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State House, District 36

State House | District 36

Jim Mathieu, Pasco's Republican party chairman, lost last summer's District 36 primary election. This time around, he faces Chris Gregg. The winner will challenge Democrat Amanda Murphy, who won a special election in October to replace longtime legislator Mike Fasano, who resigned to become Pasco's tax collector.


Jim Mathieu, 60



Chris Gregg, 44


Medical services

Experience Mathieu is a lawyer and owner of Mathieu Mediations. This is his third run for District 36, but he has served as chairman or vice chairman of the Republican Party of Pasco since 2009 and as its general counsel since 2007. He was Port Richey city attorney from 2006 to 2008. Currently he serves as president of a nonprofit charter school, the Athenian Academy. He came to Pasco in 2005 after practicing law in Philadelphia. Gregg is a regional director for Miramar-based American Health Associates, which runs blood testing labs for nursing homes and long-term care facilities. He earlier owned Elite Med Spa, a medical spa company. He was a flight medic in the Air Force from 1991 to 1999. He ran as a no-party candidate in 2000 for the state House and as a District 3 Pasco County Commission candidate in 2012. He moved to Pasco in 2009.
Involvement "King Pithla" nominee, Lighthouse for the Visually Impaired and Blind (2010); Port Richey Rotary board of directors (2005-10); Alzheimer's Family Organization board of directors (2007-2010); Jeanes Hospital, Philadelphia, advisory board (2001-05). American Legion Post 173 in Holiday; Rotary Club of Trinity (2012); counselor at Oasis —A Pregnancy Care Center in Land O'Lakes; West Pasco Pregnancy Center; member of, a nondemoninational church in Tarpon Springs.
Why should voters vote for you? I have the experience and background appropriate for making informed decisions regarding legislation. I will fight for west Pasco and not allow outside influence to sway my positions. I am involved in the west Pasco community. I have written legislation and will insist that all bills are given an appropriate amount of time to research and review. I know the issues such as car, home, sinkhole and flood insurance, education and taxes. Having served in the military, I bring leadership skills and a work ethic that will enable me to accomplish our goals. For the first time in over 20 years the voters of District 36 will have the opportunity to send a veteran to Tallahassee to fight for our community. We need a candidate who can win in the general election. We also need a Republican in District 36 who can work with the Republican House, Senate and governor.
Name three issues you hope to address in the House. The process of passing the majority of bills at the end of the session needs to be addressed. The grouping together of unrelated legislation in the same bill is not proper. The process does not allow sufficient time to research bills. Although immigration and the border are federal issues, there are many issues which the state can address concerning illegal aliens. It can no longer be ignored. We need insurance reform to lower costs for car, home, sinkhole and flood insurance. The No. 1 issue is jobs. Every option to bring jobs to District 36 is on the table. We can't afford to lose jobs to other counties or states. The second issue is insurance costs. We need to bring more qualified insurance companies to the marketplace to lower insurance costs and increase the quality of service and coverage. Third, Duke Energy needs to build the nuclear power plant or return the money it collected.
How would you bring high-paying jobs to Pasco? I would partner with other elected officials to determine whether an enterprise zone could be established in west Pasco. There are state tax incentives available, but an enterprise zone would be a better way of centralizing the issue and seeking economic development. We must make investments in roads, bridges and core services to move goods to market and residents to work. Second, improving public education will attract new industries and prevent a "brain drain" to other states. Finally, we must make business development and recruitment a centerpiece of any jobs plans.
How would you address flood and sinkhole insurance costs? Legislation to open the marketplace to private carriers needs to be addressed and expanded. Sinkhole insurance needs to be reworked. Also, the law regarding claims, the definition of a sinkhole and required coverages need further review. We need to bring more insurers to the market. A free market will lower costs to consumers and increase quality in service and coverage. Also, insurers should have reserve ratios high enough to cover claims and stay in business.
Personal Mathieu lives in Port Richey. He's single with no children. He moved to Pasco nine years ago. Gregg and his wife, Alena, have two children. They live in New Port Richey.


About the job: State House District 36 mostly runs west of Little Road from Pinellas to Hernando counties. State representatives serve two-year terms and are paid $29,697 a year.

State House, District 36 08/14/14 [Last modified: Thursday, August 14, 2014 4:47pm]
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