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July 29, 2010

Seminole County’s State House of Representative Candidates



From questions posed by the League of Women Voters of Seminole County, hear unedited answers from candidates running for election to the Florida House of Representatives in the districts serving Seminole County Florida — #25, 33 and 34. Eight of 13 candidates attended this event. None of the candidates are incumbents. In the order in which they are initially heard, the candidates are Larry Metz, Frank Lane Wood, Leo Cruz, James DeCocq, Ellen Paul, Jeff Deen (for Alice Sterling), Franklin Perez and Steve Barnes. The candidate-portion of this feature runs 46-minutes in addition to 5-minutes of event rules and League announcements. This event — known by the League as their Hot Topic Luncheon — was recorded Thursday, July 22, 2010 at Sergio’s Italian Restaurant in Sanford, Florida. Deana Schott, immediate past president of the League of Women Voters of Seminole County facilitated the event.

Candidates not participating were district # 37 incumbent Republican Scott Plakon who is unopposed in both the primary and general election, in addition to 4 other candidates not appearing – Republicans Rick Joyce (district # 25), Jason Brodeur (district # 33), incumbent Chris Dorworth (district # 34) and Tea Party candidate John DeVries (district # 34). Devries and Dorworth have no primary opposition.

State Senate candidates have been invited to speak at a separate League event, which will also be presented on the Heard in Central Florida series.

Feature Length — 56:49

Photos courtesy - GK Sharman and CMF Public Media

Key Participants

Event host: Deana Schott, immediate past president of the League of Women Voters of Seminole County (photo - CMF Public Media)
Deana Schott

District #25

Larry Metz, District # 25, Republican (Photo - GK Sharman)
Larry Metz

P.O. Box 57
Yalaha, Florida 34797-0057
email | website

Frank Lane  Woods, District # 25, Democrat (Photo - GK Sharman)
Frank Lane Wood

P. O. Box 1273
Eustis, Fl., 32727
email | website

District #33

Leo Cruz, District # 33, Democrat (Photo - GK Sharman)
Leo Cruz

email | website

James DeCocq , District # 33, Republican (Photo - GK Sharman)
James DeCocq

1906 Torchwood Dr.
Orlando, Florida 32828
email | website

Ellen Paul, District # 33, Libertarian (Photo - GK Sharman)
Ellen Paul

(321) 257-9725
email | website

Franklin Perez, District # 33, Libertarian (Photo - GK Sharman)
Franklin Perez

4250 Alafaya Trail, #212-170
Oviedo, Florida 32765
email | website

Jeff Deen, representing Alice Sterling, District # 33 (Photo - GK Sharman)
Alice Sterling
(represented by Jeff Deen) Republican

email | website

District #34

Steve Barnes, District 34 (Democrat) (Photo - GK Sharman)
Steve Barnes

400 West Crystal Drive
Sanford, Fl 32773
email | website


Photos courtesy - GK Sharman and CMF Public Media

After you launch the slideshow below, click “Next” and “Previous” to rotate through the photos.

Guests at July 22, 2010 Seminole County League of Women Voters "Hot Topics" Luncheon featuring state House of Representatives candidates standing for election in districts representing Seminole County (Photo - CMF Public Media)

Additional Feature Information

Panel Discussion Summary

Summary written by League member Patricia Graves

The League of Women Voters of Seminole County invited all of the candidates for Florida House seats in districts 25, 33, 34 and 37 to speak at their Hot Topics luncheon held on July 22. The League felt that this venue would be a good way to introduce the candidates and give them some time to speak about topics important to the people of Seminole County. This is an exciting year with many of the candidates having primary races wanting to get their message out to the voters.

The format was set to be as non-partisan as possible – candidates were selected to speak first in numerical order (by District), and if there was more than one candidate in a District, they were selected alphabetically within their District. All candidates were given a set time to answer two questions that had been posed to them (earlier) by the League and at the end of the program, by questions from the audience. The time was divided equally among the candidates and the League had two of their members monitoring the time – one with a timepiece and the other with flash cards letting the candidate know when they had 30 seconds left, and when to stop. The moderator was Deana Schott, First Vice President of the Seminole League. She posed the questions and helped keep the candidates within their time limits.

Candidates attending were: District 25 – Larry Metz (R) and Frank Wood (D); District 33 – Leo Cruz (D), James DeCocq (R), Ellen Paul (L), Franklin Perez (L), Alice Sterling (R) – represented by Jeff Deen and District 34 – Steve Barnes (D).

Not attending were Rick Joyce (R- 25) who had another speaking engagement, Jason Brodeur (R 33) RSVP’d to attend but had to cancel, Chris Dorworth (R 34), John DeVries (T 34) and Scott Plakon (R 37) who is unopposed through the November election.

Here is some of what the candidates spoke about:

  • Metz talked about the need to downsize government and reform Medicaid, as well as not raiding trust funds.
  • Wood said he will fight for children by investing in education, budgetary fairness and protection of our natural resources.
  • Cruz looks to expand Florida’s economic base with jobs in the biotech, green and other industries and believes in fiscal responsibility.
  • DeCocq spoke about the need for government efficiency, with zero-based budgeting the top priority.
  • Paul said she was not a politician, but approached this as an ordinary citizen looking for smaller government, smaller taxes and more personal freedom.
  • Perez spoke about creating a school voucher system, ending ‘corporate welfare’, and decriminalizing ‘victimless crimes’.
  • Sterling (Deen) said the main focus is jobs, Medicaid reform and changing the culture of government.
  • Barnes is looking to apply commonsense solutions to government and focusing on creating jobs as a top priority.

With so many candidates on the ballot this year and so many important issues facing Seminole County, it was important to get the views of our potential Representatives. The League thanks the candidates who participated. The Florida Senate race and candidates is the next Hot Topics to be held on August 19 at Sergios Restaurant in Sanford. There will also be a Forum for the County Commission race August 18 and events discussing the constitutional amendments and Fair Districts coming in September. Visit the League’s website at or their blog at for more information on upcoming events.

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