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State House | District 69

The District 69 House race offers voters a pair of confident candidates with divergent goals and backgrounds. Kathleen Peters has served on South Pasadena's City Commission since 2008. She is currently the mayor, a commission-appointed position. Josh Shulman lost a bid last year for St. Petersburg City Council. Peters entered the race with a bevy of high-profile endorsements and has raised substantially more money, but Shulman doesn't seem deterred. Since May, Shulman says, he has knocked on voters' doors every weekend but one. The Florida Democratic Party also recently released an aggressive TV ad promoting Shulman and attacking Peters. John Woodrow Cox, Times staff writer

Kathleen Peters, 51

Mayor of South Pasadena

Josh Shulman, 36

Certified financial planner

RepublicanPartyDemocrat
Peters and her husband bought a house in Pinellas County 27 years ago and have raised four children here. At the Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce, she worked with politicians throughout the state. She won a spot on South Pasadena's City Commission in 2008. Peters declined to specify where she fits on the continuum of conservatism, but says she strongly believes in small government. If elected, she pledges to focus on education reform.Experience Shulman grew up in the Northeast. While attending the University of Pittsburgh, Shulman says he worked three jobs, including one as an emergency medical technician. He moved to this area in 1998 and earned an MBA from the University of Florida in 2006. He and his wife had their first child last year. Shulman describes himself as a fiscal conservative and social liberal, and says his ability to see the big picture and consider diverse ideas makes him the better choice in this race.
Bachelor's degree from Eckerd CollegeEducationBachelor's degree from the University of Pittsburgh; master's in business administration from the University of Florida
"I believe Florida's top priority needs to be education," Peters says. "Education will be our greatest resource in competing in the national and global market." What would be your top priority in the Legislature? "My top priority is working to make sure that the state of Florida is able to encourage the growth of quality businesses, quality jobs, and ensure that everyone who plays by the rules has a fair shot at getting ahead," Shulman says.
"I support merit pay," Peters says. "I believe standardized testing has a role, but I also believe there should be additional measures that evaluate the progress of student achievement."What's your opinion of the state's reliance on the FCAT to determine merit pay?"The FCAT has become a punitive tool, feared by students, teachers and administrators alike as opposed to a diagnostic test used to identify areas of improvement," Shulman says. "We need accountability metrics and we need a way to evaluate schools and teachers effectively. The FCAT, in its current application, is not that tool."
"Florida needs to continue growing our current economic drivers while expanding other opportunities," Peters says. "I believe our greatest investment for economic growth will be made through an investment in human capital. We have gone away from educating and training for workforce skills and this has left our local companies without the appropriate workforce to meet their needs and grow their companies."What can the Legislature do to grow Florida's economy and create more jobs? "We must find ways to help the middle class thrive; this then translates into better business growth and profits. Secondly, businesses need qualified workers. If we are to attract and grow quality businesses here in Florida, we must be able to consistently provide a base of qualified workers. This directly correlates with the quality and efficacy of our education system," Shulman says. "Finally, businesses need appropriate regulation."
"Of course I support a comprehensive energy policy," Peters says. "However, the focus must always maintain a commitment to ensuring high reliability and affordable costs. With technologies advancing we are seeing expanded efforts on alternative energy sources such as solar and wind. I believe these will expand further once we develop increased storage capacity. I also believe we need to be diligent on generating energy efficiencies to reduce demand versus consuming more."How would you change the state's energy policy?"The Legislature has been absent in continuing to fund and support programs designed to decrease costs to businesses and individuals while providing for greater security by supporting the growth of a diversified energy portfolio. We need to support and develop alternative energy sources, power grid distribution technologies, and efficient power generation," Shulman says, adding that "we must remain vigilant over those who would drill for oil off our coast."
House in South Pasadena, two cars, retirement fundAssetsHouse in St. Petersburg, retirement funds, checking account
MortgageLiabilitiesMortgage, student loan, home equity line
Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce salary, South Pasadena mayor salaryIncomeWells Fargo Advisors financial planner salary
Married, with four adult sons PersonalMarried, with one young child
votekathleenpeters.comWebsitejoshforflorida.com
kathleenpeterscampaign@gmail.comEmailvotejosh@tampabay.rr.com

About the job: District 69 includes west St. Petersburg, Gulfport, South Pasadena and beach communities from the Redingtons to St. Pete Beach. Representatives serve two-year terms and are paid $29,697 a year.

Florida House District 69: Josh Shulman (D), Kathleen Peters (R)

The District 69 House race offers voters a pair of confident candidates with divergent goals and backgrounds. Kathleen Peters has served on South Pasadena's City Commission since 2008. She is currently the mayor, a commission-appointed position. Josh Shulman lost a bid last year for St. Petersburg City Council. Peters entered the race with a bevy of high-profile endorsements and has raised substantially more money, but Shulman doesn't seem deterred. Since May, Shulman says, he has knocked on voters' doors every weekend but one. The Florida Democratic Party also recently released an aggressive TV ad promoting Shulman and attacking Peters.

Florida House District 69: Josh Shulman (D), Kathleen Peters (R) 10/17/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 3:43pm]
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