Veterinarian and retired U.S. Army Reserve Lieutenant Colonel
Educational Background (limit 75 words)
Bachelor of Science with honors, Clemson University; Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia
Civic Organizations (limit 75 words)
Rotary Club of Apopka, Chamber of Commerce of Apopka, Sertoma Club, Kat Cadogan Home for Children, MetroPlan Orlando
Please describe your positions on the legislative responsibility for protecting the public interest in the Education, Health Care and Criminal Justice systems. Do you have any specific proposals to improve these systems? (limit 150 words)
The Florida Legislature has an absolute responsibility to adequately fund public education and to provide a system that gives all Floridians access to it. This system should include the tools to help Floridians reach their potential. The state also should make sure healthcare is available to all Floridians and that mechanisms are in place to keep healthcare costs reasonable. The Legislature also is responsible for public safety, and this takes a thoughtful approach. I was the prime sponsor for the STOP crime bill to make sure felons in state prison served at least 85 percent of their sentences. But I also recognize there is a need for alternative sentences for non-violent offenders that provide job training, job placement, drug treatment, life skill training, and the ability to get a second chance. I passed legislation to that effect when I was in the state House when few were trying to find these solutions.
Over 500,000 working poor Florida citizens remain without health insurance. Would you support tapping federal dollars to cover these people? If not, what kind of plan do you support? (limit 150 words)
An estimated 300,000 people died from gun violence between 2004 and 2014. Here at home in Orlando, the June 12 nightclub shooting saw 49 people killed, and 50 more wounded. Do you support or oppose a state ban on assault weapons and/or more thorough background checks? (limit 150 words)
The most practical approach in the short term is to build consensus by expanding background checks with measures such as closing the gun show loophole and making sure people on the no-fly list cannot get weapons. Once we’ve agreed on these steps, we can work together on other approaches.