Jen McDonald to run for newly drawn House District 65

The seat will resemble current House District 60 represented by Tampa Republican Jackie Toledo.

Tampa Bay local business owner Jen McDonald launched her campaign Tuesday for the newly drawn state House District 65.

McDonald, a Democrat, is hoping to take the competitive Hillsborough County seat, which closely resembles current House District 60 represented by Tampa Republican Rep. Jackie Toledo.

“I’m excited to announce my candidacy for House District 65. After decades working alongside many of you on behalf of our community, I know the unique challenges and opportunities we face,” McDonald said in a statement. “As an entrepreneur who founded and built my business right here in Tampa Bay, I’m all too aware of our need for a Representative in Tallahassee who will deliver for our community. I will bring bold leadership and a fresh perspective to service on behalf of all District 65 residents.”

In addition to running her business, McDonald has served as chair of the Hillsborough County Citizens Advisory Committee, chair of the Hillsborough Community College Business Advisory Board, president of the Historic Hyde Park Neighborhood Association, on the South Tampa Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and as a member of the Junior League of Tampa.

“I grew up in a working-class family and I put myself through college. I started my career in Hillsborough County and when my corporate role wanted me to leave Tampa, I doubled down my commitment to this region by starting and building my business right here, in the community I love,” she continued.

McDonald is the founder and owner of her firm Liberty Bella Enterprises and vice president at Merchant Insurance Solutions. She also previously ran an unsuccessful campaign for Hillsborough County Commission in 2020.

“Our community offers a beautiful place to live amongst the nicest people you will ever meet. We deserve a Representative who will deliver on the promise of a prosperous and secure future for our families and our way of life. I’m running to bring meaningful progress to Florida and improve the lives of Hillsborough County residents. I will advocate on behalf of our small business owners, increase government accountability, and deliver economic opportunity for all residents of District 65.”

Kelly Hayes

Kelly Hayes studied journalism and political science at the University of Florida. Kelly was born and raised in Tampa Bay. A recent graduate, she enjoys government and legal reporting. She has experience covering the Florida Legislature as well as local government, and is a proud Alligator alum. You can reach Kelly at [email protected].


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