Voters in Florida House District 42 will choose
between a political newcomer and and a two-term incumbent during
the Nov. 8 general election.
Courtesy of The Ledger
October 27, 2016
POINCIANA — Voters in Florida House District 42 will
choose between a political newcomer and a two-term incumbent during the
Nov. 8 general election.
La Rosa, 34, of St. Cloud was first elected to the state House in 2012
and won re-election in 2014. He served as the House majority whip in his
last term and is the vice chairman of the House’s Regulatory Affairs
Committee and the Economic Development and Tourism Subcommittee.
"If you look at my record and what I've promised and what I've
delivered, it speaks for itself," La Rosa said, citing that Poinciana
now has a Valencia Community College campus and the construction of the
Valentin, a Democrat, became a clinical psychologist in Kissimmee after
working in management with Fortune 500 companies for nearly two decades.
Originally from New York, Valentin has lived on the Polk County side of
Poinciana since 2004.
“I feel like I have the qualifications and the passion,” Valentin said.
“I live here in the district, my daughter goes to school here and I’m
bilingual, so I feel like I can bridge the gap between people.”
"I've really tried to be a good steward of taxpayer dollars," he said.
La Rosa has a healthy lead when it comes to campaign financing. He has
raised about $221,000 on the campaign trail, including $17,000 during
the reporting period ending Oct. 5. That’s more than Valentin has raised
for the entire campaign — he has raised less than $15,000 and none
during the Oct. 5 reporting period.
“When people are in place for too long, they become complacent,”
Valentin said, noting that La Rosa was backed by large businesses and
pharmaceutical companies. “When you’re new coming in, you immediately
start working for the people.”
Valentin listed reforming laws regarding homeowners’ associations among
things he wants to reform, explaining that many mismanage funds and sell
debt to outside companies. Other core issues for Valentin include
expanding Medicaid and more funding for education.
“There’s definitely people without adequate coverage, elderly people and
the Republicans have opposed federal funding,” he said of Medicaid
expansion. “Public schools are still not adequately funded and teachers
are leaving. Every year, the funding for the Head Start program has
gotten lower and that program has proven results.”
La Rosa said he's also a proponent of homeowners' association reform.
Key issues for La Rosa include education, job creation and decreasing
regulation, something he said has increased exponentially throughout the
"We have increased regulations, not only on businesses, but in everyday
life," the incumbent said. "I'm a small business owner; I know what it
takes to create jobs. It's imperative we create an environment where
businesses can compete."
Both candidates ran unopposed during the Aug. 30 primaries. District 42
spans parts of Lake Wales, Frostproof, Poinciana and Osceola County.
“My biggest takeaway is the huge learning experience this has provided
me,” Valentin said. “I’ve been able to learn about a lot of things from
agriculture … to the industries that sustain our state.”
La Rosa said he's tried to keep his focus on issues that really affect
the people he was elected to represent.
"This entire campaign cycle has been about issues that aren't relative
to the people," he said, referring to national races. "There's so much
talk about politics and it's not substantive on what their needs really
are. When I talk to folks about something like education, people really
perk up. It's something that matters to everyone, whether you have kids
House members serve two-year terms and are paid $29,700 annually.