Jennifer Webb to run against Kathleen Peters in House 69
A University of South Florida administration official has announced her candidacy Wednesday, challenging Republican incumbent Kathleen Peters for the House 69 seat.
Jennifer Webb, director of community engagements and partnerships at USF, will make her first run for office against Peters, who easily won reelection in 2014.
Webb, who earned a master's in applied anthropology from USF in 2014, said her job gave her the opportunity "to successfully bring together businesses, universities, non-profits, and residents to solve our most pressing social problems. I’ve created projects to increase employment, eliminate hunger and house homeless families, and support high quality public schools" in a statement announcing her candidacy.
Peters has raised $134,496 for her releection, according to Florida Department of State records.
Peters, 55, first elected in 2012, has championed mental health issues in the Legislature. She quickly pushed back, emailing a statement to supporters, asking for donations and volunteers for her reelection campaign.
The district, comprised of Gulfport, South Pasadena (where Peters served as mayor) and the beach towns from St. Pete Beach north to the Reddingtons, voted for Obama in the last two elections.
Webb, 36, who lives in Gulfport, said that political demography makes the district ripe for a Democratic takeover.
"We know that this is not about Republicans vs. Democrats; this is about understanding the needs of our community, being their voice in Tallahassee, and delivering results. I have been proud to champion legislation to improve our broken mental health system, encourage job creation in our region, and foster relationships amongst people of all ideologies," Peters said in her statement.
The election is Nov. 8.