This redrawn district includes all of Monroe County and parts of south Miami-Dade County, north to Miami International Airport and west to Hendry and Collier counties.
Senate District 39 has been held by Larcenia Bullard or her husband Edward Bullard since 1992, after the district was drawn to give greater access to black voters and did not include the Keys. Now their son, state Rep. Dwight Bullard, 35, is leaving the Florida House to run for the Senate. He was not our first choice in the Democratic Primary because there was an opportunity to elect Ron Saunders, a resident of the Keys, which we believe needs more representation in Tallahassee.
In the general election, though, Mr. Bullard is our pick.
His opponent is Republican Scott Hopes of Homestead. Mr. Hopes is chairman and CEO of a health technology firm. He has lived in the district six years. A conservative, Mr. Hopes believes in allowing private schools to get taxpayers dollars under a “school choice” model.
A public school teacher, Mr. Bullard says he will continue to push for education reforms that help children learn and do not punish teachers for having struggling students in high-poverty schools. Among his “who’s who” of supporters is Homestead Mayor Steve Bateman, Florida City Mayor Otis Wallace and at least two Miami-Dade School Board members, Larry Feldman and Raquel Regalado.
Mr. Bullard describes himself as an “advocate for the middle class and working families” and feels he could work better in the Senate than in the more divisive House (he was elected in 2008) to advance issues for his constituents. He supports taxing Internet sales to level the playing field with local businesses that hire Floridians and charge the sales tax only to see out-of-state companies scoop up Florida customers without collecting a cent in sales tax that rightly should go to help fund Florida’s many needs.
For state Senate District 39, The Herald recommends DWIGHT BULLARD.