District 57

In southeastern Hillsborough’s House District 57, Jake Raburn and Brian Hollands are on the Republican ballot to see who will run against Democrat Bruce Barnett in November.

Both are qualified, serious candidates. Raburn, 27, is a strawberry farmer. Hollands, 45, works for Hillsborough Community College.

Hollands has experience in marine biology and commercial real estate. He is a member of the Hillsborough Planning Commission and says excessive regulations are discouraging growth.

In the House, he would work for a tighter connection between what students learn in school and what employers need them to know. Coordinating with business is part of his job at HCC. Hollands promises to serve a maximum of two terms, not an appealing idea to us in a Legislature short on experience and a local delegation lacking in punch.

Raburn is married to Melissa Hinton Raburn and works for Hinton Farms Produce, a small family business. A graduate of the University of South Florida, he also has worked for the Florida Department of Citrus and understands agriculture and its many challenges.

On immigration, he says a federal fix is essential, because “we need to know who’s in our country.” His ideas for reform include a new guest-worker program that would be more useful to both workers and farmers.

His legislative priorities are jobs and public safety. He discusses with authority the challenges facing small businesses and farmers. His endorsements include that of Hillsborough Sheriff David Gee and State Attorney Mark Ober.

In the Legislature, Raburn would soon be helping write useful laws.

Hollands is an appealing candidate. But in District 57, because of his deep roots in the district and his refreshing zest to find practical, conservative solutions, the Tribune endorses Jake Raburn.

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