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State House | District 68

In one of the state's most competitive races, Frank Farkas wants to help streamline government and get residents back to work. Dwight Dudley thinks he can do better for the community and for all Floridians. Matt Weidner, a 40-year-old attorney running as an independent, did not respond to questions. Mark Puente, Times staff writer

Frank Farkas, 56

Chiropractor

Dwight Dudley, 58

Attorney

PartyRepublicanDemocrat
Experience Farkas grew up in Wisconsin and moved to St. Petersburg in 1972 with his family. He founded the Farkas Chiropractic Clinic and has been president of the Florida Chiropractors Association. Farkas, who reports a net worth of $3.5 million, was elected to the state House in 1998 and re-elected in 2000, 2002 and 2004. Dudley, who has lived in St. Petersburg for 53 years, comes from a family of 11. He has operated a law practice for the past 16 years. Prior to that, he worked as a public defender for eight years. Dudley reports a net worth of $418,000. Early in his career he worked as a legislative aide and analyst for the state House.
EducationSt. Petersburg Junior College, Eckerd College and Palmer College of ChiropracticSt. Petersburg Junior College, Florida State University and Florida State University College of Law
What can the Legislature do to grow Florida's economy and create more jobs?Create a more adaptable workforce through training programs at community colleges and universities. Employees who require specific skills for a certain job and company must be trained in a short period of time.Creating more and better jobs starts with an educated workforce, so investing in our schools today will create smarter, more employable workers tomorrow. Offering targeted incentives . . . is something we need to do.
What's your position on private school vouchers? Should more be granted?"I feel the Corporate Tax Credit Program is working effectively, sending thousands of students to private schools of their choice. This program should be allowed to continue to grow as credits are granted. Private schools must apply for these students. There is sufficient accountability, in my opinion."Voucher systems as well as for-profit charter schools have been sources of wasteful spending with little accountability and standards. While Florida's public schools are already so terribly underfunded, diverting additional money into vouchers makes little sense.
Gov. Rick Scott wants more money for ports and toll roads. What will your priorities be for mass transit?We are still a society that loves to drive our cars everywhere. We need to review port charges as well as the gas tax. We have one of the highest gas taxes in the country. I am in favor of user taxes, and I do support toll charges. Mass transit should be a local initiative with the voters deciding on how much money that they want to spend.Taxpayers have paid for the construction of these (toll) roads, and there's simply no reason to privatize portions of our roads for those who can afford the luxury of daily tolls. We need to actively pursue alternatives such as light rail, smart public transit and high-speed rail where appropriate.
How would you change the state's energy policy?It must be more flexible as we are witnessing tremendous discoveries in new and cost-saving technologies. It must be more flexible. We voted to spend exorbitant amounts of money on nuclear power plants in 2006. Now we need technologies to extract oil, coal and natural gas and the price has come down for these products.I would promote (the) use of natural gas as an abundant , clean, reliable energy source that will support job creation. I would also support efforts to ensure that offshore oil drilling remains exactly that — well offshore, at least 100 miles into federal waters. I have serious concerns with the funding of nuclear energy.
AssetsOffice buildings, home, chiropractic practice, stocks and bondsOffice building, home, investment properties, IRA
LiabilitiesMortgage, car loans, home equity loans and credit cardsThree mortgages
IncomeChiropractic clinicLaw practice
PersonalHe has been married to Toni for 35 years and has two adult childrenHe has been married to Mary Rachel Dudley for 20 years and has three children
Website franklyfarkas.comelectdwightdudley.com
Emailfarkascampaign@yahoo.com electdwightdudley@gmail.com

About the job: The St. Petersburg area district covers much of northeast St. Petersburg and eastern Pinellas Park. State representatives serve two-year terms and are paid $29,697 a year.

Florida House District 68: Dwight Dudley (D), Frank Farkas (R), Matt Weidner (I)

In one of the state's most competitive races, Frank Farkas wants to help streamline government and get residents back to work. Dwight Dudley thinks he can do better for the community and for all Floridians. Matt Weidner, a 40-year-old attorney running as an independent, did not respond to questions.

Florida House District 68: Dwight Dudley (D), Frank Farkas (R), Matt Weidner (I) 10/17/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 3:18pm]
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