Democrat Linda Jack, a veterinarian from New Port Richey, has filed to run for the Florida House District 36 seat currently held by Republican Amber Mariano.
Dr.Jack is a Florida native who spent many years traveling, performing and teaching as a professional musician, based in New York, Boston and Nashville. She then switched careers after obtaining a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine in 2006 from North Carolina State University and subsequently worked in Virginia and North Carolina before moving back home to Florida in 2015.
The 21-year-old Mariano upset Democratic incumbent Amanda Murphy last fall to become the youngest person ever elected to the state House. She won by 732 votes, or .6 percent.
Murphy had held the seat for three years. She won the seat in a special election in 2013 after then-incumbent Mike Fasano left the seat to take over as tax collector and she easily won re-election in 2014.
But, in what some analysts called a “Trump tsunami,” Mariano was aided by a surge of support for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in Pasco County by 21 percentage points, 58 percent to 37 percent.
Jack has been a member of “Indivisible Pasco,” an anti-Trump group organized earlier this year in Pasco County. She calls herself a Democrat with an independent streak, with a progressive stance on most issues but a fiscal conservative.
“I’m new to politics but not to public service,” she says.