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Legislation without representation: Madison County dealing with lack of representation in Tallahassee

Rick Patrick:

Greene Publishing, Inc.

With the 2019 legislative session starting in Tallahassee on Tuesday, March 5, Madison County finds itself without representation during this session. Former representative from District Seven, Halsey Beashears, has resigned to take over as the Secretary of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. This is causing an added challenge for local officials when it comes to making their voices heard in Tallahassee.

"There is legislation we would like to see passed," said Madison County Supervisor of Elections Tommy Hardee. "We [the elections office] have made calls to other representatives to make our wishes known, but our voice isn't going to carry as much weight as someone from their [the representative's] district." According to Hardee, State Senator Bill Montford, who represents Madison County in the State Senate, has been helpful in passing along the concerns of Madison County. Hardee also stated that Beshears has been as helpful "within his means, with making phone calls" to other representatives.

Madison County Commission Chair Alston Kelley echoed Hardee's feelings. "It's a tough position to be in, but it is what it is," said Kelley. "We [the County Commissioners] will be reaching out to Sen. Montford when we go to Tallahassee for our annual legislative day on [Wednesday], March 27. Hopefully he will be able to reach across the aisle to some members of the House to help express our concerns."

A special Republican primary election has been set for Tuesday, April 9. A special general election will take place on Tuesday, June 18, for the purpose of filling the vacant District Seven House seat.

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