A small-business owner and college student is challenging a four-term legislator for the District 60 seat in the state House of Representatives. Republican Todd Stevens, a 24-year-old University of South Florida student who owns a property-management company, calls himself a political novice who hopes to represent "the average guy."
Mary Figg, the 56-year-old representative from Lutz who recently helped negotiate a landmark transportation package, wants to keep the job for another two-year term.
Stevens says he decided run after his wife, a nurse, unknowingly worked with a patient who had AIDS. He would push for legislation allowing doctors to test patients they suspect of having AIDS, he says.
"That's the issue that made me stand up and say, "Hey, I've got to do something,' " Stevens said.
If elected, he would push for more prisons, increased drug testing and intensified efforts to arrest casual drug users. Also, he says, state university professors should be required to put in more teaching hours, and their research should "be beneficial to the taxpayers who are paying for it."
Stevens says he hopes to represent the average resident. "All it takes is to keep your eyes, ears and doors open," he said.
His opponent had a key role in the transportation measure signed by the governor this year. The package ultimately will double the state transportation budget during the next five years and produce an additional $600-million a year.
"I'm very pleased with that," said Figg, who wants to spend the next term overseeing implementation of the program.
Figg says her experience as a legislator qualifies her for two more years at the job. She has emphasized cleaning up Tampa Bay and other environmental issues as well as strengthening laws against domestic violence.
If re-elected, she will work on a water-reuse policy and prevention measures in infant mortality, Figg says. Emphasis on growth-management laws and increased financing for education also are high on her to-do list.
_ SUE CARLTON
State House District 60 includes the north central part of Hillsborough County, from Temple Terrace to the Pasco County line. House members serve two-year terms and are paid $22,560 a year.
MARY FIGG, 56, of Lutz has been a state representative eight years. She was born in Alabama, attended Florida State University and received a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of South Florida (USF) in 1978. She was an assistant administrator at the Florida Mental Health Institute. She is past president of the Hillsborough League of Women Voters, founding director of the Child Abuse Council and a member of the USF Art Museum, the Florida Women's Consortium and the Agency on Bay Management. She placed seventh on the Miami Herald's list of the most effective legislators of 1990, was named the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council's most effective legislator of 1990 and was honored for legislative effectiveness by the Florida Engineering Society. She is married and has three children. ASSETS: Car, stock, home. LIABILITIES: Mortgage, loan. INCOME: Legislative salary.
TODD STEVENS, 24, a Republican who lives near Temple Terrace, is a University of South Florida student and owner of a property-manage-ment company and a small publishing firm in Tampa. He was born in Arkansas and attended the University of Florida from 1983 to 1986. He is president of the Huntington Homeowners Association, a member of the Rough Riders and the Young Republicans and past president of the Burneshake Condominium Association. He is married. ASSETS: Home, stock, publishing company. LIABILITIES: Mortgage. INCOME: Business.