Nearly 250 candidates are vying for state House and state Senate seats in 2020. Try as we will, Florida Politics can’t interview all of them.
Just like in 2016 and 2018, we’re again asking every candidate 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 feature: Sarah Zutter, a Democratic candidate for House District 25.
2020 Florida legislative candidate questionnaire:
In 25 words or less, why are you running for office?
I’m running because I believe I’m the best person for the job. I’ll meet people where they are, listen with empathy, and do everything I can do improve their lives.
I just graduated from Embry-Riddle with a degree in human factors psychology and minor in business administration.
What was your first job?
I was an assistant cheerleading coach for 8 to 12 year old girls.
Significant other? Kids?
Girlfriend – Evelyn Taylor.
Did you speak with anybody in your political party before deciding on running? Receive any encouragement?
Yes! I’ve been working with the Democratic Environmental Caucus of Florida and 90 for 90, a voter registration organization.
Who do you count on for advice?
My parents, Jennifer and Andy Zutter, my cheerleading coach Mea Phelps-Darley, and my professor Dr. Taylor Mitchell.
Who is your political consultant? Campaign manager?
Janelle Christensen from the Environmental Caucus has guided me through this process.
Who was the first person to contribute to your campaign? Why did they donate?
Janelle Christensen, who believes in my message and knows how important good representation is.
Who, if anyone, inspires you in state government?
Rep. Jennifer Webb, the first openly gay woman to be elected to the Florida State Legislature.
Why do people mistrust elected officials and what are you going to do about it?
There are too many unknowns in politics. As a candidate and as a representative, I will keep my operations as transparent and accessible as possible. I want to communicate with the people I’m representing and make sure we’re on all the same page, working towards the same goals.
What are 3 issues that you’re running on?
Improving environmental wellbeing, protecting local business owners, and defending civil rights.
What is a “disruptive” issue you are interested in?
Electric scooter rentals like Lime and Bird can be convenient short-range transportation solutions, but can also create unnecessary challenges for communities when not implemented correctly.
Who was the best governor in Florida’s modern history?
Bob Martinez. Although I disagree with him on many topics, including capital punishment and abortion, he was a trailblazer in the area of environmental protections, from land to water to wildlife.
If you could amend the Florida Constitution, what would you change?
I would codify the restoration of voting rights to felons immediately upon their release.
Are yard signs an important part of campaigning in your district?
Yard signs are important in any district, not only to generate name recognition for a candidate, but to allow citizens to express their support in a simple way.
What’s the first thing you read each morning?
My dictionary app’s word of the day.
Where do you get your political news?
Google News, which includes a variety of sources, as well as a daily political email newsletter and several weekly podcasts.
Social media presence? Twitter handle?
My campaign Twitter and Facebook are both @zutterforfl.
In 280 characters, what’s a Tweet that best describes your campaign message?
I want to be a true representative, acting on behalf of my constituents and defending their best interests in everything I do. I will pay attention to what they need from their government and fight as hard as I can for them.
Reading, hiking, weightlifting, and playing with my dog.
Favorite sport and sports team?
Baseball, and the Daytona Tortugas, of course!