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FLORIDA HOUSE: DISTRICT 52

...............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................Incumbent Bill Heller says heÍs a consensus builder who works with Republicans and Democrats in Tallahassee. Ross Johnson says heÍll bring a "less government" approach to the Florida House that is sorely needed.

Bill Heller, St. Petersburg D Ross Johnson, St. Petersburg R
Elected in 2006. A former dean and chief executive officer at University of South Florida St. Petersburg who is credited with helping make the college a four-year institution, he is now a professor of special education at USF. He serves on the boards of Bayfront Medical Center; St. Petersburg Preservation; Pinellas Arts Council; Great Explorations; Family Resources; Mahaffey Theater Foundation; SPCA Tampa Bay, among others. Experience A retired Realtor who ran unsuccessfully in 2006, Johnson, 55, is hoping that his knowledge of banking and finance issues and his small government message will resonate with voters. He has served on the St. Petersburg Planning Commission and the Historical Preservation Commission. He is also in the PTA at Perkins Elementary School. Before retirement in 2006, Johnson worked for Keller Williams.
BachelorÍs degree from Southern Illinois University, MasterÍs degree from Northern Illinois University, Ph.D. from the University of Northern Colorado. Education BachelorÍs degree from Tri-State University, MBA from Indiana University.
Opposes any expansion of offshore drilling along PinellasÍ beaches. "If you look at what happened down in Galveston (where Hurricane Ike made landfall), there is still oil floating on the water down there. ItÍs not a good thing." Offshore oil drilling Supports drilling closer than the current 125-mile limit. Says drilling should be safe, and not seen from Pinellas beaches. "We put a man on the moon 40 years ago," he says. "We ought to be able to drill safely." Also supports use of nuclear power.
Current tax exemptions need to be studied and possibly eliminated. Heller also proposes a gradual increase of the cigarette tax and suggests the state find a way to tax Internet transactions. "Twenty-two states find some way to tax the Internet," he says. How to deal with budget shortfall Decentralize functions of state government and eliminate redundancies. For example, Johnson believes the Department of Community Affairs overlaps too much with local planning agencies. "ItÍs one thing to set standards, itÍs another thing to micromanage."
Eliminate the FCAT as sole method for accountability in middle and elementary schools. Heller also proposes raising teacher pay to the national average (anywhere from $2,400 to $6,000 a year) and investing more in pre-K education. Education priorities Advocates teaching financial literacy to students. He says the lack of understanding surrounding personal finance has helped create the financial crisis. "A whole generation doesnÍt know practical economics," he says.
Home, cars, bank accounts, stocks, mutual funds, pension, IRA, annuities. Assets Bank accounts, money market, mutual funds, stocks, bonds, life insurance, IRA, home..
Mortgage, home equity line, loan against cash value of life insurance policy. Liabilities Mortgage, home equity loan.
$2,218,542. Net worth $1,074,500.
USF salary, state House salary, Social Security income, IRA dividends. Income Dividends
Lives in Placido Bayou with his wife of 54 years. They have three adult children and three grandchildren. Personal Originally from Wayne, Ind., Johnson moved to St. Petersburg in 1988. He has two sons, ages 10 and 14.
voteheller.com. Web site voteross2008.com.
info@VoteHeller.com. E-mail Ross@VoteRoss2008.com.
About the job: House District 52 covers portions of Largo, Clearwater, unincorporated Pinellas County and north St. Petersburg. State representatives serve two-year terms and earn $30,336 per year.

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