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Closing Argument — I Am Asking For Your Vote

What kind of Representative do you want in Tallahassee? My pledge to work only for the interests of the people of Manatee and Sarasota. Let me make my case for your vote on November 6.

You will be casting many important votes on Tuesday, November 6. Among these, you will be deciding who should serve in the Florida House of Representatives.

Right now, Tallahassee is out of balance. State government has cut taxes for out-of-state corporations while denying essential services to our citizens I want to be elected so that I can advocate for you, and for the interests of Manatee and Sarasota counties. I am asking for your vote, and here is why:

The District: I came to this area in 1979 to study at New College. After graduating from law school, I have spent my entire legal career representing the citizens of this area. I bought my home in the district in 1986 and opened my business in the district in 2009. Manatee and Sarasota counties are my home and my inspiration.

Insurance:  The private insurance market has not been serving the citizens of this state. Citizens’ Property Insurance was created when the traditional carriers abandoned us. Now the private market wants to take profits out of state, without ensuring there are sufficient reserves to pay claims. My opponent, Jim Boyd, has been a tireless advocate for the insurance industry. His main legislative accomplishment, PIP "reform," was an anti-consumer giveaway worth millions of dollars to that industry. Now he is pushing for double-digit rate increases in the property insurance market.

Education: Our local school systems have suffered devastating budget cuts in recent years. The Florida Constitution guarantees a high quality public education to our students. We must continue to hire quality teachers and give them the security they deserve. District 71 is home to outstanding institutions of higher education, including New College, the University of South Florida, and the State College of Florida. Our colleges and universities should be the leaders of our economic expansion. As your representative, I will advocate for public education.

Our Environment:  District 71 includes the Manatee River, Sarasota Bay, the Robinson Preserve, Emerson Point, our barrier islands and our beautiful beaches. We must vigilantly protect our natural environment. Oil drilling cannot be allowed off our coastline. Phosphate mining must be tightly regulated if allowed at all. Sarasota Bay is the jewel of our coast and we are all responsible for its health. Water supplies must be protected for the benefit of us all. I want to restore home rule to our island communities so they can make decisions in the best interests of their residents.

Ethics: I did not accept any Political Action Committee money for my campaign, and I limited contributions to $100. I did this because our legislature is presently controlled by the big money of special interests. My opponent, Jim Boyd, raised more than a quarter-million dollars, much of it from the insurance industry and out of state corporations. Who is he really working for? Representative Boyd claims to be bipartisan but he has voted with Gov. Rick Scott 100 percent of the time.

My sole interest in running is to be an advocate for the citizens of Manatee and Sarasota counties. My pledge to you is that I will be accessible, accountable and available to hear your concerns. If your priorities are similar to mine, then I am asking for your vote so that I can represent you in the Florida legislature.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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