Malavika Kannan

Stephanie Murphy and Bill Nelson are incumbents running for re-election.

Andrea Rivera-Maldonado, Photographer

As we approach November, households across Florida are being bombarded with flyers, TV and radio ads about the various candidates and the issues they care about. It can be a lot to process, which is why The Seminole compiled a quick reference guide summarizing who is running, which party they represent, and the basic elements of their platform. 

Four key political races will affect Seminole High School students and their families: the gubernatorial race, the U.S. Senate race, the House of Representatives race, and the Seminole County School Board race.

The Gubernatorial Race

The race to decide Florida’s next governor is particularly contentious, with voters deciding between the Democratic Party candidate, Andrew Gillum, and the Republican Party candidate, Ron DeSantis.

Andrew Gillum, the current mayor of Tallahassee, may appeal to SHS students with his call for increased corporate taxes to fund schools, health care for all Floridian citizens, and a minimum wage of $15 per hour.
Ron DeSantis is a U.S. Representative, he wants to stop illegal immigration, end judicial activism, defend Florida’s citizens’ rights, and protect Florida’s environment .

U.S. Senate Race

In the race to become Florida’s next United States Senator, Democrat Bill Nelson, is running for re-election against the current Governor of Florida, Republican Rick Scott.

Nelson’s campaign focuses on many issues affecting the state including education, unemployment, environmental protection, and health care. Additionally, Nelson pushes to lower student loan debt.

“If we really want to build a strong middle class, we have to make higher education affordable for our students. I’ve fought to cap interest rates and fees to help make education more affordable for our students and ease the financial stress that’s weighing down our economy” said Nelson. Rick Scott, the Republican candidate is running on a platform, to as he puts it, “get Washington back to work”, he wants to end congressional pay raises, and change the rules to require a supermajority in congress to pass any tax increases. He also advocates the reduction in government waste by eliminating the concept of omnibus bills.

According to Scott’s campaign site, “Taxpayers deserve transparency and accountability when it comes to spending their hard-earned dollars. Eliminating the concept of omnibus bills, which can total thousands of pages and trillions of dollars in spending, is an important step to increase transparency and deliberation in Congress – and put our nation on the path to responsible spending”.

U.S. House of Representatives District 7 Race

Seminole County lies within Florida’s 7th congressional district. The candidates for district 7 are Democratic Party incumbent Stephanie Murphy and  Republican Party candidate Mike Miller, who currently represents District 47 in the Florida House.

Stephanie Murphy plans on “fighting for central Florida” by improving Florida’s economy through job creation, lowering student loans, advocating for a cleaner environment, and lowering healthcare costs for those who struggle to afford it.

Mike Miller believes in “giving back and playing to win,” according to his website. He plans on achieving this by balancing the state budget, growing jobs by cutting regulations, prioritizing the needs of small businesses, opposing Obamacare, and fostering Florida’s private space industry by making sure Florida’s existing launch infrastructure is available for commercial use.

Seminole County School Board District Election

Out of the four board School Board seats, only District 1 will be decided in the general election; the other three seats were either decided through primaries, or the incumbent board member ran unopposed.     

The candidates for district 1 are Alan Youngblood and Kristine Kraus.

Alan Youngblood is an English teacher at Lake Howell High School. Youngblood feels strongly that all students should be well protected in schools. He plans on promoting the safety of students by preventing teachers from bringing firearms to school and increasing the number of school resource officers on campus.

Kristine Kraus is a former YMCA preschool teacher. Kristine’s campaign is centered on better funding for educators, more college readiness programs for students, free lunch and after-school programs for students in need, less reliance on standardized tests, and better physical education courses.

For students who are eligible to vote, the November elections will be their first chance to make a mark on electoral history. Therefore, it is important that students are informed about the candidates and vote according to their consciences.

“No matter who you support, the most important thing is that you get out and vote,” said senior Sanjana Prasad. “This is one of your duties as a citizen, as it impacts our lives.”