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Politics

Jake Raburn Gears Up for Second Term in the Florida House

July 29, 2013 - 6:00pm

Rep. Jake Raburn, R-Valrico, is getting ready to run for a second term in the Florida House, hoping to showcase his conservative credentials as he prepares for a Republican primary challenge.

Elected in 2012, Raburn, who represents parts of Hillsborough County, has a background in agriculture but, with both of his parents serving as school principals, he is becoming a legislative player on education as he sits on the Education Appropriations Subcommittee and the K-12 Subcommittee. Speaking to Sunshine State News on Tuesday, Raburn said he plans to focus on both education and agriculture as he prepares for his second year in the House.

As he readies to run for a second term, Raburn said voters could look at his votes in Tallahassee. I have a record I can run on, being the conservative I told everyone I was, he told Sunshine State News.

Raburn said he would continue to fight to make Florida a better place to live and do business. He also said he would rely on his background in crafting a few agriculture bills next year. Raburn told Sunshine State News he would also focus on water issues and education in Tallahassee during the next session.

Only 28, Raburn said his youth did not hurt him in the House. Not once did I feel like I was marginalized because of my age, he said, though he added it was eye opening seeing how the legislative process worked from the inside.

Raburn told Sunshine State News running for another term in 2014 has not been his top priority so far. We havent focused on campaigning much, Raburn said, citing his business and legislative commitments. Thats kept us pretty busy.

As of June 30, Raburn had raised $20,750 and kept most of it in the bank, spending less than $1,100.

Standing in Raburns way is Joseph Sykes who is challenging him in the primary. On his website, Sykes points toward changes in the neighborhood, highlights his service in the military and stresses that he is not a career politician. Sunshine State tried to reach Sykes by email and phone on Tuesday but these were not returned.

Since entering the race at the end of March, Sykes has done little in the way of fundraising, bringing in $800 and spending $183.

Whoever wins the Republican nomination should be headed to Tallahassee. Raburn took 59 percent when he beat Democrat Bruce Barnett, who took 41 percent, for the open seat back in November. Republicans have a 10 percent registration advantage in this district and Rick Scott beat Alex Sink by 13 percent here in 2010.

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com.

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