Republican Karen Gonzalez Pittman joins race for House District 65

karen gonzalez pittman
She decided to throw her hat in the HD 65 contest after Jackie Toledo announced her congressional campaign.

Tampa business owner Karen Gonzalez Pittman is entering the race for newly-drawn Florida House District 65.

Before entering the race, Gonzalez Pittman was running for a seat on the Hillsborough County School Board. However, she decided to throw her hat in the HD 65 contest after Tampa Republican Rep. Jackie Toledo announced her congressional campaign Monday. The newly-crafted Hillsborough County seat closely resembles current House District 60, which Toledo is vacating to run for Florida’s 15th Congressional District.

Gonzalez Pittman, a Republican, will be the second candidate in the race for HD 65. Democratic candidate Jen McDonald launched her campaign last Tuesday.

In announcing her bid, Gonzalez Pittman described herself as a “longtime (Ron) DeSantis supporter.”

“Our next state Representative is vitally important as Tampa, like the rest of Florida, faces issues with rapid growth, water quality, improving public education and keeping insurance affordable,” she said in a statement. “Gov. DeSantis and Republican leaders in the legislature have sided with freedom instead of government overreach and District 65 can count on me to continue to fight for freedom — in both the marketplace and our personal lives.”

Gonzalez Pittman also prides herself as an accomplished fundraiser, raising more than $200,000 for her children’s schools by organizing successful auctions, walk-a-thons and a dance-a-thons. She has served as the vice president of both the Mabry and Wilson Middle PTAs, president of the Hillsborough County Medical Association Alliance and is a member of the Florida Medical Association PAC Board.

“We can keep Florida’s record period of prosperity going if we continue to apply conservative solutions to our state’s toughest problems,” Gonzalez Pittman said in a statement.

Gonzalez Pittman, who is a third generation Tampanian, is also a former teacher. She attended the University of South Florida, where she earned her bachelor’s in elementary education and a master’s in measurement, testing and evaluation. Her education, she said, helps her understand how to interpret data and how to use it to drive effective decision-making.

Gonzalez Pittman has been married for 25 years, and has four children. She and her husband are also new grandparents.

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].


  • Hebert P

    March 7, 2022 at 10:08 am

    Met her once. Totally unimpressed. Hope we get a strong Republican in that district.

    • Susan R.

      March 7, 2022 at 4:06 pm


Comments are closed.


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