Parkland Mayor Christine Hunschofsky says she will run for the House District 96 seat this year to replace Rep. Kristin Jacobs, who died last week following a years-long battle with cancer.
HD 96 encompasses Parkland, where Hunschofsky has served as Mayor since 2016. Prior to that, she served on the Parkland City Commission.
In 2016, Hunschofsky ran to replace then-Mayor Michael Udine following his eventually successful run for the Broward County Commission. She served out the final two years of Udine’s term, before she was reelected unopposed in 2018.
That year, Hunschofsky also oversaw one of the worst mass shootings in the state’s history, when 17 people were killed in an attack at Stoneman Douglas High School.
Hunschofsky referenced that tragedy — along with local efforts to combat the novel coronavirus outbreak — in a statement Tuesday morning announcing her run for the House.
“I could never have imagined when I entered public office that I would see our community brutalized by a mass shooting and confronted by the devastating effects of an international health emergency,” Hunschofsky said.
“Both of these events have revealed urgent issues which must be addressed by the legislature now including gun safety, emergency preparedness, economic recovery and fixing a broken unemployment system. I cannot think of a time when my friend Kristin Jacobs’ leadership has been more needed than during this current crisis. Losing her is a true blow to our district and I intend to use my experience in government to do all I can to continue her work of fighting for our community in Tallahassee.”
A release obtained by Florida Politics from the Hunschofsky campaign says she will aim to highlight issues such as health care, school safety and the need for mental health funding. Hunschofsky also promised to “continue the work” of Jacobs by stumping for environmental and clean water issues.
Last Session, lawmakers shepherded through an amended version of Jacobs’ proposed ban on the practice of importing and exporting shark fins. That measure was renamed the Kristin Jacobs Ocean Conservation Act and was approved one month before Jacobs’ passing.
In addition to covering Parkland, HD 96 also spans Coconut Creek and parts of Coral Springs and Margate. Saima Farooqui has also registered to run for the seat as a Democrat.