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State House | District 59, Rena Frazier v. Naze Sahebzamani

State House | District 59, Democrats

Two Democrats are vying to challenge Republican incumbent Ross Spano in a swing district that leans slightly Democratic. Spano won with a 51-49 margin in 2012, but breezed to a 58-42 percent victory in 2014.

About the job: District 59 covers Brandon, Riverview and Valrico. State representatives serve two-year terms and earn $29,697 a year.

Rena Frazier

Profession: 

Lawyer, Quarles & Brady

About the candidate: 

Frazier , 37, has served as a real estate lawyer since graduating from law school in 2004. She is a Florida native and mother of four, including a daughter who is a cadet in the U.S. Air Force Academy. Her husband owns a small business that focuses on sustainable energy solutions. She is a past member of the Board of Trustees of Brandon Regional Hospital, and currently serves on the Board of the University Area Community Development Corp. She lists her top legislative priorities as accessible health care for all Floridians, public education and small business support. She has volunteered with Bay Area Legal Services and provides pro bono services to disadvantaged community members.

Education: 

Hillsborough High School, 1997; University of South Florida, B.S. Civil/Environmental Engineering; Stetson University College of Law, Juris Doctor, 2004

Are you in favor of legalizing medical marijuana for those with debilitating conditions? Why or why not? 

"Yes. On Mother's Day, we took my mom to her favorite restaurant and we watched as she struggled with tremors associated with her seizure disorder. I support the legalization of medical marijuana because it would help improve the quality of life for those among us suffering from debilitating illnesses and medical conditions, including appetite issues associated with cancer, chronic pain and symptoms like my mom's."

Are you in favor of stricter gun control measures and if so, why? If you oppose gun control, then what do you believe the government can do to prevent mass shootings? 

"My husband is a responsible firearm owner and we value the right to protect our family should the need arise. We can respect Second Amendment rights while also putting reasonable protections in place like addressing the gun show loophole that would help prevent dangerous weapons from getting into the wrong hands, respecting college and university policies prohibiting guns on campus, and passing background checks."

As a toxic algae bloom chokes several state waterways, how should the state respond and who do you believe is to blame? 

"I majored in Environmental Engineering at USF to work on protecting Florida's natural resources. We cannot take quality water and clean air for granted. Our state government should take the lead in assessing its role in the algae bloom damaging our water quality and affecting our local residents and businesses. It should take prompt action to develop comprehensive solutions to alleviate the impact and prevent future occurrences."

Assets/liabilities/ income: 

Assets: Homes, land, savings, insurance. Liabilities: mortgages, medical bill, student and auto loans. Net income: $158,333 salary, $21,600 rents.

Personal: 

Married, four children, lives in Brandon.

Campaign fundraising: 

Contributions: $158,450 Expenditures: $17,390

On the web: 

www.renaforflorida.com [email protected] @RenaForFlorida

Naze Sahebzamani

Profession: 

Teacher, Robinson High School

About the candidate: 

After earning a political science degree, Sahebzamani, 46, worked in Washington, D.C. as a staff assistant to U.S. Rep. Sandy Levin, D-Mich., and as a legislative aide to U.S. Rep. Bob Wise, D-W. Va. She returned to Florida 10 years ago to begin a teaching career. She spent the past three years as a mentor supporting new teachers, and is a leader in her union. Sahebzamani returned to the classroom this fall, teaching social studies in the Robinson High School International Baccalaureate Program. She lists her top legislative priorities as education, health care and job growth.

Education: 

Brandon High School, 1989; Florida Atlantic University, B.A. Political Science, 1996.

Are you in favor of legalizing medical marijuana for those with debilitating conditions? Why or why not? 

"I support legalizing medical marijuana for those with debilitating conditions. I support helping to improve the quality of life of someone with debilitating condition while under the care of their doctor."

Are you in favor of stricter gun control measures and if so, why? If you oppose gun control, then what do you believe the government can do to prevent mass shootings? 

"I believe in better gun control measures such as closing the gun show loophole and banning assault weapons. However, we need to address the issue of mental health as well. We have to take the shame out of asking for help and do more to make it easier for people to have access to it."

As a toxic algae bloom chokes several state waterways, how should the state respond and who do you believe is to blame? 

"The Governor should have bought the land that could have helped this from happening. The state Legislature should make laws that regulate our waters and natural resources and should investigate who is responsible and make them pay for the cleanup of our waterways. We can not afford to allow anyone to destroy our environment. Additionally, Florida has some of the best beaches in the world that draw tourists year-round. It is a major source of revenue for our state and small businesses and we can not allow this to happen again."

Assets/liabilities/ income: 

Assets: Household goods, IRA, savings.Liabilities: None. Income, $53,846 salary.

Personal: 

Single, lives in Brandon

Campaign fundraising: 

Contributions: $33,536 Expenditures: $14,095

On the web: 

www.naze4florida.com [email protected]

State House | District 59, Rena Frazier v. Naze Sahebzamani 08/17/16 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 17, 2016 5:30pm]
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