Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Republicans square off in District 56 state House primary

An incumbent and a dentist will face off in the Republican primary for District 56, the area stretching from Brandon west to Davis Islands in Tampa, in the Florida House.

The Republican race, the only contested race in the district, pits incumbent Rachel Burgin against Marc Johnson. The winner of the Republican primary will face Democrat David Chalela, an attorney, and write-in candidate Lewis Laricchia in November.

Johnson, 41, answered questions about his campaign between seeing patients at one of the two dental offices he owns.

In addition to filling cavities, Johnson spent three months in Iraq in 2008 and he continues to serve as a major in the U.S. Army Reserve. He lives in Lithia's FishHawk Ranch subdivision with his wife, a high school special education teacher, and two young daughters.

Legislation to reign in fraudulent Medicaid spending, improving failing schools and job creation programs are at the top of his agenda.

"I'm trying to make this a more job-friendly area," Johnson said. He added that he wants to reduce taxes and get property insurance "in shape."

Johnson said his experiences as a small business owner and parent make him the right person to take on these issues.

"I have firsthand experience with everything I've mentioned," Johnson said. "That's where I'm comparable to my opponent."

Republican incumbent Rachel Burgin, 27, said her two years in office are evidence of her dedication to the residents of Hillsborough County.

When former District 56 Rep. Trey Traviesa decided not to run for re-election in 2008, local party officials nominated Burgin, Traviesa's aide for two years, for the seat.

Burgin cited heightened highway safety, better educational technology and improved Internet safety as some of her legislative successes in the past two years.

If re-elected, Burgin said the economy would be her first priority.

"We need to make sure people can sustain their businesses and that there is not too much government regulation impeding the creation of jobs," Burgin said.

Sarah Hutchins can be reached at (813) 661-2443 or shutchins@sptimes.com.

Republicans square off in District 56 state House primary 07/01/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 3, 2010 7:01pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Encounters: Trial by storm for a rookie principal

    K12

    DUNEDIN — When he nodded off to sleep, the hallway lights outside Michael Vasallo's office were on, so the sudden darkness woke him.

    The glow of his desk phone dimmed.

    Michael Vasallo, right, the first-year principal at Dunedin Highland Middle School, talks with the school's head plant operator Clint Case near the back-up generator on campus. The generator failed just as Hurricane Irma passed through Pinellas County, making for a stressful night. The experience made Vasallo long to return to his regular job, educating middle schoolers. [COLEEN WRIGHT   |   Times]


  2. Who is in charge during a hurricane? Hillsborough County and Tampa still can't agree

    Hurricanes

    TAMPA — Who has the authority to order an evacuation during a hurricane?

    Mayor Bob Buckhorn says he has evacuation authority.
  3. Gators rally past Kentucky, streak hits 31

    Blogs

    LEXINGTON, Ky. — For the second week in a row, Florida found itself storming the field in a game that came down to the last second. A 57-yard field-goal attempt by Kentucky kicker Austin MacGinnis came just a few feet short of making history and snapping a 30-year losing streak, as the No. 20 Gators escaped a …

    Florida wide receiver Brandon Powell (4) scores a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Kentucky, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, in Lexington, Ky.
  4. Pen makes it way too interesting as Rays hang on for 9-6 win

    Blogs

    A couple of home runs provided the news pegs of the night for the Rays, but it was more topical to talk about what nearly happened as they hung on for a 9-6 win over the Orioles.

    Lucas Duda's three-run homer in the third inning was the Rays' record-breaking 217th of the season, as well as his …

  5. An attempt to project what Rays will look like in 2018

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — We know what the Rays look like this year: a team that had enough talent but too many flaws, in construction and performance, and in the next few days will be officially eliminated from a wild-card race it had a chance to win but let slip away.

    Adeiny Hechavarria, high-fiving Lucas Duda, seems likely to be brought back.