[courtesy of the League of Women Voters of Manatee County]
I am a homeowner in Manatee County. I live in the Braden River Lakes sub-
division with my wife, Mildred, a small business owner of an independent
insurance agency. I have been in the private practice of law since 1975 and I am the pastor of an African Methodist Episcopal Church. I am a graduate of Stetson University – BBA, the University of Florida Levin College of Law – JD, and Atlanta University – MDiv.
In what community organizations have you been active?
Centerstone of Florida (formerly Manatee Glens) Board member; formerly Just For Girls, Inc., and Meals On Wheels, Manatee, board member; Manatee County Community Pastors Fellowship
Why are you running for this office, and what qualities, experience and skills do you bring to this position?
I am seeking the Florida House District-73 seat, which is being vacated by Rep. Greg Steube because of term limits. Joe Gruters, the Florida campaign co-chair for Donald Trump, is the Republican candidate. My presence in the Florida Legislature will serve to make that body more bi-partisan, thereby assuring all voters of a legislature that is more focused on everyone’s interests rather than a legislature only committed to the partisan agenda of just one political party.
My record of community involvement in mental health, homelessness, and feeding the hungry stands as testimony to my heart for service. My 8-year record of service as a Bradenton city councilmember and 7-year term on the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council is ample evidence of my mind for progress. Both my heart for service and my mind for progress as proof of my experience and skills to be an effective state representative.
What do you see as the most important issues facing this office, and how would you deal with them if elected?
We live in a state that spends way too much money trying to attract new business here, but spends way too little money assuring that the working families needed to make those businesses profitable a) are healthy, both physically and mentally, b) are well-educated, c) can make a livable wage, d) have affordable housing available, and e) that demonstrates a commitment to being inclusive of all its citizens in providing opportunity and promoting diversity.
This problem is compounded by the fact that our existing businesses enjoy the benefits of myriad tax breaks at the expense of back-breaking cuts to child-care subsidies, mental health funding, infrastructure spending, public safety, and the environment.
WE NEED more creative efforts to overcome the environmental, educational, and economic challenges facing our families every day.
WE NEED more bi-partisan collaboration in the Legislature to provide equal pay for equal work; to promote safer gun use, and to enhance penalties for serial domestic abuse.
WE NEED more federal and state cooperation to rebuild our roads, bridges, and ports; reduce healthcare coverage gaps, and provide adequate Zika research funding to benefit all Floridians.