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State House | District 67

Voters in District 67, encompassing much of Clearwater and Largo, will choose between incumbent Ed Hooper, who's seeking a fourth and final term in office; and challenger Ben Farrell, a manager at Lenny's Restaurant in Clearwater. Mike Brassfield, Times staff writer

Ed Hooper, 64

State representative, consultant, retired firefighter

Ben Farrell, 50

Restaurant manager

Republican PartyDemocrat
Hooper worked as a Clearwater firefighter for 28 years, retiring as a lieutenant. Clearwater city commissioner, 1996-2000. State representative from 2006 to the present. Former deputy majority leader in the state House.Experience Farrell is manager at Lenny's Restaurant on U.S. 19 in Clearwater. Navy veteran. Founded, built and sold a Largo pickle business with his brother. Learned to make fine furniture and helped open two furniture schools.
St. Petersburg Junior College, fire science and emergency medicine studiesEducationClearwater High, Naval School of Health Science, College of Charleston, Thomas Chippendale School of Furniture
"We've been reducing regulation to help businesses hire people and to reduce the burden on everybody. For the last six years, we have downsized. Our government is substantially smaller than what it was."Why should people vote for you?"Like so many folks I talk with, I'm extremely unhappy with the current crop of career politicians in Tallahassee who rule unanswered, on behalf of large corporations, with a virtual stranglehold on power on the hard-working people, families and small businesses of Florida."
"I think the Legislature is trying to achieve this every year. It is ports, motion pictures, home ownership, tort reform and all items that attract, create or retain jobs."How would you grow Florida's economy? Restore and invest in public schools and higher education. Assist employers in creating middle class jobs. Encourage in-state development and production of wind and solar energy systems.
"I think we have enough vouchers now. Any vouchers to nonpublic schools must be compared to public schools for accountability and teacher qualifications. Public education is still in the Constitution, and we need to improve that."What are your views on public education and school vouchers? "The voucher program undermines the public school system. Public school resources need to be used to pay our teachers properly, and restore and enhance classrooms to promote an effective learning environment for every child."
He does not support a sales tax increase for light rail, even though he sponsored a bill calling for the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority to end its property tax rate if Pinellas voters increased the sales tax to pay for rail.What's your position on light rail?"If we're going to be competitive, we need light rail and high speed rail … Germany and Britain and France all have it, and they don't have the GNP that we have. … If we're going to move forward, we have to embrace these technologies."
Home, rental property, certificates of deposit, retirement account AssetsCondominium, sailboat, investment trust, van
Two mortgages and an auto loan LiabilitiesVehicle loan
State representative salary; Clearwater firefighters pension; partnership in the Consus Group, a company that does community relations counseling IncomeRestaurant salary; investment trust
Married with adult children and grandchildren PersonalMarried, three sons
"Contact us" page on campaign website Email"Contact the campaign" page on website

About the job: House District 67 includes most of Clearwater and Largo except for the westernmost areas. In redistricting, the district lost Safety Harbor, Feather Sound and a bit of Dunedin, but picked up more of Largo and a slice of northern Pinellas Park. State representatives serve two years and are paid $29,697 a year.

Florida House District 67: Ben Farrell (D), Ed Hooper (R)

Voters in District 67, encompassing much of Clearwater and Largo, will choose between incumbent Ed Hooper, who's seeking a fourth and final term in office; and challenger Ben Farrell, a manager at Lenny's Restaurant in Clearwater.

Florida House District 67: Ben Farrell (D), Ed Hooper (R) 10/17/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 3:17pm]
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