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 Jason@FloridaPolitics.com.
Today’s feature: Loranne Ausley, a Democratic candidate for Senate District 3.
In 25 words or less, why are you running for office?
I believe in public service, I have enjoyed the privilege of representing my community for 12 years and I want to continue that service in the Florida Senate.
– Randolph-Macon Woman’s College, BA.
– Washington & Lee University School of Law, JD.
What was your first job?
In high school I was a runner at a law-firm, and worked in retail at a local clothing store. My first job after college was a field organizer for the campaign of then Gov. Bob Graham who was running for the US Senate.
Did you speak with anybody in your political party before deciding on running? Receive any encouragement?
I spoke with leaders from both political parties and independents and I am proud to say that I found encouragement from all parts of the political spectrum. I believe this is because of my long time commitment to my community and to helping people and families in need in North Florida.
Significant other? Kids?
I am married to Bill Hollimon, and we practice law together at Hollimon PA. Our son, Will Hollimon, is 17 years old and a rising junior at Leon High School He is visually impaired and attended the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind for 10th grade, but is excited to be returning to Leon High School where he will (hopefully) be a 4th generation graduate. I also have a step-son, John Hollimon, who is a family practice doctor in Tallahassee.
Who do you count on for advice?
My dad, who I have mentioned many times throughout my career, is an attorney, servant leader and still one of the most well-respected political advisors in Florida. He has a group of lifetime friends with a wealth of political acumen including Sandy D’Alemberte who we lost last year. There have been a number of times since Sandy’s passing that I realize how much I relied on his sage advice and wisdom about Florida government and politics.
Who is your political consultant? Campaign manager?
Scott Arceneaux, Political Consultant; Jerome A. Maples, Campaign Manager
Who was the first person to contribute to your campaign? Why did they donate?
It was a long time ago, but I am pretty sure it was my dad, although when I first told him I wanted to run (20 years ago in 2000), he tried to dissuade me from getting into politics. Once he realized that I was determined to run, he has been my strongest supporter.
Who, if anyone, inspires you in state government?
I am inspired by the front line workers who do the work of the State of Florida with little respect, little pay and shrinking benefits. Think about the public health workers and correctional officers who are literally risking their lives to keep us safe in the face of this pandemic so we can stay at home and keep ourselves safe – this is who inspires me today.
Why do people mistrust elected officials and what are you going to do about it?
I am truly saddened by the current lack of trust the public places with their government. Unfortunately, the acts of a few can tarnish the hard work of many honest, hard working public servants. There are many reasons people distrust elected officials, from lack of integrity to bickering partisanship. I will do what I have done my entire career — continue to work across the aisle to find common ground so that we can find real solutions to the major challenges facing our state.
What are 3 issues that you’re running on?
The answer to this question is different today in the face of the coronavirus pandemic which is hitting our state and community hard in all sectors. My top priority will be ensuring that we are simultaneously addressing the public health crisis and the associated economic impact. This includes everything from supporting our public health system, fixing our broken unemployment system, and real support for our child care system, our small businesses and our agriculture industry to secure our food supply chain. This will require a renewed and stepped up focus on rural broadband to ensure that all Floridians have the ability to access high speed internet. Finally, our North Florida economy & quality of life is linked to our land and water, which we must protect and preserve.
What is a “disruptive” issue you are interested in?
Pay for Success (PFS) is a creative way to finance social interventions that have a high return on investment, such as early childhood investment, home visiting or mental health supports. PFS contracts identify philanthropists and other investors to provide upfront funding for what government would/should traditionally fund. Governments contractually agree to pay up front investors back through “outcome payments” if and only if agreed upon milestones are met. Other states are way ahead of Florida in this space and we need to catch up.
What does your legislative district need from Tallahassee?
Much like my answer above, the answer to this question is different today in the face of Covid- 19. We must ensure we are simultaneously addressing the public health crisis, associated economic impact, and not forgetting about getting help to the people and businesses of north
Florida still recovering from a Category 5 Hurricane less than 2 years ago. Senate District 3 includes 10 rural counties and these counties will not survive this pandemic without state and federal assistance.
Who was the best governor in Florida’s modern history?
Gov. LeRoy Collins who courageously led Florida through a very difficult era.
If you could amend the Florida Constitution, what would you change?
I would remove term limits. Term limits have resulted in a consolidation of power in just a few Members, staff and lobbyists and this is not serving the people of Florida well.
Are yard signs an important part of campaigning in your district?
Yes, and I look forward to helping people show their support after qualifying.
What’s the first thing you read each morning?
I scroll through my twitter feed and read articles that have popped up overnight.
Where do you get your political news?
I follow a number of journalists on Twitter, so that is generally where I get my news the fastest.
Social media presence? Twitter handle?
In 280 characters, what’s a Tweet that best describes your campaign message?
I am proud of my 12 years of fierce advocacy for children, state employees and protecting our land and water. I am concerned about a broken political system, and I am optimistic that this can change.
I like to do anything that is outside. I’m an avid triathlete, and a 3 time Ironman finisher. So, I do a lot of swimming, biking and running. I also love to hike and try to do as much yoga as possible.
Favorite sport and sports team?
Triathlon. Can’t Stop Won’t Stop