Republican Jake Raburn has the edge over another political newcomer in this race to represent the southeastern Hillsborough County communities of FishHawk, greater Sun City Center and Wimauma.
Raburn, 27, is a Hillsborough County native who has a bachelor’s degree in agriculture and works at his family’s farming operation, and that experience would be useful in Tallahassee. Raburn also has a broader agenda for job development. He supports investing in the state’s infrastructure, including deep-water ports. He would re-evaluate standardized testing in public schools and bring more attention to career and technical training. Raburn said the state needs to give students more opportunities to build a life and a career in Florida.
Bruce Barnett, 49, entered the race out of concern over state funding for education, especially to universities. The Democrat opposes the use of tax incentives to industry, saying the way to attract new companies is to offer quality schools and a better transportation system. Barnett, an Army veteran and businessman, has life experiences that offer a mature perspective.
Raburn has stronger local ties. His open personality and broad civic involvement give him a good feel for the community’s pulse.
For Florida House District 57, the Tampa Bay Times recommends Jake Raburn.