Meet Robert Simeone, Democrat running for House District 85


simeone-085-largeMore than 300 candidates are running for the 160 seats in the Florida House and Senate. And, try as we will, won’t be able to interview them all.

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, please email [email protected].

Today’s candidate spotlight features Robert Simeone, a Democrat running for House District 85.

Here is Simeone in his own words:

Significant other? Kids?

Vivian has been my wife for 19 years. Two teen boys, Nicolas and Matthew.

Education background?

B.S. at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical College (I am a pilot), Masters Public Administration at Nova Southeastern.

Professional background? 

Navy veteran, Desert Storm; Palm Beach County Sheriff’s deputy, retired after 10 years, currently a small-business owner running a DCF-licensed outpatient medical treatment facility handling substance abuse, mental health, and alcohol issues.

What was your first job? 


In 25 words or less, why are you running for office? 

I am interested in continuing my long history of public service; I have much in the way of life experience to offer.

Did you speak with anybody in your political party before deciding on running? 

Yes, of course.

Receive any encouragement? From whom? 

Sen. Joseph Abruzzo was most helpful.

Who do you count on for advice? 

My pastor.

Who is your political consultant? Campaign manager? 

Jody Young is handling both general consultant and CM. Scott Simpson at Resonance and Brian Franklin at Impact are on the team.

Who was the first person to contribute to your campaign? Why did they donate? 

Me.  I put $100,000 into the race to show that I am serious about winning in November.

Who, if anyone, inspires you in state government?  

I read Reuben Askew‘s book “The Golden Age of Florida Politics” a long time ago and knew this was what I wanted to do. Bob Graham is a personal favorite as well.

Why do people mistrust elected officials and what are you going to do about it?  

People mistrust anybody who says one thing and does another. I hold myself to a higher standard and will always work hard to do what’s best for my constituents.

What are 3 issues that you’re running on? (You’re not allowed to say education or “improving the schools”)

Support small local business. Expanding access to health care. Dealing with the Everglades is a very big deal in my district, and I support Sen. [Joe] Negron‘s plan to buy the land.

What is a “disruptive” issue (i.e., ride-sharing) you are interested in?  

We need to confront climate change now.

What does your legislative district need from Tallahassee?  

More support for the biotech industry.

Who was the best governor in Florida’s modern history?  

Reuben Askew.

If you could amend the Florida Constitution, what would you change? 

Former felon voting rights.

Are yard signs an important part of campaigning in your district? 

They are low on the totem pole, but still helpful.

What’s the first thing you read each morning?  

Palm Beach Post.

Where do you get your political news?  

My consultant sends me links at 4:30 a.m.

Who do you think will be the next President of the United States?  

Hilary Clinton.

60 Minutes or House of Cards?  

House of Cards.

Social media presence? 

Very strong on Facebook and Twitter. Website is


In 140 characters, what’s a tweet that best describes your campaign message.  

Politics-as-usual is hurting Florida’s middle-class families & small-business owners. I hope to continue my lifelong service with your vote.


Driving motorcycles, flying airplane and helicopters, playing Airsoft with my kids and drinking espressos.

Favorite sport and sports team?

Soccer. Miami Dolphins.


Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including Florida Politics and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Schorsch is also the publisher of INFLUENCE Magazine. For several years, Peter's blog was ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

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