After the redistricting process earlier this year, Florida House District 20 now covers the eastern half of Alachua County.
Democrats Clovis Watson Jr. and Marihelen Wheeler are competing in the Aug. 14 primary. While no Republican is in this race, a write-in candidate did qualify, so the winner will not be declared until the General Election ballot in November.
Scroll down to read about the candidates.
Clovis Watson Jr.
OCCUPATION: Former city manager of Alachua
EDUCATION: Current doctoral candidate, Northcentral University, Prescott, Ariz.; MBA, Northcentral University; M.A., Mountain State University, Beckley, W.V.; B.A., University of Alabama; A.S., Santa Fe Community College
CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: VoteForClovis.com
This candidate has not returned WJXT/News4Jax.com's questionnaire.
FAMILY: Husband, Paul Wheeler; sons Jeremiah and Pasco
EDUCATION: M.A. art education; M.A. exceptional student education
OCCUPATION: Public middle school teacher
POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: None
WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE TOP THREE ISSUES IN THIS RACE?
- Education - renew confidence and funding for public education k-12 and post secondary schools Reinstatement of vocational training to insure our children can develop skills to make them job competitive.
- Economy-support local businesses and state workers:firefighters, law enforcement, teachers, and recognize the dignity of labor and the working men and women in our communities. Provide jobs for returning military.
- Environment- Water conservation and education regarding water quality and quantity statewide
HOW DO YOU THINK YOU CAN HELP VOTERS IN A WAY OTHERS IN THIS RACE CAN'T?
- "I have over 30 years' experience in public, private and juvenile justice educational settings. I have a strong understanding of what students and their families are facing when they are unable to pass the increasingly difficult standards for high school graduation. I have the knowledge to explain to legislators that the requirements of high school graduation are not realistic for all students and that alternatives must be offered. I have also been working with water conservation groups for over 6 years and am strongly vocal about making this a top priority for our environmental infrastructure."
WHAT WOULD YOU HOPE TO BE REMEMBERED FOR ACCOMPLISHING AFTER SERVING IN THIS OFFICE?
- "I would hope to be remembered for the service to the people who sent me to represent their needs and concerns. Over the years I have developed strong listening and problem solving skills. I have a strong sense of justice and am not afraid to be the voice of those who are the target of injustice.I hope to make a difference in the lives of families whose children can finally get out into society functioning to contribute to the growth and prosperity of the state in which they live.I would also like to remembered as a member of the team of legislators that recognized that Florida's greatest natural resource is its many waterways, oceans, lakes and springs and was able to economically capitalize on the resource rather than destroy it."