I am a fourth generation Sarasotan. My great grandfather, William Hobson, moved the family to Sarasota in 1922 to serve as the chief tent maker for Ringling Circus. I graduated from Cardinal Mooney High School in 1996 and am a graduate of both the Florida State University and the University of South Florida (MBA). I have worked in public accounting for the last six years, and am a licensed Certified Public Accountant and owner of Gruters CPA.
I have worked for Congressman Vern Buchanan (FL-13) in both corporate and political roles. I began in 2000 and served as Campaign Manager for Buchanan’s successful 2008 re-election campaign. I am married to Sydney Gruters and we have two boys, Spencer and Jack, and a baby girl, Elizabeth Rose.
In what community organizations have you been active?
For the last 20 years I have been working at the grass roots level, as both a party activist and leader, including having served as Congressman Buchanan’s Campaign Manager, as President of the Young Republicans, as a volunteer on numerous campaigns, as Vice Chairman of the Republican Party of Florida and for the last 7 years as the Chairman of the Republican Party of Sarasota County.
I am an active member of the community and local government. I previously served as Chairman of the Sarasota Planning Commission, on the Board of the Florida Sports Foundation and served on as Treasurer for the Sarasota Humane Society. I currently serve on the Board of Trustees for Florida State University. I also serve on the University of South Florida Community Leadership Counsel at the Sarasota Campus.
Why are you running for this office, and what qualities, experience and skills do you bring to this position?
As a CPA and small business owner I understand the cost of business regulation and taxes on working families. I love our area and will do everything I can to continue to make Manatee and Sarasota the best possible place to live and work.
What do you see as the most important issues facing this office, and how would you deal with them if elected?
We need to continue to work on improving the economy and I will be a consistent advocate for policies that promote growth, expands opportunities and improves our quality of life. A strong education system improves the overall well being of the community and we need to empower parents with school choice, eliminate common core and keep Florida colleges and universities affordable and competitive.