More than 300 candidates are running for the 160 seats in the Florida House and Senate. And, try as we will, FloridaPolitics.com won’t be able to interview all of them.
So we are asking every candidate, including incumbents, to complete a questionnaire we believe offers an interesting, albeit, thumbnail sketch of who they are and why they are running. If you are a candidate and would like to complete the questionnaire, email [email protected].
Today’s candidate spotlight features Lee Brown, a Democrat running for Florida House District 13.
Here he is in his own words:
Significant other? Kids?
I am married to Clanzenetta Brown. I have three adult children.
Education background? Professional background?
I hold a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Jacksonville University and a master’s degree in Human Resource Management from Webster University. Professionally, I have held positions with the Northeast Florida Regional Council, HabiJax, Edward Waters College, CSX and the United Way.
What was your first job?
My first job was working at the Burger King located at the corner of Lem Turner Road and Edgewood Avenue.
In 25 words or less, why are you running for office?
I am running for office because I have served my community since I was 18, and I continue to serve today. I am a Purple Heart recipient, so I know sacrifice, and I am willing to sacrifice again. I am running because this district needs strong leadership and integrity. I have always worked in this community, and have done so with extremely high morals.
Did you speak with anybody in your political party before deciding on running? Receive any encouragement? From whom?
I did not speak with anyone in my party because I believe my credentials are as strong as anyone seeking public office.
Who do you count on for advice?
I count on God and a very small group of people for advice. Many in my circle often present opposing or differing views from myself, further allowing me to make the best decision for ALL people.
Who is your political consultant? Campaign manager?
As a political outsider, I do not have a consultant nor a campaign manager.
Who was the first person to contribute to your campaign? Why did they donate?
I was the initial campaign donor, and I did so because I believe in my message, and I think the district will as well.
Who, if anyone, inspires you in state government?
No answer provided.
Why do people mistrust elected officials and what are you going to do about it?
We mistrust our political leaders because we now live in an environment of backroom deals. Our first instinct is to take care of our personal interests, and the constituents come later. This is not the way to govern, and if I am sent to Tallahassee, I will meet regularly with my constituents to keep them abreast of our state’s political agenda — both the good and the bad.
What are three issues that you’re running on? (You’re not allowed to say education or “improving the schools”)
As far as my issues I am running on; there are four:
Quality Education — I am in favor of school choice, but not at the detriment of our inner city schools. We need to do more to invest in the good teachers to teach at those schools; I am also a proponent of Common Core Standards.
Public Safety — I believe in responsible gun ownership. Not all of our citizens should be allowed to own firearms. As a veteran, I think this is critical to the safety of our citizens.
Medicaid Expansion — Our poor and our veterans are suffering because they can’t get the mental health care they need. A lot of these folks live in District 13.
Economic Redevelopment — We need to reinvest in all of our economic corridors. Currently, San Marco is doing well, but we need to shore up University Boulevard from Arlington Expressway to Merrill Road, Merrill Road from University Boulevard to Southside Boulevard, Brentwood/Norwood Avenue north through Lem Turner Road to the Trout River. These corridors once flourished, and they need to be returned to their past glory.
What is a “disruptive” issue (i.e. ride-sharing) you are interested in?
My disruptive issue would be the disenfranchisement we have going on in the state attorney’s race. Don’t get me wrong — the Democrats did the same thing. But I find it strange that not one candidate for the state House is taking about rewriting the law to give access to ALL citizens. After all — isn’t that what legislators are supposed to do?
What does your legislative district need from Tallahassee?
District 13 needs money from Tallahassee for some of the reasons I have previously outlined. The district is large and diverse — and all of its citizens deserve a voice in Tallahassee.
Who was the best governor in Florida’s modern history?
My best governor would be … Bob Graham. Gov. Graham showed me as a young man he was accessible and listened to his constituents, no matter what party they were affiliated with. That was important then, as it is now.
If you could amend the Florida Constitution, what would you change?
To amend the constitution would take an in-depth study of all the issues surrounding it, including the unintended consequences, so I would not be in favor of any amendments presently.
Are yard signs an important part of campaigning in your district?
Yard signs are wonderful — but I prefer a handshake and the ring of the doorbell.
What’s the first thing you read each morning?
The Florida Times-Union.
Where do you get your political news?
The Washington Post.
Who do you think will be the next President of the United States?
60 Minutes or House of Cards?
Social media presence? Twitter handle?
FB: Lee Brown for House District 13.
In 140 characters, what’s a Tweet that best describes your campaign message?
“Service to others is key — allow me to continue to serve YOU!”
Golf, riding motorcycles.
Favorite sport and sports team?
Favorite Sport: Track and field.
Favorite Team: Jacksonville Jaguars.