News 13 was one of the first to report the surprise victory of a 23 year old from Mount Dora who was elected as a state representative.
But now that the celebration is over we wanted to know how she managed to pull off such a huge win.
News 13 met up with Jennifer Sullivan at her parent’s home, which doubled as her campaign headquarters, to get more insight into what some would say was the most interesting race last Tuesday night.
Sullivan showed News 13 the massive map still hanging in the upstairs hall of her parent’s home.
You might think this young woman capitalized on her generation's grasp of technology and social media.
Sullivan says she used social media to stay connected to her voters, but thinks she won the election the “old fashioned” way.
Jennifer said her and her team diligently walked countless miles, knocking on thousands of doors and listening to people.
“I have worn out two pairs of tennis shoes, running shoes, so I’m looking forward to getting new ones,” said Sullivan.
It started in February; six days a week by waking up early, answering emails and making fundraising calls.
She said from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. she’d visit as many homes as possible both democrats and republicans.
“I’d walk all day and write personal notes to all the people I spoke within that day,” said Sullivan.
Her efforts paid off; though clearly, she was the underdog financially.
According to the Division of Elections, Sullivan had almost $78,000 in contribution records.
Randy Glisson who came in second place – had more than double that with almost $200,000 while Terri Seefelt had about $110,000.
“I think to them it was so refreshing to have someone who was there to work to earn their vote, rather than just buy their vote on television or in the mailbox,” said Sullivan.
Her parent’s house, where she lives, was campaign headquarters and everyone in her close circle pitched in; from cooking, cleaning and doing laundry for volunteers.
Sullivan’s Grandmother Jane Yeackle said, “We all believe in Jennifer, and did what it took to get her to victory.”
The signs are down but the work has just begun.
“I know I have a lot to learn, there’s a lot of ways to grow,” says Sullivan.
Sullivan said she’s still trying to work out the details of where she is going to stay in Tallahassee, but she is excited for the challenge and looking forward to bring a fresh young voice to the state house.