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: Alexandria Suarez, a Republican candidate for House District 120.
In 25 words or less, why are you running for office?
This is Florida’s most diverse district. As a mom, conservative, teacher, pharmaceutical rep, state attorney, amateur farmer, and motorcyclist, I’m uniquely gifted to represent us.
– Juris Doctor, cum laude, St. Thomas University School of Law, 2016.
– Bachelor of Arts in English, Florida International University, 1994.
– Associate of Arts in English, Miami-Dade Community College, 1993.
What was your first job?
As the youngest of six siblings raised by a single mother, I have been working since I was a teenager when my first job was in modeling. As an adult, I began my professional life as a middle school teacher in Miami – Dade County.
Significant other? Kids?
I am engaged with 4 children from previous marriage, ages 20 to 31 years old, and 2 soon-to-be stepsons ages 16 and 18.
Did you speak with anybody in your political party before deciding on running? Receive any encouragement?
Yes. First, I spoke with family. Then, I reached out to many in the Miami Delegation of House Representatives and State Senators in deciding whether or not to run for public office.
Who do you count on for advice?
First and foremost, I count on family and my fiancé for trusted advice. Still, I have been blessed to have forged trusting relationships in my professional life. I remain in contact with my former Principal, Dr. Joe Carbia, who has always provided objective, sound advice. I can rely on Sergio Pino, a well-known developer who happens to know me for the last 30 years, for business acumen. I can rely on trusted advice from our Miami Delegates including Ana Maria Rodriguez, Daniel Perez, Juan Barquin-Fernandez, and Vance Aloupis, who care about their community and advising candidates, such as myself, with guidance in running a strong campaign.
Who is your political consultant? Campaign manager?
Front Line Strategies, c/o Brett Doster and Pablo Diaz.
Who was the first person to contribute to your campaign? Why did they donate?
My fiancé and his medical practice were the first to contribute to my campaign because he believes in my abilities to help our community and our state.
Who, if anyone, inspires you in state government?
Gov. Ron DeSantis stands out as one of the persons who inspire me in state government. His leadership placed Florida at the forefront of an economic boom while balancing the need to protect our state’s natural resources since his first day of office. How he has handled the pandemic and difficult decisions to shut down the state when it was making such progress was not easy but he has managed to put his citizens lives first while finding ways to help the state recovery efforts. Remaining in contact with the state citizens on a daily basis through news conferences and traveling throughout the state to reassure citizens is commendable and worthy of my credit.
Why do people mistrust elected officials and what are you going to do about it?
Great question! As a political outsider, I have no special interests driving my decisions or race other than the desire to apply my acquired skills for public good. Through the campaign process, I have discovered people’s mistrust for elected officials has a bit of validity in some instances where career politicians are running just to keep the good ole’ buddy system going at taxpayers expense. I have also witnessed candidates who run on slander rather than merit in the hope that the public is not smart enough to do its own research. I intend to get elected and continue to inform every voter on what each candidate in my race has to offer and why I should receive the vote. That is the best way I can combat the corruption that continues to run its course at the expense of taxpayers and hardworking average Americans like me.
What are 3 issues that you’re running on?
The top issues that are important to me are as follows:
– Deregulation of laws and taxes that infringe on personal liberties and licensed professionals ability to practice and govern themselves.
– Address water issues – whether it is water quality, quantity, shortage concerns or all of the above – through continued funding of stewardship laws and supporting innovative programs based on scientific evidence for improving our water issues in both the Florida Keys and agricultural areas within the district.
– Preserve our environment from the threat of mass development that can have a greater impact on our state’s aquifers watersheds and unique ecosystems than its agricultural use, and have a role in keeping Florida a beautiful place to live, work, and visit.
What is a “disruptive” issue you are interested in?
Disruption is just a modern, cool term to describe what happens in the free market every day. The prices and delivery of goods and services are always in flux when consumers have more control over the market. My goal will always be to eliminate regulation, keep taxes as low as possible and keep government agencies as the least impactful voice in the market.
What does your legislative district need from Tallahassee?
House District 120 has several state needs. First, besides the obvious needs to continue programs that improve the water that flows down to South Florida, the District needs an improvement in the District Cost Differential that applies an “intangible benefit” to living near bodies of water, which results in less funding for these areas without accounting for the fact that these areas typically have the highest cost of living in the state, such as the Florida Keys.
Second, the state could take a more active role in our District’s agricultural area that warrants protecting its “urban development boundary.” Local governments have abused their “home rule” authority to circumvent state mandates intended to protect this agricultural area. As the recent pandemic has taught us, we need self-sustainability and this District holds the only area in the North-American continent where such an abundance of agricultural product can be produced, year-round. The District needs Tallahassee to restore its protection of these areas from the threat of mass development and high-density housing that serves, not only as an environmental threat, but also as a threat to our food source and national security.
Third, HD120 needs a solution for its workforce housing shortage. I do not believe government housing is the answer. The purpose of government is not the business of real estate. I plan to introduce an exemption, similar to an agricultural exemption, to incentivize property owners to provide much-needed housing for those that work in the District but must commute from hours away because of the high cost of living.
Finally, HD120 needs Tallahassee to assist with making healthcare accessible and affordable. With my comprehensive background in healthcare and my plan for deregulation of burdensome laws, I have a plan to make the healthcare marketplace more competitive and drive down costs for patients.
Who was the best governor in Florida’s modern history?
There have been 4 Republican governors in Florida’s modern history: Jeb Bush, Charlie Crist, Rick Scott, and Ron DeSantis. Crist was a turncoat who had little impact on Florida’s current prosperity. Bush, Scott, and DeSantis all have various strengths as reformers, friends of the free market, and of the constitution. I have admiration for all three.
If you could amend the Florida Constitution, what would you change?
I believe in our state’s Constitution because of its protection for personal liberties and property rights. Amendments can be a slippery slope and I am very hesitant to amend our state Constitution. I would support an amendment that would allow a previsionary effective period for new laws or amendments in order to determine whether an amendment, when applied, serves its intended purpose. If the amendment were to have unintended consequences or otherwise not comply with its intended purpose, this would allow the legislature to restore the Florida Constitution to its rightful intention.
Are yard signs an important part of campaigning in your district?
Yes. Any exposure where voters are afforded an opportunity to know who is running for office and have time to research the candidate(s) could be important.
What’s the first thing you read each morning?
Where do you get your political news?
I do not rely on one source for political news. For national news, I rely on One America News but will also listen in to other outlets whether it be Fox News or mainstream channels. I have little faith in CNN and therefore do not spend time on it. For state news, I rely on a variety of sources as well: online articles from Florida Politics, televised news on the Florida governmental channel, and for local or state related topics, I trust information from a radio talk show, such as the Brian Mudd Show.
Social media presence? Twitter handle?
In 280 characters, what’s a Tweet that best describes your campaign message?
If you like pina coladas and getting caught in the rain…. Just kidding. Here’s my answer:
If you are tired of career politicians with special interests & district hoppers seeking a political crown, I am not your candidate. I AM your candidate if you want to lower your taxes, restore your liberties, and have a chance at life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness in FL!
I enjoy camping with my family and am the designated driver of our 44’ fifth wheel RV. I am also an avid motorcycle rider of my own Harley Davidson Fat Bob. Prior to running for office, I enjoyed participating in monthly charity rides.
Favorite sport and sports team?
My favorite sport team used to be the Miami Heat. Being such an outdoors person, I do not follow professional sports.