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State House, District 65

State House | District 65

This Republican primary race features two political newcomers and former Pinellas-Pasco prosecutor's office colleagues vying to unseat Democratic one-term incumbent Carl Zimmermann in the Nov. 4 general election. Keyonna Summers, Times staff writer


Debbie Faulkner, 28


Private practice tax lawyer

Chris Sprowls, 30


Pinellas-Pasco assistant state attorney

Experience Faulkner, a Massachusetts native, has lived in Pinellas since age 3. At 14, she created her own nonprofit, Teens for Charitable Causes. The onetime Pinellas-Pasco County criminal prosecutor's legal education has taken her nationwide, but she returned last year to open her own law firm. An avid community volunteer, Faulkner shirks big-ticket fundraising or lobbyist support, saying her grass roots campaign's focus is ensuring transparency and homegrown representation that serves local interests. Born in New York, Sprowls has lived in Tampa Bay since age 3. After surviving cancer during high school, Sprowls became a coordinator for the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life, among other volunteer work. The former national chair of the American Bar Association's student division has worked as a legislative intern for Sen. Mike Fasano and Rep. Mike Bilirakis. Most of Sprowl's legal career is with the 6th Judicial Circuit Court, where he is a special prosecutor in the gang unit and director of the Veterans Treatment Court.
Education Stetson University, bachelor's degree in political science; Cornell Law School; Washington University in St. Louis, master of laws in taxation University of South Florida, bachelor's degree in political science; Stetson University College of Law
Priorities Restoring ethics, privacy rights and jobs. The aspiring ethics committee member wants to give the board "more teeth" to enforce rules. She fiercely opposes red light cameras. She says better transportation and infrastructure that shortens commutes would equal more corporate relocations and higher employee productivity. Jobs, education and veteran services. His top priority will be ensuring a robust economy that yields high-paying jobs for the community. "In order to achieve that goal, we must be able to provide parents with the opportunity to give their children a world-class education, with a special focus on math and science."
Greenlight Pinellas Opposes. "While I am a supporter of infrastructure advancement and transportation improvement, I think we can improve our transit system in Pinellas County with the amount of tax revenue that currently already goes to the transit authority." Personally opposes, but says the issue is best decided by voters. "I would like to see when the county revisits the Penny for Pinellas that transportation decisions can be better incorporated into existing revenue streams without creating new ones."
Medical marijuana Supports patients' access to marijuana for medical problems, such as pain relief. But opposes the current ballot language, which she says is "overly broad" and lacks a specific enough definition of debilitating conditions or access parameters. Opposes the current ballot language. "As the language is written, it is not just for those who are truly medically needy; it is marijuana on demand, for anyone, at any time, for anything, including children."
Income, assets Law firm, condo, retirement accounts, savings and brokerage accounts Salary, savings and checking accounts, COD, retirement account, stocks, timeshare, household goods
Liabilities Car loan, student debt Car loan, student debt
Personal Single, lives in Palm Harbor Single, lives in Palm Harbor


About the job: This section of northern Pinellas County includes Palm Harbor, Tarpon Springs and Dunedin, and was formerly District 48. State representatives serve two-year terms and are paid $29,697 a year.

State House, District 65 08/14/14 [Last modified: Thursday, August 14, 2014 4:32pm]
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