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State House, District 67 (Republican)

State House | District 67

Republican state Rep. Ed Hooper is leaving this seat because of term limits and is running for a County Commission seat. Two Republicans and three Democrats are in the race to replace him in the state House of Representatives. The winners will face off in the Nov. 4 general election. Here is a look at the Republicans. Curtis Krueger, Times staff writer


Chris Latvala, 32


Printing company vice president

Christopher Shepard , 26


Student, Sam's Club employee

Experience Latvala was born in Pinellas County and grew up in Jacksonville. He later moved to Pasco County and returned to Pinellas in 2008. Latvala is the son of state Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater. He is vice president of Gulf Coast Imprinting Services, where his father is president. Latvala also is a former legislative aide to Rep. Hooper, whom he considers a mentor. He has served on committees for the Pinellas Metropolitan Planning Organization and a Christian pregnancy center. Shepard grew up in Pinellas County, graduated from Osceola High School and served in the U.S. Army in Iraq. He handled "neighborhood pacification" in Baghdad. He now works as a membership services associate at Sam's Club while he completes college. He also ran for the state House in 2012, losing to Hooper.
Education Associate's degree from Valencia Community College and a bachelor's in history from the University of Central Florida Completing an associate's degree at St. Petersburg College and aiming at a bachelor's degree in accounting
What makes you the best candidate? "I'm going to be the better representative because I'm going to work harder both during the campaign and once I'm elected." Says he admires his senator father but expects sometimes to vote differently. "My military experience, my world views, my strong conservatism." Of the tea party, he says, "I really appreciate what they've done for this nation." Says he doubts Latvala will prove independent of his father.
Greenlight Pinellas Normally does not support raising taxes but feels it's different when the public can vote to do so themselves. Intends to vote yes. Transportation is a big issue and "we can either do this or we can wait another 20 years and try to do something else." Will vote against the plan to add a rail system and expanded bus service in Pinellas, financed by a 1-cent sales tax. "It's just not something that Pinellas County needs. I'm not even sure it's something that Pinellas County wants."
Medical marijuana Says he's voting against it but not crusading against it. Will vote to implement the bill if the people approve it. He's voting no. He's concerned the measure "could possibly lead to the recreational use of marijuana."
Climate change "I don't believe it's the great issue facing Florida because our climate goes up and down and it has been for hundreds of years. I'm more focused on job creation," and education and other issues. Has signed a pledge, developed by the group Americans for Prosperity, to oppose any climate change provision "that includes a net increase in government revenue."
Income, assets Income from printing company, two houses, investments Sam's Club income, investments
Liabilities Mortgages, car loan None listed
Personal Single, lives in Clearwater Single, lives in Feather Sound area


About the job: House District 67 includes most of Clearwater and Largo except for the westernmost areas. State representatives serve two-year terms and are paid $29,697 a year.

State House, District 67 (Republican) 08/14/14 [Last modified: Thursday, August 14, 2014 4:30pm]
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