Florida House of Representatives, District 8: A voter's guide to the 2022 primary

·6 min read

Basic info

Type of race: Partisan (Democratic only)

Who can vote: All Democratic voters registered in the district, which encompasses Gadsden County and a portion of Leon County

What's next: The winner will face Republican Curt Bender in the Nov. 8 general election.

How much does this position pay: $29,697 a year

Campaign coverage


Hubert Brown

Age: 59

Profession: Attorney

Qualifications: Magna cum laude graduate of FAMU’s School of Business and Industry; former Texas CPA and PWC Auditor; University of Texas Austin law graduate; 28 years practicing law.

Website: hubertbrown.com

Hubert Brown, candidate for Florida House District 8
Hubert Brown, candidate for Florida House District 8

Q: What makes you the ideal candidate to tackle the problems of the moment?

A: I have walked in the shoes of most of the people living in District 8. I grew up poor and understand its hardships such as substandard housing, lack of insurance, and paying for college. As an attorney and former CPA I’ve started and operate businesses in our community. I understand the challenges facing potential entrepreneurs like accessing capital, building contacts, and saving for retirement. I’ve worked to enhance the quality of life for seniors and work with diversion programs with our youth. I’m running for state house to tackle the affordability crisis and make our economy work for everyone.

Q: What is the biggest issue facing District 8 and how would you address it?

A: Solving the affordability crisis and addressing crime are my top priorities. In my view they are linked due to the lack of economic opportunity so many people in our community feel. To solve the affordability crisis means increasing the supply of affordable housing, increasing funding for training programs in trade professions, investing in our infrastructure, lowering the cost of utilities, and ensuring every student who wants to go to college can – especially students who would be first in their family. This starts with fully funding our K-12 schools, so kids have a great shot at a bright future.

Gallop Franklin II

Age: 34

Profession: Pharmacist, university professor, entrepreneur

Qualifications: Former member of the FAMU Board of Trustees and Florida Board of Governors; Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare pharmacist; assistant professor at the FAMU College of Pharmacy

Website: gallopfranklin.org

Column from the candidate: Families of opioid overdose victims must be included in identifying solutions | Opinion

Gallop Franklin
Gallop Franklin

Q: What makes you the ideal candidate to tackle the problems of the moment?

A: I have extensive experience within the three main challenges facing this regional community: economic development, access to affordable and quality healthcare and education. Also, this house district seat represents FAMU in the Florida legislature, and as a former member of the FAMU Board of Trustees and State University System Florida Board of Governors I am the most well-versed candidate on higher education policy issues which will allow me to protect and preserve the rich tradition and legacy of Florida A&M University. As a state employee, I am committed to protecting state employee benefits, and fighting for competitive market rate pay.

Q: What is the biggest issue facing District 8 and how would you address it?

A: Poverty is the biggest issue. In most cases, poverty is directly coupled with crime and drug abuse because when people are struggling to feed their families, mental health issues arise and desperation can cultivate criminal activity. Focusing on investing in economic development would be the first step to working with community members to find sustainable solutions. Solutions such as investing in infrastructure, transportation, small business growth (and) business recruitment initiatives and broad-based education such as trade schools and skills programs will uplift the families that reside in this community. Every home deserves economic opportunity regardless of their socioeconomic or educational background.

Gregory James

Age: 61

Profession: Community activist/organizer; president/CEO of Reclaiming The Land Inc;

senior pastor of Life Church International Center

Qualifications: 14-plus years serving as a Community Advocate/Organizer

Major leadership role in Florida's Amendment 4 Voting Rights and dealt

with bi-partisan leadership in this effort.

Website: gregjamesfordistrict8.com

Gregory James
Gregory James

Q: What makes you the ideal candidate to tackle the problems of the moment?

A: A resident of District 8 with personal ties to the community, I understand the challenges. It has been my personal mission to serve this community and bring good to the fabric of what I once torn apart. I’m advocating and working for change, locally and state wide. From my role and advocating for Amendment 4 that restore the rights of millions of ex-felons to bringing awareness during the pandemic to organize clergy and community in outreach and education about the COVID-19 virus. If elected, I plan to only work harder and add volume to the priority of District 8.

Q: What is the biggest issue facing District 8 and how would you address it?

A: The biggest issue facing District 8 is poverty. The effects of poverty manifest itself as a result of lack of resources, and lack of access. Therefore, crime is affecting us all directly. We must address the root of the problem and provide opportunities to enrich our youth early and create jobs that provide economic opportunities that will help decrease crime. The continued collaboration/partnership with all law enforcement, the business community and fellow constituents of District 8 is vital in strengthening the community as a whole.

Marie Rattigan

Age: 26

Profession: community organizer

Qualifications: Two-time graduate of Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, community advocate, educator and legislative aide

Website: marieforflorida.com

Marie Rattigan
Marie Rattigan

Q: What makes you the ideal candidate to tackle the problems of the moment?

A: I am a candidate not tied to any existing political machines in Tallahassee. My focus is to serve the people of Leon and Gadsden County with integrity by implementing policies that will improve the quality of life for everyone in the community. Working at the Capitol as a Legislative Aide this past session, I had a front-row seat of how laws were being crafted that directly impacted the everyday working-class people. My experience as a legislative aide means that I know how to get the job done for House District 8.

Q: What is the biggest issue facing Gadsden County and how would you address it?

A: The biggest issue facing Gadsden County is the lack of economic opportunity. The people lack access to good jobs to support their families and are frequently forced to commute long distances to find job opportunities. The young people are often forced to move away for economic and educational advancement. This is a community that has been neglected by state Republicans, and we need a representative that will ensure Gadsden County has a strong voice in the legislature. People do not have access to quality medical care and other important services. I will work with local leaders to address these problems.

Contact Jeff Burlew at jburlew@tallahassee.com or follow @JeffBurlew on Twitter.

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This article originally appeared on Tallahassee Democrat: Election 2022: Florida House, District 8: A voter's guide