Democrat to run against Republican House District 65 incumbent Chris Sprowls
Bernard "Bernie" Fensterwald of Dunedin announced in a press release today that he will run against incumbent Rep. Chris Sprowls for the House District 65 seat in November.
A 65-year-old Democrat, Fensterwald says he differs from Sprowls, a Republican first elected to the spot in 2014, because he supports a "progresive agenda" involving protection of the environment, planning for climate change and the expansion of solar energy.
"People come to Pinellas County for the environment, and I think we should do what we can to protect it," he said in an interview with the Times Thursday.
Fensterwald said Sprowls' "crazy" vote in favor of fracking in the last legislative session was his main motivation to run. Other ideas he supports are:
- Improvements to schools, transportation and the voting process
- Expansion of tourism, agriculture, technology and small businesses
- Increased civil rights for minorities
"I want to be in it for the voters," he said. "(Sprowls) talks like he is in it for the voters... but from what I have read, I'm not sure. It seems like he should be spending a little more time representing the citizens."
Fensterwald grew up in Virginia before graduating from Vanderbilt University and then Tulane School of Law. He went to work for the Federal Trade Commission and went on to open a law firm specializing in public information litigation. In 2002, he graduated from Virginia Tech with a degree in counseling and worked until 2006 as a school counselor. He is now retired.
More information about his campaign can be found here.