MIKE HARIDOPOLOS: Citizens Want To See Real Changes In DC That Positively Impact Their Lives
By Space Coast Daily // March 5, 2017
SOCIAL MEDIA IS GAME-CHANGER IN POLITICS
ABOVE VIDEO: Mike Haridopolos welcomes Steve Crisafulli on the The Mike Haridopolos Show. Rockedge, Florida born, Steve Crisafulli, chats with host Mike Haridopolos, about his perspective on Brevard and his experience as Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, representing the 51st District, which is located in northern Brevard County, including Cape Canaveral, Cocoa Beach and Rockledge.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Space Coast Daily sat down with former Florida Senate President, and Brevard County resident, Mike Haridopolos to get his take on the current political landscape locally, across the state and in Washington D.C.
Haridopolos was a Republican member of the Florida State Senate, representing the 20th District, which included Brevard, Indian River, Osceola, and St. Lucie Counties, from 2003-2012.
He served as President of the Florida Senate from 2010 to 2012, presiding over the largest Republican majority since Reconstruction.
Haridopolos was born in Huntington, New York. He graduated from Stetson University in 1992 with a B.A. in History, and in 1993 earned a Masters in History at the University of Arkansas.
Later that year, at the age of 23, he became a history instructor at Brevard Community College (now Eastern Florida State College), and within three years he was named the Department Chair of Social Behavioral Sciences. In 1997, he was promoted to the Chair of the Liberal Arts Department at BCC.
Before being elected to the Senate, Haridopolos was a member of the Florida House of Representatives from 2001 through 2003. During his first term as Senate President, he oversaw the balancing of the state’s budget which suffered a $4 billion shortfall, without raising taxes or fees.
Haridopolos is still very actively involved in politics and served as a surrogate for the Donald Trump campaign on the radio, television and at rallies this past year. He stays in close contact with FloridaGovernor Rick Scott, state legislators and enjoys spending time with our U.S. congressman, Bill Posey.
He is a proud father of three children — Reagan, Hayden and Alexis — and husband of Dr. Stephanie Haridopolos.
Q: SPACE COAST DAILY: As an experienced person in Florida politics, what did you learn during the recent election process and what surprised you the most?
A: MIKE HARIDOPOLOS: I think everyone was surprised that Donald Trump was elected president, especially Hillary Clinton (smile). Over the past year he has clearly turned the political world upside down and the one thing that we can learn from this – people want action. We are all tired of Washington DC being all talk and all politics, all the time. Citizens want to see real changes in DC that positively impact their life. A good lesson from the campaign is a good candidate can use alternative media sources in order to get out their message and thus avoid the filter of traditional media and go straight to the voter at a lower cost than traditional TV ads or radio.
Q: SPACE COAST DAILY: What are your future career goals and when are we going to see you serve the public again in an important office?
A: MIKE HARIDOPOLOS: I’ve been very blessed in the four years since I left office because I have been able to spend a lot more time with family and friends. Running my national consulting business helped me develop new skills and knowledge. I’ve also enjoyed interacting on new media sources like yours as well as in the radio and print media. Because of my love for our nation and our state I still have a heart for public service. I will always be open to serve our community.
Q: SPACE COAST DAILY: Over the past 16 years, you have been one of the most dynamic politicians in Florida – in what ways will you hope to affect positive change in the future, either in the public or private sector?
A: MIKE HARIDOPOLOS: I am still very actively involved in politics. I served as a surrogate for the Trump campaign on the radio, television and at rallies this past year. I stay in close contact with our Governor Rick Scott, state legislators and enjoy spending time with our congressman Bill Posey. When asked, I always share my perspective as a business owner, policy maker and parent. At the current time I am actively involved in the Adam Putnam for Governor campaign as well as Rick Scott’s campaign if he chooses to run for United States Senate.
WATCH ON SPACE COAST DAILY TV: Mike Haridopolos welcomes special guest Brevard County Commissioner Kristine Isnardi.
Q: SPACE COAST DAILY: What specific areas of concern do you have for Florida and what issues do you feel are most important for our Governor and cabinet to tackle?
A: MIKE HARIDOPOLOS: I think the most important issue that our state can tackle is the issue of healthcare. It is the fastest growing and largest part of our state budget and I believe the repeal and replacement of Obamacare will improve care and lower costs. In addition state legislators should focus on keeping taxes low and reducing the regulatory burden so private businesses can create new jobs and opportunities in our state.
Q: SPACE COAST DAILY: As a leader in Brevard, what are your expectations of the current county commission and school board and do you feel their performance and focus should change?
A: MIKE HARIDOPOLOS: I believe the commission should follow the same formula as our state and beyond that focus on building roads in order to reduce traffic congestion and maximize the new tax dollars Brevard voters gave them in order to clean up the Indian River Lagoon. As for the school board their focus should always on high standards. Stephanie and I know that a solid education is the foundation success. We are proud the academic performance of Brevard teachers and students. I’m also glad to see we are moving away from Common Core.
Q: SPACE COAST DAILY: What change do you think we will see during the Trump presidency?
A: MIKE HARIDOPOLOS: I think more than anything else we’ll see a change in style. Clearly he is going to engage the public directly through social media and I really like that. As for policies I think that he is already proven to be a man of action based on his appointee to the Supreme Court, his willingness to repeal and replace Obamacare, and also the difficult but important issue of immigration reform. We need a tough vetting process to make sure people who enter our nation will not do our citizens harm. In foreign-policy, I hope that he can create a closer relationship with Israel and bring peace through strength in the Middle East.
Q: SPACE COAST DAILY: How do you see Florida being affected by the Trump presidency?
A: MIKE HARIDOPOLOS: In addition to focusing on border security and national defense, he is a businessman who understands how to create a better business environment for job creation. I am optimistic that President Trump, in concert with our conservative government in Tallahassee, will likely enhance our ability to attract more businesses to Florida and thus more job growth. The Republican Party can define itself as the party of action, not just talk. The citizens of our nation and our state have resented Republicans with a unique opportunity to create a better business climate and thus quality of life. America is at a crossroads on so many fronts and we must move beyond politics and focus on thoughtful policies that foster opportunities for all.
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