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Government

Florida House District 80 Republican Candidates

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Byron Donalds (left) is competing with Joe Davidow (right) for the Florida House District 80 seat.

Southwest Florida voters will elect their new state representative Tuesday for the House District 80 seat that serves eastern Collier County and all of Hendry County. One of the two candidates running will replace Matt Hudson (R-Naples), who’s termed out of the chamber. 
Byron Donalds and Joe Davidow are both Naples Republicans, and they both have really similar campaign platforms: creating more access roads in the rural parts of their district, expanding Immokalee airport and bettering education to eventually increase jobs.

Financial advisor Byron Donalds said he wants to reform education in the state. He said right now, Florida’s learning standard is just a carbon copy of Common Core. And he wants to adjust it to mirror what the state actually needs. Donalds said he can make this happen because he’s a founding board member of a local charter school and he’s a trustee for a state college.

"So I have a very deep and rich knowledge in education policy from the K-12 system, but also from the college system," he said. "So it makes me uniquely qualified to represent our area, help it to continue to grow and also to help navigate it for our young people going forth."

Attorney Joe Davidow is also focusing on education. But he wants to prepare children for the advanced technology that goes into agriculture these days. He calls the farming community of his district the “rural silicon valley."

"When you go out there and you see how agriculture is done today, the harvesters that harvest all the sugar-- these big harvesters-- are driven by satellite," said Davidow.  "The biological industry that goes into citrus in trying to cure the greening-- it's incredible."

Collier and Hendry Republican voters will choose between the two for District 80 on Aug. 30. The winner faces a write-in candidate in the general election.