Meet Brian Norton, a Republican running for Senate District 29

BrianNorton4FLSenate

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: Brian Norton, a Republican candidate for Senate District 29.

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

I am running because our community deserves better, we need a bridge builder who can work for all sides.

Education background?

– University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, BA in Religious Studies 2005

– University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business, Business Essentials 2009

What was your first job?

Smoothie King, Charlotte NC in between freshman and sophomore years of college.

Significant other? Kids?

Married to Dr. Vicki Norton, MD, who is also a registered Democrat.  We have 3 elementary aged children.

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

Yes, the REC of Palm Beach County and many of their members.

Who do you count on for advice?

I will listen to advice from anyone willing to give it. I may not agree or use it, but it will add to my overall understanding.  I trust the advice from my wife and close friends who will always give me honest and candid advice.

Who is your political consultant? Campaign manager?

None at this time.

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

Technically, it was me. After that, it was a physician from Wilton Manors, FL.

Who, if anyone, inspires you in state government?

Recently, I have had the opportunity to spend some time with Rep. Mike Caruso of HD 89 and he has been very generous with his time and advice.  It is very inspiring to hear from him about how he is able to help his community. 

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

We mistrust elected officials because they lie and spin the truth to their benefit.  They make big promises and not deliver.  I am not one to make promises, just ask my wife, I let my yesses be yesses and my noes be my noes. I recognize that there are many things beyond my control and focus on the things that I can control.  And put my full effort in what I can control. I am open to listen to anyone who wants to speak with me because in order to build bridges between the people in my community I need to understand their perspective, their history, and why they have their opinions.

What are 3 issues that you’re running on? 

I am running on creating unity between people of different political persuasions; who care about their children and their grandchildren, in preserving a safe, just, and prosperous future for Florida.  

Education is important, we need to continue to modernize education and bring it forward into the 21st century, what was good enough when we were kids is not good enough today. This mean addressing the issue of teachers pay, trusting our well educated educators to teach without having to micromanage them, and judge our success by graduating kids who still love to learn when they leave our schools.  The goal of public education should not be preparing our kids for college, it should be preparing them to be ready for real life with a balance of liberal arts education, vocational education, and life skills education.  Regardless if they choose to go into college, military, trade school, the workforce, or any other option).

Healthcare affects every one of us and we can all agree that the current systems are unaffordable to many people.  We need to make common sense reforms in areas we can control at the state level, to simplify and streamline access to quality healthcare by strengthening the doctor-patient relationship and cutting out hedge fund greed that leeches money from patients, physicians, nurses, and other providers alike.  Also, as Florida continues to grow we need to create market incentives to recruit and retain well trained physicians, nurses, and other healthcare providers to improve access to quality healthcare.

Florida is sunshine and coastline, the environment need to be a top priority for the state.  Travel, leisure, entertainment, etc is huge for the Florida economy and we need to have clean and pristine waterways and landscapes.  It is important that the state modernize its management of the environment to reduce waste leaching into the waterways and invest in converting septic system to waste water treatment.

What is a “disruptive” issue you are interested in?

Disruptive is subjective. I am interested in disrupting the business practices that price gauge Floridians without adding any real value to the service or local economy. We also need to be mindful and prepare for innovations regarding technology/automation (like self driving vehicles) and continue to protect privacy rights of consumers.

What does your legislative district need from Tallahassee?

Our district needs a state senator that will represent the people and not the party, we need support for expanding roads that are heavily trafficked, maintaining existing infrastructure, and invest in converting septic systems to waste water treatment. 

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

Out of the Governors that have served since I have lived in the state, Ron DeSantis. No contest.

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

At this time I am not thinking about Constitutional changes, as I believe these type of changes deserve significant thought.

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

Sure.

What’s the first thing you read each morning?

It is not the same every morning, sometimes it’s an email, or a text message, or the clock, or an online newspaper, or social media, or a book, or an article from a journal. 
Where do you get your political news?

Where do you get your political news?

I tend to check several different sources. I subscribe to the Palm Beach Post and Sun Sentinel online, check social media for more local news, Youtube for local news updates like from WPTV, online sites like realclearpolitics.com or flapolstaging.wpengine.com.  I am not attached to any single source.

Social media presence? Twitter handle?

Yes, although before the campaign I was not much of a user: Norton4FLSenate on Twitter and Instagram, Brian Norton for Florida State Senate on Facebook.

In 280 characters, what’s a Tweet that best describes your campaign message?

Our community need someone who will build bridges between the parties and not further divide them, unite DEM/REP/NPAs for common sense reforms for a safe, just, and prosperous future for Florida.  It is time we start voting for our children and grandchildren. 

Hobbies?

Spending time with kids and wife, movies, camping, swimming, video games w/ kids, tinkering with new technology.

Favorite sport and sports team?

College basketball.

Jason Delgado

Jason Delgado covers news out of the state capital for Florida Politics. After a stint with the U.S. Army, Jason attended the University of Central Florida where he studied American Policy and National Security. His past bylines include WMFE-NPR and POLITICO Florida. Throw him a line at [email protected] or on Twitter at @JasonDelgadoFL.



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Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Jason Delgado, Drew Dixon, Renzo Downey, Rick Flagg, A.G. Gancarski, Joe Henderson, Janelle Irwin, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Scott Powers, Andrew Wilson, and Kelly Hayes.

Email: [email protected]
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704



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