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Brandon businesswoman will challenge Adam Hattersley for House District 59

The GOP is anxious to reclaim the previously red district.

Riverview State Rep. Adam Hattersley is winding up his first Legislative Session, but he already has a challenger to face next year.

Melissa Haskins, a Republican businesswoman who lives in Brandon, announced she is running for the House District 59 seat Hattersley won last year. The GOP is anxious to reclaim the previously red district.

Haskins will likely pose a credible threat. She has strong name recognition in her community. She earned the title “honorary mayor” by raising $42,000 for local charities. She also serves on several committees and boards including as President of the Board of Directors for the Emergency Care Help Organization of Brandon, the Valrico/FishHawk Chamber of Commerce, the Kiwanis Club of Brandon, the General Federation of Women’s Clubs and Community Roundtable

Haskins is a financial advisor for Edward Jones Investments.

“As a Brandon native, I care immensely about this community.  Each and every day I work to make it a better place. I will bring this same compassion and work ethic as a member of the Florida House, representing my friends and neighbors. I believe that I can affect public policy and genuinely improve people’s lives. I look forward to running a robust campaign and sharing my fresh ideas and practical solutions with each and every voter.”

Hattersley beat Republican Joe Wicker in the 2018 race for the East Hillsborough seat. It was one of only a handful of Tampa Bay Area districts to flip blue. Republican Congressman Ross Spano previously represented the district.

The District is considered a swing seat. Hattersley beat Wicker last year by just three points. Hattersley was quick to get back to campaigning, launching his own re-election campaign just one month after being elected.

That’s not uncommon though. Florida Representatives are elected every two years, which means they’re almost always preparing for the next campaign.

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a die-hard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics, including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and contentious issues surrounding transit. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also a devoted wife and mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder.

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