73ºF

Florida state House District 18

District covers northern half of Clay County, including Orange Park and most of Middleburg

photo

State Rep. Travis Cummings, who has represented this Clay County district for eight years, cannot run for re-election. Republican Sam Garrison, Democrat Leroy Anthony Edwards and Libertarian Ken Willey are running for this open seat.

Because there are no party contests, this race will appear only on the general election ballot in November.

Scroll down to read each candidate’s responses to News4Jax’s questionnaire, presented verbatim as submitted.

  DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE

Leroy Anthony Edwards

Party affiliation: Democratic

Campaign website: (none found)

This candidate has not responded to the News4Jax candidate survey.

  REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE

Sam Garrison

Party affiliation: Republican

Age: 43

Candidate’s family: Married for 21 years with two teenage daughters.

Occupation: Attorney

Education: J.D.- University of Illinois College of Law; B.A. - Samford University

Political experience: No prior elected office. Former Assistant State Attorney and current Chairman of St. Johns River State College Board of Trustees.

What do you see as the top three issues in this race?

  1. Economic recovery
  2. Public safety
  3. Education

How can you help voters in a way that others running for this office cannot?

Every candidate brings their own unique strengths and weaknesses to the position.

What would you hope to be remembered for accomplishing after serving in this office?

Leaving the legislature with a stronger economy, safer neighborhoods and more quality schools than when I was first elected.

If elected how would you address the calls for racial justice?

Improving access to quality education for all Floridians, especially in underserved communities.

What challenges does COVID-19 present to the office you are seeking?

Impossible to quantify. It affects all aspects of our State.

Campaign website: electsamgarrison.com

Campaign’s social media pages: N/A

  LIBERTARIAN CANDIDATE

Ken Willey

Party affiliation: Libertarian

Age: 48

Candidate’s family: Married 16 years with one child.

Occupation: Retired Military

Education: (no answer)

Political experience: Member of the 2014 Clay County Charter Review Commission, former Executive Committee member of the Libertarian Party of Florida, three time delegate to Libertarian Party National Convention.

What do you see as the top three issues in this race?

  1. Economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
  2. Access to affordable healthcare.
  3. Reduced revenue and spending.

How can you help voters in a way that others running for this office cannot?

As neither Republican nor Democrat I will not be beholden to party politics or the special interests who fund their campaigns.

What would you hope to be remembered for accomplishing after serving in this office?

If I am remembered at all I would want to be remembered as the person who repealed more laws than they passed.

If elected how would you address the calls for racial justice?

First we must reform the criminal justice system from top to bottom. We have to prison population above the national average in the nation with the largest prison population in the world. Too many of these inmates are serving time for nonviolent and victimless crimes. This destroys families and future prospects for far too many people.

We have to continue removing barriers to employment such as occupational licensing. We have to remove barriers to starting and growing a business.

These two things are a just a place to start.

What challenges does COVID-19 present to the office you are seeking?

We still have more to learn before and the ability to adapt rapidly to changes will be the first challenge.

Campaign website: KenWilley.net

Campaign’s social media pages: Facebook