Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Council member quits to pursue law school

ZEPHYRHILLS — When he turned 18, Daniel Burgess Jr. not only voted, he ran for office. And won.

Now 22, Burgess is leaving the Zephyrhills City Council early for law school in Orlando. His term would have expired in April 2009, but his last day with the city will be July 28.

Zephyrhills' plan is to have voters decide who fills his empty seat in November, during the presidential election.

In 2005, Burgess was the youngest member ever elected to the Zephyrhills council. Two years later, voters overwhelmingly decided to keep him in office. Burgess nabbed more than 80 percent of the vote.

During his civic tenure, Burgess attended college full time and juggled work along with his city duties.

He graduated from the University of South Florida in May with a bachelor's degree in political science.

Politics, however, isn't his career of choice. There's too much chance, he said. Voters could love you one election cycle and then vote against you the next.

"You could be gone within a lickety-split," Burgess said.

So he decided on law school.

For the past three years, Burgess has worked as a legal assistant at a Zephyrhills law firm. The work experience piqued his interest in the field, he said, but his years on the council gave him the confidence to apply to law school and make it happen.

"It developed me into who I am," he said. "Politics can make or break you, and it made me."

In August, Burgess begins his studies at the Barry School of Law in Orlando. He doesn't know which type of law he will focus on yet.

As the days trickle by, Burgess is becoming more excited about the next chapter of his life. He's also getting nervous.

"This decides my career, my wellbeing and how I am going to live the rest of my life," he said. "It's a big step."

Helen Anne Travis can be reached at or (352) 521-6518.

Council member quits to pursue law school 07/15/08 [Last modified: Friday, July 18, 2008 11:03am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Review / photos: Sunset Music Festival brings Major Lazer, safety upgrades to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa


    Somewhere beyond the barricades and mountainous LED stages of the Sunset Music Festival, there had to be worry. There had to thousands of parents in parking lots and empty kitchens, anxiously distracting their minds, every now and then checking their phones.

    Major Lazer headlined the Sunset Music Festival on May 27, 2017 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
  2. 24-year-old man charged with murder in shooting at Andrea Cove Motel

    LARGO — Pinellas sheriff's officers arrested a 24-year-old transient man Saturday in connection with a homicide at the Andrea Cove Motel in unincorporated Largo.

  3. Photo gallery: Calvary Christian rolls to state title


    View a gallery of images from Calvary Christian's defeat of Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium in Ft. Myers for the Class 4A title.

    Calvary Christian players circle up on the field before the FHSAA class 4A baseball championship against Pensacola Catholic on Friday May 27, 2017 at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, Fla. Calvary scored 6 runs in the first inning, and had 7 hits.
  4. Two girls found safe after being reported missing in New Port Richey

    UPDATE: Both girls were found safe Saturday night, police said.

  5. IT failure blamed for British Airways cancellations (w/video)


    LONDON — British Airways canceled all flights from London's Heathrow and Gatwick airports on Saturday as a global IT failure upended the travel plans of tens of thousands of people on a busy U.K. holiday weekend.

    Passengers wait at a British Airways check-in desk after the airport suffered an IT systems failure Saturday at London''s Gatwick Airport. [Associated Press]