By: Sharon Aron Baron
Parkland Mayor Christine Hunschofsky has announced she will be running for the late Rep. Kristin Jacob’s Florida House seat this November.
Rep. Jacobs, who lost her life battling colon cancer on April 11, was only 60.
When Hunschofsky was first elected city commissioner, she was told to reach out to Rep. Jacobs, which she did.
They were friends ever since.
“In 2014, during her first session, I visited her Tallahassee, and she went out to dinner with my boys and me,” said Hunschofsky, who added that Rep. Jacobs was a powerhouse who always worked on making a difference, creating solutions and getting a consensus in order to help the community she represented.
Born in Boston, Hunschofsky graduated from Boston Latin School, went on to graduate from Boston University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and philosophy. She then earned her MBA from Babson College.
Hunschofsky moved to Parkland with her husband Hannes almost 20 years ago. After serving on several city committees, in 2013, she won her first election to the District Two Commission seat with 84 percent.
In 2016, she ran for mayor after Michael Udine resigned to run for an open seat on the Broward County Commission. In that race, she won with 76 percent of the votes.
Besides the floods, hurricanes, and of course, the latest pandemic that most mayors in South Florida faced, Hunschofsky was at the helm during one of the worst school shooting massacres in the country after 17 students and staff members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas were murdered by a gunman. This would forever change the City of Parkland.
In the aftermath, she comforted families, attended funerals, and testified in favor of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act.
“I could never have imagined when I entered public office that I would see our community brutalized by a mass shooting and confronted by the devastating effects of an international health emergency.”
Both of these events have revealed urgent issues she said must be addressed by the legislature, including gun safety, emergency preparedness, economic recovery, and fixing a broken unemployment system.
“I cannot think of a time when my friend Kristin Jacobs’ leadership has been more needed than during this current crisis. Losing her is a true blow to our District, and I intend to use my experience in government to do all I can to continue her work of fighting for our community in Tallahassee.”
Hunschofsky said her campaign would also focus on improving access to quality, affordable healthcare, expanding Medicaid, increasing school safety, and increasing mental health funding in Florida’s budget.
“Accessible and affordable mental health care is very important and necessary,” said Hunschofsky.
Pledging to continue the work of Rep. Jacobs, she said she would also be fighting for the environment and clean water.
The 96th District includes Parkland, Coconut Creek, and parts of Margate and Coral Springs. The Democratic primary will be held August 18, and the general election on November 3.
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