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: Keith Laufenberg, a Democratic candidate for House District 35.
In 25 words or less, why are you running for office?
The present representative, Blaise Ingoglia, has been in 3 terms he is serving no one but himself. Nobody has stepped up to replace him. Now I have.
A.S. from Broward Community College, pre-law paralegal, 1988.
What was your first job?
I was 8-years old in San Antonio, Texas and I delivered newspapers via bicycle.
Significant other? Kids?
Wife: Andrea Maria Laufenberg, married 46 years, 4 children, 8 grandchildren.
Did you speak with anybody in your political party before deciding on running? Receive any encouragement?
I spoke with several in my party but they all thought Hernando County was too red and Ingoglia was too connected to money.
Who do you count on for advice?
My wife & campaign manager.
Who is your political consultant? Campaign manager?
I consult quite a lot with Phil Foy, who helped me a lot on the trail. He’s very well-versed in politics. My campaign manager is Juan Gonzalez.
EMAIL: [email protected]
Who was the first person to contribute to your campaign? Why did they donate?
My wife, the treasury needed $50 to open the account.
Who, if anyone, inspires you in state government?
Congressman Elijah Cummings inspired me for 20 years but now, unfortunately for the world, and District 7 in Baltimore, he is no longer with us.
Why do people mistrust elected officials and what are you going to do about it?
They only mistrust elected officials for a reason: they hear, and sometime see lobbyists paying them in various ways. Often they see how wealthy they are financially and how poor they are in character, judgement and choices. I am about to replace one of them.
What are 3 issues that you’re running on?
– Getting rid of the “gun-show loophole” that allows a person with a Florida driver’s license to buy an assault weapon because it is considered a private sale.
– Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour.
– Ridding Hernando County of an ill-conceived “Right to Work” law that provides no rights and no work.
What is a “disruptive” issue you are interested in?
Universal Health Care is a human right and I will get it passed in Hernando County even if I have to write the initiative myself.
What does your legislative district need from Tallahassee?
A democrat who can deliver on all his promises, tells the truth and works with his constituents to their benefit, which I promise to do.
Who was the best governor in Florida’s modern history?
If you could amend the Florida Constitution, what would you change?
The right to work law; Article 1, section 6 and I mean to do it.
Are yard signs an important part of campaigning in your district?
What’s the first thing you read each morning?
The Tampa Bay Times and Politico.
Where do you get your political news?
Tampa Bay Times, NY Times. Politico.
Social media presence? Twitter handle?
I favor Facebook over Twitter.
In 280 characters, what’s a Tweet that best describes your campaign message?
We save lives by telling the truth over lies.
Basketball. Hitting the speed-bag and heavy bag and skipping rope.
Favorite sport and sports team?