ELECTION 2010: Florida State House District 67

 

ELECTION 2010: Florida State House District 67

 

Date: October 27, 2010
by: Pam Eubanks | News Editor

 
 

As District 67 Representative Ron Reagan finishes his term in office, Democrat Z.J. Hafeez, of Apollo Beach, Republican Greg Steube, of Bradenton and independent John Studebaker, of Bradenton, are vying to represent constituents in the East County and surrounding area.

Z. J. Hafeez
Age: 27
Party: Democrat
Family: Single
Hometown: Apollo Beach
Education: Bachelor’s degree in political science and economics from New College of Florida; law degree from Georgetown Law
Career: World Trade Organization — Geneva, Switzerland; Quality Health Plans — Tampa
Website: www.voteZJ.com

Why are you the best candidate for this post?
I am running because I want to make sure that every Floridian has the same opportunities that I have been provided. My family came here, to Summerville, when I was 3 years old and relocated to Apollo Beach. Through the opportunities this great country provided, my family has been able to achieve the American Dream. My father has been providing health care in his community clinic here for more than 20 years, and I am running to give back — to provide those same opportunities to achieve the American dream. A vote for me is a vote for someone who will truly advocate for the individuals of Florida, someone who is his own man, and someone who is outside the corruption of business-as-usual politics and nepotism. I will work tirelessly for the people of Florida above all else — no special interests, just the people’s interests.

What will be your top priorities in office?
My goal is to reopen the door of opportunity to the American Dream for all Floridians. This means providing a high-quality education for all young Floridians to prepare them for the challenges of the 21st century economy so that they too can provide for their families, buy a nice home in a safe neighborhood and live their own version of the American Dream.

This also means providing affordable and accessible healthcare to all through serious healthcare reform, so that no one has to make the choice between buying prescription drugs and putting food on the table.

How can the Legislature help the economy in Manatee County?
The Legislature can provide incentives for small businesses and targeted industries to move to the district to provide good high-paying jobs. The Legislature can do more to ensure that good high-paying jobs stay in Manatee by retaining companies like Tropicana and PepsiCo to ensure that our economy does not lose jobs. Lastly, I will bring my international trade background to work with the Legislature to improve and enhance the Port of Manatee through better access, infrastructure and support to grow the local economy.

What policies do you feel are necessary to implement in the next year to better Florida?
We need to seriously stimulate the economy. We need to focus on solar power by promoting net-metering or the feed-in-tariff so people can sell back excess electricity to the utility companies. This will foster job growth of new good high-paying jobs in this emerging industry in the manufacture of solar power panels, the production process of solar power panels, the installation of solar power panels, the maintenance of solar power panels, the repair of solar power panels, etc. We are the Sunshine State after all, so there is no reason why we shouldn’t be leaders in the solar power industry.

We need to do more to improve education in the state by investing in public education. I will promote my “Teach for Florida” program to encourage our brightest college graduates to teach underprivileged children in under-served school districts, so we can help improve the quality of schools in every corner of our state. While doing so, they can earn advanced degrees from our state universities like in Teach for America, Teach for N.Y. and Teach for D.C.


Greg Steube
Age: 32
Party: Republican
Family: Single
Hometown: Bradenton
Education: Law degree from the University of Florida; bachelor’s degree with honors from the University of Florida (with minor in agricultural law)
Career: Captain in the U.S. Army, 2004-2008; currently an attorney at Najmy Thompson, P.L.
Website: www.electgregsteube.com

Why are you the best candidate for this post?
As a native of Manatee County — born and raised in the district — I know firsthand the developments and challenges our community has faced over the years.

As the only candidate with a background in agriculture, experience interning for both the State House of Representatives and the U.S. House of Representatives, serving our country in the military and serving our country in Operation Iraq Freedom, it gives me a broad experience set and background to best represent this district and this district’s needs.

What will be your top priorities in office?
Turning our economy around, job creation, small business growth and economic development, education and sound energy policy for the state of Florida.

How can the Legislature help the economy in Manatee County?
By easing that taxes and burdensome regulations currently in place.
We need to create tax incentives for small businesses to be successful and cut taxes to businesses.

What policies do you feel are necessary to implement in the next year to better Florida?
Lower taxes for families and small businesses, creation of jobs in the district and sound policy on stopping illegal immigration.

What do you feel is the best way to stimulate the economy?
Tax breaks, tax cuts, tax incentives and ending burdensome regulations on our small businesses.


John M. Studebaker
Party: Independent
Family: Single
Hometown: Bradenton
Education: Manatee Community College and the University of South Florida
Career: Computer programmer
Website: www.votestudebaker.com

Why are you the best candidate for this post?
First and foremost, as a “No Party Affiliation,” I won’t have a party whip telling me how to vote. For those unfamiliar with the process, the party whip is in charge of whipping party members in-line to vote for the party, rather than the constituents. I’m not making this up; research it for yourself. Once in Tallahassee, I will answer to no one except my constituents. Neither of my opponents can say that.

What will be your top priorities in office?
My No. 1 priority will be my bill calling for a constitutional convention to amend the U.S. Constitution to prohibit consecutive terms in the Congressional House of Representatives. My other priorities will be lowering taxes and fees and growing the economy.

How can the Legislature help the economy in Manatee County?
The only method that has ever proven effective at stimulating the economy is lowering taxes and fees. I don’t support special tax breaks only for big corporations or “vanishing” tax breaks that go away after a certain time. I support across the board, top-to-bottom tax cuts for every business, regardless of size, and every resident of Florida.

What policies do you feel are necessary to implement in the next year to better Florida?
See answer above.

What do you feel is the best way to stimulate the economy?
See answer above.

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