The strongest Republican candidate for this southeast Hillsborough County seat is also the youngest.

Jake Raburn, 27, is a Hillsborough native who grew up in Plant City. He knows this rural, suburban and farming area like the back of his hand. In Tallahassee, his degree and experience in agriculture would be a plus for this vital Florida industry. His job as marketing director for a family farm and packing house also keeps him in touch with the concerns of small employers.

Raburn and his opponent, business development officer Brian Hollands, offer much of the same low-tax, business-friendly policies. Both would focus on improving education, but Raburn seems more supportive of the public schools. He also has a broader outlook on the need to invest in transportation and other infrastructure.

Hollands, 45, also marginalizes himself by vowing to serve no more than four years in the House. Raburn better understands the diversity of the district, which includes the communities of greater Sun City Center, Wimauma and Fish Hawk, and his personable nature is appealing.

In the Republican primary for House District 57, the Tampa Bay Times recommends Jake Raburn.

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