Influential Republican state Rep. Randy Fine isn’t sure he’ll return to the Florida House next year.
“I don’t know what I’ll be doing next year, I don’t know if I will be back here,” Fine, a Republican representing part of Brevard County, said on the House floor Thursday.
He was first elected to the House in 2016. He won reelection in 2020 with 55.53 percent of the vote and, under the eight-year term limit for House members, is eligible to run again.
Asked whether he planned to forego seeking reelection or acknowledging the possibility of losing, Fine responded by text: “I am flattered by the attention but it was the latter. More in the you never know what will happen in life vein.”
Fine made the remark while defending HB 7, an initiative pushed by Gov. Ron DeSantis to prohibit “critical race theory” in classrooms. The state Department of Education approved a new rule in 2021 that essentially prohibits “CRT.” The bill passed on a vote of 74-41.
In the same floor speech, he described being bullied as a child for being Jewish.
Fine is a former gambling industry executive who featured prominently in last year’s debate over the new Seminole Gaming Compact. He serves as chairman of the PreK-12 Appropriations Subcommittee and vice-chair of the Redistricting Committee.
Fine has gotten embroiled in controversy at times. As previously reported by the Florida Phoenix, a civil rights advocacy group filed a complaint in August of 2021 against Fine, alleging “hateful” and “atrocious” social media comments calling Palestinians “animals” and Muslims “monsters” and “terrorists.”
On another occasion last year, Fine was blunt about the GOP majority’s determination to exercise power, as noted in an Orlando Sentinel editorial. Asked why the Republicans wanted school districts to apply through the state to draw federal American Rescue Plan money that was supposed to flow to them directly, Fine replied: “Because we can.”
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