With Representative Mike Hill leaving his seat in a failed run for the state senate, voters in Florida House District 2 will choose between two political newcomers to represent them in Tallahassee next year.
Frank White, the Republican candidate for the seat, admits this is all new to him. "I am not of professional politician. I'm a business guy. I'm a dad with three little boys. Politics is something new to me. But it is an avenue for service and a way to make a difference."
White is a businessman who serves as Vice Chair of the Pensacola State College Board of Trustees. He says the biggest issue for District 2 is making sure the oil spill settlement funds stay in the region. "making sure that those funds are invented in our economy. The oil spill disaster, we all remember it, it was on the beaches from Perdido Key to Panama City. It was not in Miami. It was not in Tampa. Those funds should be spent here. And those funds have been promised here. 75% of that settlement has been promised to be invested in a way that will strengthen and diversify our regional economy." White says the BP money could be tempting to other parts of the state. "Anytime that a large amount of money flows through the state legislature, a lot of people from around the state have projects and things at home that they think would be a better use of that money than being spent here."
Other local issues white has identified is economic development and diversity in the region and keeping the state, as he says, the most military friendly in the country. "I think right now we are, and I want to continue to maintain that and strengthen it. It is unique to our area, obviously because we have so many military retirees, because we have so many people in our work force that have military backgrounds, or even active duty or civilian contractors. we, in our region, if we can maintain that work force here, and we can do things as a state to incentivize, to encourage that incredibly skilled work force to stay, we all win. not only is it morally right, but we all win by having that competitive advantage in the marketplace (with) that fantastic work force."
Talking about statewide issues, White says he does not favor expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act saying he doesn’t trust the federal government to keep up their end of the funding. He also spoke about the state Supreme Court’s recent ruling on the death penalty. "I am an attorney, and so I actually agreed with the Supreme Court's prior ruling throwing out the first state statute. When government takes someone's life, even someone who does the most heinous act, the most heinous things, it needs to be unanimous. it needs to be so clear that it's a compelling closed door case." White pointed to data that shows disparities in the legal system that affect "ethnic minorities" disproportionately. "There are flaws in the system. And so whenever government does exercise something so final as taking a human life, it absolutely has to be perfectly clear."
When asked to make his closing argument, White talked about his track record of service. "I have 15 years of business experience, I have a record of serving our community (as) Vice Chair of Pensacola State College's Board. I chair the state's conduit bond issuer. I am on the boards of, too many...probably a dozen non-profits around the area. I have a track record of service and making a difference here and the path is clear (it's time) to take it to Tallahassee."
Frank White is the Republican candidate for the Florida State House in District 2. He is running against Democratic candidate Ray Guillory.