Florida has a diverse population, necessitating varied representation within the government. Currently, Florida has two Republican senators, Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, and a Democrat, the 24th congressional district representative, Frederica Wilson (“Florida’s 24th Congressional District,” n.d.). American democracy requires informed citizens, meaning the voters should be aware of who their representatives are. In the case of Florida, the background, civil, and political achievements, as well as viewpoints of representatives greatly vary. Thus, it is interesting to learn more about Florida’s representatives because of the heterogeneity of the state and its politicians. In particular, to comprehend how a representative’s family, education, and careers before politics shaped them as politicians.
To begin with, the representatives’ family, education, and previous occupation might influence their policies and ideological stances. Marco Rubio’s family immigrated to the USA in the 1950s, working middle-class jobs (“Marco Rubio US Senator,” n.d.). Rubio claims to build his image of the “American Dream” from his hardworking parents, which influenced his support of small businesses (“Marco Rubio US Senator,” n.d.). Right now, he is married to his wife Jeanette, and the couple has four children (“Marco Rubio US Senator,” n.d.). Moreover, Rubio is a University of Florida graduate, and he later earned a legal degree from the University of Miami Law School (“Marco Rubio US Senator,” n.d.). This education in law drew Marc Rubio’s interest in the public service and giving back to his home state (“Marco Rubio US Senator,” n.d.). As for the previous occupation, before getting involved in politics, he co-wrote a book that is based on in-depth conversations with Florida citizens.
Another Senator for Florida is Rick Scott, who also found inspiration for his policies through his family, education, and occupation. Scott was adopted by his foster-father, who was a World War II veteran and foster-mother, who was a clerk. Scott recalls his family struggling to financially support the household, which motivated him to help his parents out (“Senator Rick Scott biography,” n.d.). Additionally, he has been married to his school sweetheart Ann for 48 years, and the couple has two children and seven grandchildren (“Senator Rick Scott biography,” n.d.). Rick Scott attended the University of Missouri, Kansas City, with the help of the G.I. Bill, earning a Bachelor’s degree (“Senator Rick Scott biography,” n.d.). Before engaging in politics, Scott was a member of the Navy, and later, he opened a donut shop as his first small business (“Senator Rick Scott biography,” n.d.). He ended up being the CEO of one of the world’s biggest healthcare providers (“Senator Rick Scott biography,” n.d.). Therefore, being a businessperson and a solider influenced his Republican viewpoints and further policies in the Senate.
Lastly, congressional representative Frederica Wilson’s family and education had influenced her politics. Wilson claims that one of the essential figures growing up was her brother Thirlee Smith. The latter was famous for his activism being “the first full-time African American reporter at the Miami Herald and a long-time educator for Miami-Dade County Public Schools” (“Congresswoman Wilson biography,” n.d., para. 15). Currently, Frederica Wilson is a widow and a mother of three children (“Congresswoman Wilson biography,” n.d.). Wilson has a Bachelor of Science from Fisk University and a subsequent Master’s degree from the University of Miami (“Congresswoman Wilson biography,” n.d.). Wilson was always an active member of civil society in Florida, as she used to be a teacher, school principal, and a member of the school board (“Congresswoman Wilson biography,” n.d.). She is described as a community leader long before her representative career, as she organized various civil society projects (“Congresswoman Wilson biography,” n.d.). Overall, her active family and education had inspired her to be a community leader and activist.
Political Career and Policy Areas
The representatives’ political careers, income, and policy areas influence their standing among the American electorate. Marco Rubio began his political career from the position of a city commissioner. After that, he was elected to be a congressional representative in the year 2000 (“Marco Rubio US Senator,” n.d.). Shortly after and a few years later, he launched his Senator campaign and was elected first in 2011 and re-elected in the year 2016 (“Marco Rubio US Senator,” n.d.). He received 52% of the votes (“Florida U.S. Senate results,” 2017), and his alleged income is estimated to be over $174,000 per year (Brudnick, 2018). Currently, he is chairing various committees, including the Committee on Small Businesses and Entrepreneurship and the Committee on Foreign Affairs (“Marco Rubio US Senator,” n.d.). Rubio was also a Republican presidential candidate in 2016, where he was outrun by Donald Trump (“Marco Rubio US Senator,” n.d.). Rubio’s policy interests lie on various topics, including support for small businesses and senior citizens. His views are visible through his committee work, where he advocates for lower government taxes and for improving health care for veterans and seniors. His family and education have influenced his Republican views, as the focus on small government and family values are essential to a Republican.
Furthermore, although Senator Rick Scott is famous for being a businessperson and an executive, he also has an impressive political career. Before becoming a Republican Senator in 2018, he was a Governor of Florida for two terms (“Senator Rick Scott biography,” n.d.). Throughout his governor career, Scott focused on tax cuts for small businesses, which remains his main policy passion as a senator. During Senate elections, he received 51.1% of the votes (“Florida Senate Election,” 2019), and his alleged income is $174,000 per year (Brudnick, 2018). Besides advocating for small-government, he is a part of the Committee on Armed Services and The United States Senate Special Committee on Aging (“Senator Rick Scott biography,” n.d.). Scott’s interests are corresponding to that of the Republican Party, which is a care for the second amendment and respect to family values by supporting the elderly.
Lastly, congressional representative Wilson has been politically active throughout her life and especially during her official government service. Before becoming a democratic Congress representative in 2011, Wilson served for eight years in the Florida Senate. Besides that, she was in the House of Representatives in the early 2000s (“Congresswoman Wilson biography,” n.d.). During the Congress election, she received the overwhelming majority of votes (“Congresswoman Wilson biography,” n.d.), and her alleged income is $172,500 a year (Brudnick, 2018). Throughout her term in Congress, she was always described as the “Voice for the Voiceless” as she is particularly invested in supporting the most vulnerable (“Congresswoman Wilson biography,” n.d.). In Congress, she is a part of the Education and Workforce Protections Subcommittee. Therefore, she is hugely passionate about student debt reform and minority rights. Overall, Wilsons’s passion for supporting students and minority groups is a classical representation of a Democratic candidate’s standpoint.
Conclusion and a Personal Favorite
In conclusion, Florida’s federal representatives come from various backgrounds, with diverse education and career experiences. Florida is represented by two Republican Senators who are passionate about taxation reforms, helping the elderly, and protecting the second amendment. Moreover, Miami is represented by a Democratic congressional representative who is involved in supporting minorities and is passionate about student debt reform. I am most interested in Marco Rubio because he seems to be a very experienced politician who is not afraid to stand for the Republican values. He is also a well-known politician, focused on valuable administrative areas, such as lower government taxes.
Brudnick, I. (2018). Congressional salaries and allowances: In brief [PDF document].
Florida Senate election results: Bill Nelson vs. Rick Scott. (2019). The New York Times.
Florida U.S. Senate results: Marco Rubio wins. (2017). The New York Times.
Senator Rick Scott biography. (n.d).