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State House | District 35

This race pits a former Hernando County commissioner who is active in the community against an incumbent who has a sizable monetary advantage. Rose Rocco is running for state office for the first time while Robert Schenck is going for his last before he reaches term limits. Danny Valentine, Times staff writer

Rose Rocco, 71


Robert Schenck, 37

State representative

A resident of Hernando County since 1987, the Brooklyn native is running for state representative for the first time. Rocco served one term on the Hernando County Commission before losing in 2010. She ran for the commission in 2002 and again in 2004, both times as a Republican, without success. She switched her affiliation to Democrat in 2006. Before retiring, she worked in accounting and customer service and served as a sales representative. Rocco has been active in numerous organizations, including past president and founder of Operation PRIDE, a community cleanup organization. She is president of the Weeki Wachee Springs State Park community support organization.Experience Schenck came to Spring Hill from New Jersey in 1980 and is seeking his fourth and final term in the state House before reaching term limits. He was elected to the Hernando County Commission in 2002 and quit the job in 2006 to run for the House seat. Schenck has previously worked as a teacher at Central High School and as a teacher for homebound students, a physician's liaison for an insurance company and as a real estate broker. Since the beginning of the year, he has worked in business development for Suncoast CPA.
A graduate of East Patterson High School in New Jersey, Rocco also has taken various business and professional courses.EducationSchenck graduated from Central High School, earned an associate's degree from Pasco-Hernando Community College and a bachelor's degree in social science education with a minor in history from the University of Central Florida.
Rocco is hoping to work in a bipartisan way to bring more economic development to the state and Hernando County. She wants to protect Florida's water and strengthen local control of the natural resource. She also wants to work to improve communication between state, local and federal agencies, and she wants to work to get more affordable rates from insurance companies.PlatformSchenck, who is running on a similar platform as he did in the last election, pledges to promote a more business-friendly climate, emphasizing job development and job creation. He says he would work to shrink the state budget and get rid of useless regulations.
Rocco says "stand your ground" needs to be reviewed and is dangerous as it is written. She says the law's intentions were good.Should the "stand your ground" law be changed or repealed?No.
Rocco thinks it's important to support education to compete on the global level. She thinks the state needs to reassess the way it spends on education. The FCAT exam is not a very good barometer, she says.Should the state be spending more on K-12 education? What about higher education?Schenck believes education is about a lot more than funding — it's about teachers, curriculum and accountability. Meanwhile, he feels universities should not be given more funding, as they are least efficient with their resources.
Rocco says she would work in a bipartisan way to promote small- and medium-size businesses. She believes quality of life, an educated workforce and strong infastructure are paramount in convincing a business to relocate.What else can the Legislature do to grow Florida's economy?Schenck said the best way to help grow the economy is to continue to cut red tape and be more fluid with the state's incentive programs.
Home, bank accounts, IRA accountsAssetsHome, vehicles, a lot, E-Trade account, bank account
Social SecurityIncomeSalary as a representative
Married; three grown childrenPersonalDivorced; two children
rocco2012.comWebsiteNone listed

About the job: State House District 35 includes all of Hernando County except the northwest quadrant. Representatives serve two-year terms and are paid $29,697 a year.

Florida House District 35: Rose Rocco (D), Robert Schenck (R)

This race pits a former Hernando County commissioner who is active in the community against an incumbent who has a sizable monetary advantage. Rose Rocco is running for state office for the first time while Robert Schenck is going for his last before he reaches term limits.

Florida House District 35: Rose Rocco (D), Robert Schenck (R) 10/17/12 [Last modified: Thursday, October 18, 2012 11:02am]
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