Just like in 2016, we’re again 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 Peter@FloridaPolitics.com.
Significant other? Kids?
Married to Oksana Massey, who is a nurse. I have three (31, 26, 24) and three step-children (24, 19, 17).
Education background? Professional background?
Education: Bachelor of Science, University of Miami; Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, Des Moines University; Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Health Services Management, Duke University.
Professional background: Established a single-office primary care practice in Port St. Lucie in 1983. By the 1990s, it had grown to a multisite practice with 13 physicians and 3 allied health care professionals serving more than 30,000 patients in the areas of internal medicine, family practice, pediatrics, cardiology, and gastroenterology. It became part of Martin Memorial in 1997, but I have continued practicing, as a volunteer physician at Volunteers in Medicine, the clinic where residents of Martin County without private health insurance who do not qualify for Medicaid or Medicare can receive comprehensive, compassionate care at no charge.
I also am an active real estate investor with interests in Florida, Colorado, and Texas, and recently became a partner in a unique new venture, The Roasted Record. Located in downtown Stuart, I believe it’s the only business of its kind in Florida: a coffee shop that specializes in single-origin specialty grade coffees, roasted in small batches to sounds provided by vinyl records for sale at the store.
What was your first job?
When I was 16, I worked in a pharmacy in the Bronx as a stocker, where I made $5 per hour.
In 25 words or less, why are you running for office?
As a physician, a father and a businessman, I’m sick and tired of politicians who are all talk and no action while our river reeks with algae, millions of people go without access to healthcare, and our schools and teachers are denied the support they deserve.
Who do you count on for advice?
For wisdom and guidance, it was my beloved father until he passed away, four years ago. Now it is my spouse.
Who is your political consultant? Campaign manager?
John Jones; Jake Sanders
Who was the first person to contribute to your campaign? Why did they donate?
I am fortunate in that I was able to launch my campaign myself, and I did so because I felt I should invest in myself before I asked others to.
Who, if anyone, inspires you in state government?
Thanks to one-party rule in Florida for the last 20 years, I have no role models in state government.
What are 3 issues that you’re running on? (You’re not allowed to say education or “improving the schools”)
Expand Medicaid and obtain a waiver for the ACA so that all Floridians have access to healthcare; fully fund both Florida Forever and Florida Water & Land Legacy Amendment (Amendment I); Reverse legislative practice of stealing tax dollars and Lottery money from public schools and giving it to private/for-profit/religious schools
What is a “disruptive” issue (i.e., ride-sharing) you are interested in?
In two words: gun safety — meaning a ban on assault weapons, meaningful background checks, and closing the gun-show loophole. My goal is to get an “F” from Marion Hammer before I am sworn in as a Senator.
Who was the best governor in Florida’s modern history?
Certainly not the current one. I’d call it a tie between Bob Graham and Lawton Chiles.
Are yard signs an important part of campaigning in your district?
Due to environmental concerns, they are just a small component. We only encourage them on personal property, in residential yards.
What’s the first thing you read each morning?
The Stuart News
Where do you get your political news?
Florida Politics, NY Times and Politico.
Social media presence? Twitter handle?
Our campaign is active on Facebook and Instagram, with just a bit of Twitter activity, but I do not have a handle myself.
In 280 characters, what’s a tweet that best describes your campaign message?
Expand Medicaid and obtain an ACA waiver. Fund and implement all solutions for Lake O, our rivers, and the Everglades as fast as possible. Repair the damage done to our environmental agencies over the last eight years, and stop robbing our public schools of tax dollars.
Running, cooking, golf. I log 3 miles a day and do most of the cooking at my house. My golf game, however, has suffered of late as campaigning has cut into it.
Favorite sport and sports team?
Baseball; New York Yankees.