One Republican and one Democrat are running in this legislative district, which covers the northern third of Clay County. The seat had been represented by Cord Byrd, who Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed Florida’s secretary of state earlier this summer.
Because there is only one candidate from each party in the district, the race only appears on the general election ballot in November.
News4Jax sent a questionnaire to each candidate asking about their background and their views on several issues. Scroll down to read the responses of those seeking your vote -- in their own words.
Note: Responses are sorted alphabetically by party and are presented exactly as submitted, with no editing by News4Jax staff.
Your family: Married with 7 Children (6 adults and 1 minor).
Education: PhD in Counseling, Master in Christian Counseling, Bachelor in Socioolgy
Political experience: N/A
We asked our most-loyal viewers (News4Jax Insiders) what three issues they would most like candidates to address:
Viewers’ No. 1 issue: The economy
- As a voter, I too share the same frustrations as everyone else with pertaining to inflation and the price gouging. I would look at ways to incentivize local businesses to keep them from being forced to raise their prices.
Viewers’ No. 2 issue: Voter rights/election integrity
- Since 1866, there has not been other single piece of legislation that has been voted on or more controversial than voter rights. I believe that ever eligible voter in the State of Florida reserves the right to participate in a free democracy. That right does not involve voter intimidation or voter suppression at the hands of legislators. If there are clear signs of election violations, I will support measures to hold individuals accountable.
Viewers’ No. 3 issue: Gun rights/gun safety
- I fully support 2nd Amendment Rights. As a gun owner I will never be onboard with asking law abiding citizens to surrender their weapons. However, I do believe that we need sensible gun law reform in our state and country. I don’t think that is too much to ask or stand by to ensure that more innocent lives aren’t lost.
News4Jax asked each candidate three additional questions to help voters determine which most agrees with their views:
What do you see as the top three issues facing the state and nation over the next two years?
- The lack of Affordable Housing, it’s concerning that we have working class American that can’t afford housing. I suspect this will only get worse in the next couple of years.
- Another growing issue are fascist, this is a huge threat to our democracy. We have emerging groups in our state and nation pushing autocracy agendas.
- Thirdly I would say Mental Health, there are so many traumatizing events happening before I very eyes, that we may eventually become the face of PTSD. We are making great strides, but we have to make healthcare for mental health a real priority.
Do you believe Joe Biden is the legitimately elected president of the United States?
In light of the Supreme Court ruling striking down Roe v. Wade, would you propose or support additional laws either banning abortion entirely or guaranteeing reproductive rights?
- Reproductive rights are an important human right. No one should be denied the human dignity of control over their own body. I also don’t believe that any woman should be forced to carry the child of their rapist.
How can you help voters in a way that others running for this office cannot?
- I will advocate on behalf of all voters. I can’t say that others running for State Representative are currently doing, I’m just committed to fighting for voting rights.
What would you hope to be remembered for accomplishing after serving in this office?
- I would want to be remembered as someone who went to work for all Floridians and not just those that voted for me or a part of my party affiliation.
Campaign website: corneliusforflorida.com
This candidate, who has represented the 18th district in the Florida House since 2020, has not responded to email and telephone invitations to submit the News4Jax candidate questionnaire.
Campaign website: (None found)
Personal social media: facebook.com/sam.garrison.7737