Florida Chamber-backed Representatives Rep. Colleen Burton (R-Lakeland) and Rep. Ed Narain (D-Tampa) faced challenging primaries in their districts but overcame the competition on a platform of free enterprise principles and job growth. During this edition of the Florida Chamber’s Bottom Line, we had a chance to speak to both Representatives as they reflected on their primaries.
“It was challenging, but it gave me an opportunity to make sure that my message was very clear to the voters in my area,” said Rep. Colleen Burton “I was really grateful that the Florida Chamber made a connection with me and my message also. I felt the support from the[Florida] Chamber was invaluable.”
“I’m very proud to be here and also proud to have been supported by the Florida chamber,” said Rep. Ed Narain. “The [Florida] Chamber was extremely supportive from the very beginning of my race, which was helpful because it got the word out about the type of candidate that I was running in that seat. The [Florida] Chamber has always been about job growth and jobs creation. Our message was always simple- it’s about people, it’s not about politics it not about party affiliations- it’s about doing what’s right for the people of Florida, and particularly the people in district 61 back home. I was glad to have the support of the[Florida] Chamber and we pulled it off.”
Both Representative’s Burton and Narain went through the Florida Chamber Political Institute’s rigorous, and comprehensive Candidate Interview process- which compares the candidates’ stances on the tough issues that matter to Florida’s business community. Both Representatives took the Florida Chamber Political Institute’s Candidate Interviews as opportunities to learn about the issues that impacted voters and job creators in Florida, and now, they advocate on behalf of their constituents on paramount issues like legal reform and attracting high-wage jobs to Florida.
Rep. Colleen Burton on Florida’s Bottom-10 Legal Climate:
“For me this is an economic development issue. It impacts businesses here in Florida and it impacts their ability to do business. It costs a lot of money and that means it costs jobs. And I’m passionate about that and passionate because it’s an economic development issues. I’m honored that leadership and others in the house who have been working on that issue for a number of years have included me in those conversations moving forward. I want to be part of a solution, I’d like to see a long term plan for how we are going to get for where we need to get and that’s an issues that always going to be important to me.”
Rep. Ed Narain on Attracting High-Wage jobs to Florida:
“My district is one that’s suffering for jobs. We still have unemployment that is almost twice the state average. I’m all about bringing quality jobs to the state, particularly to district 61. So the high-skill, high-wage jobs that we need to bring, in order to bring them to the state, we’ve got to have some incentives that are going to attract companies that can provide those jobs. What we saw in years past, particularly last year, was a credit that was at $9 million and basically within a series of minutes, that credit was gone amongst the 18 companies that applied for it. So we are sponsoring legislation that will allow us to double that credit, and … allow them to have an incentive to come here, to do research and development and create the type of jobs that we want people in the state of Florida to have- jobs that they can provide for their entire families with.”