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: Alex Barrio, a Democratic candidate for House District 43.
In 25 words or less, why are you running for office?
I am running because I believe that everyone in Florida should have access to healthcare, housing, a good-paying job, and a quality public education.
BA from University of Central Florida (2007) and JD from Florida International University College of Law (2012).
What was your first job?
Bresler’s Ice Cream in the Avenues Mall in Jacksonville, FL.
Significant other? Kids?
Single and no kids.
Did you speak with anybody in your political party before deciding on running? Receive any encouragement?
Yes, I spoke to a number of elected officials and did receive some encouragement.
Who do you count on for advice?
My friends at the office of Congressman Darren Soto where I used to work – Chief of Staff Christine Biron and District Director Sheyla Asencios.
Who is your political consultant? Campaign manager?
My political consultant is Bob Doyle and my campaign manager is Bryan Eastman.
Who was the first person to contribute to your campaign? Why did they donate?
My mom because she loves me and believes in me.
Who, if anyone, inspires you in state government?
State Senator Jose Javier Rodriguez because he is a fighter and dedicated advocate for the environment. Senator Annette Taddeo because she never, ever gives up.
Why do people mistrust elected officials and what are you going to do about it?
People mistrust elected officials because elected officials lie all the time. They say one thing and then do another. I will always be honest, especially with people I disagree with, and hope other elected officials accountable for their lies on the House Floor, if I get the chance.
What are 3 issues that you’re running on?
Fully funding the affordable housing trust fund and bringing those dollars down to Osceola County to build new homes for our community, dedicated funding for Lynx and Sunrail in order to give the working people of central Florida an alternative to sitting in traffic for hours out of their day and improve their quality of life, and expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act to ensure everyone in this state has access to healthcare coverage.
What is a “disruptive” issue you are interested in?
AirBNB-type rental properties. We have a ton in Osceola County and many of them will be going into foreclosure soon due to the pandemic. How do we address this issue? How can we use this as an opportunity to guarantee housing for all?
What does your legislative district need from Tallahassee?
Money for housing, transit, healthcare, and jobs.
Who was the best governor in Florida’s modern history?
If you could amend the Florida Constitution, what would you change?
Golly, where to start: independent redistricting commission so legislators can’t draw their own districts anymore, $15 minimum wage and annual adjustments for inflation (vote this November!), ban the raiding of dedicated trust funds like Sadowski, and make the legislature full-time and ban outside employment, for starters.
Are yard signs an important part of campaigning in your district?
They are an important part of every campaign everywhere, so yes, sure.
What’s the first thing you read each morning?
Orlando Sentinel – I am a digital subscriber and it arrives every morning by 5 AM.
Where do you get your political news?
Orlando Sentinel, Politicalwire.com and Twitter.
Social media presence? Twitter handle?
In 280 characters, what’s a Tweet that best describes your campaign message?
Alex Barrio for access to housing, healthcare, transit, jobs, and schools.
I write Japanese-style poems like Haikus and Tanka.
Favorite sport and sports team?
Basketball and your Orlando Magic! I miss the NBA.