeks in committee and session, the smell of sea air when you hit Jewfish Creek bridge is the most wonderful smell in the world.

Would you rather be trapped in a building with no way out or lost at sea? Lost at sea? Maybe you could be found eventually?

What item do you already have too many of but can’t help but keep buying? Kino sandals. I can’t stop.

Puppies or kittens? Both? 

Most badass moment in your life so far. Another really tough one! There is nothing that makes you feel more badass than successfully getting something funded in the budget for a client or passing a piece of legislation.

What’s the last lie you told? See above (my mind is never calm, ha!).

Best compliment you’ve ever received? That I’m too “nice.” I haven’t found that makes me any less effective. 
What’s your favorite word? What word makes your skin crawl when you hear it? I’m a lobbyist, so my favorite word is “yes” and the word that makes my skin crawl is “no.”

Jim McCarthy is one of the many Western New Yorkers who escaped the snow and frigid temperatures for warm living by the water. A former crime & court reporter and city editor for two Western New York newspapers, Jim has been honing his craft since he graduated from St. Bonaventure University in 2014. In his 4-plus years in the Keys, Jim has enjoyed connecting with the community. “One of my college professors would always preach to be curious,” he said. “Behind every person is a story that’s unique to them, and one worth telling. As writers, we are the ones who paint the pictures in the readers minds of the emotions, the struggles and the triumphs.” Jim is past president of the Key Largo Sunset Rotary Club, which is composed of energetic members who serve the community’s youth and older populations. Jim is a sports fanatic who loves to watch football, hockey, mixed martial arts and golf. He also enjoys time with family and his new baby boy, Lucas, who arrived Oct. 4, 2022.