‘Sit Down With Steve’ on Space Coast Daily TV Features Former Speaker of the Florida House Steve Crisafulli

By  //  August 17, 2019

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DEEP ROOTS: seventh-generation Floridian and a fourth-generation resident of Brevard County

SPACE COAST DAILY TV: In the latest edition of “Sit Down with Steve,” Steve Wilson talks with Steve Crisafulli, a former Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives. Crisafulli talks about growing up on Merritt Island, his grandfather, Space Coast Sports Hall of Famer member Vassar Carlton, and much more.

BREVARD COUNTY • MERRITT ISLAND, FLORIDA – Steve Crisafulli has deep roots in Brevard and Florida as he is a seventh-generation Floridian and a fourth-generation resident of Brevard County.

He works the land owned for nearly a century by his family from Merritt Island, carrying on this proud legacy as the head of his family’s local agribusiness.

Crisafulli was the Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, representing the 51st District, which is located in northern Brevard County, including Cape Canaveral, Cocoa, Cocoa Beach and Rockledge, since 2012.

Crisafulli previously represented the 32nd District from 2008 to 2012.

He was born in Rockledge in 1971 into a political family, as his cousin, Doyle E. Carlton, served as Governor of Florida from 1929 to 1933, and his grandfather, Vassar B. Carlton, served as a Justice of the Florida Supreme Court from 1969 to 1974.

Crisafulli attended Brevard Community College, from which he received his associate degree, and the University of Central Florida, where he received his bachelor’s degree.

House Speaker Steve Crisafulli, R-Merritt Island, strikes the gavel, abruptly closing the House’s legislative session, after commencement remarks and acceptance of the presented motion and voice vote to “sine die” on April 28, 2015.
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Following graduation, he started working in agribusiness, serving as the Director of the Brevard County Farm Bureau from 1996 to 2004, and again from 2006 to the present.

He also served as the President of the Farm Bureau from 2003 to 2005. In 1998, he was elected to the Brevard County Soil and Water Conservation District, where he served until 2002.

When State Representative Bob Allen resigned from the legislature in 2007 due to charges that he offered $20 for the opportunity to perform an act on an undercover police officer, a special election was held to replace him, and Tony Sasso, a Democrat was elected to replace him in the 32nd District, which included parts of northern Brevard County and southeastern Orange County.

In 2008, Crisafulli ran against Sasso in the regularly-scheduled election. During the course of the campaign, Crisafulli earned the endorsement of the Orlando Sentinel over Sasso, which criticized the incumbent for being “reluctant to make a commitment” on SunRail, while Crisafulli was a “staunch advocate” of it.

In the end, Crisafulli ended up narrowly defeating Sasso, winning 52 percent of the vote to the incumbent’s 48 percent. He was then re-elected without opposition in 2010.

Steve Crisafulli’s grandfather, Vassar B. Carlton, left, served as a Justice of the Florida Supreme Court from 1969 to 1974. An outstanding athlete at Cocoa High, he was inducted into the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame in 2018.
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When state legislative districts were redrawn in 2012, Crisafulli was moved into the 51st District, which dropped his previous district’s reach into Orange County in exchange for more portions of northern Brevard County.

He faced no opposition in the primary or general elections and was re-elected to his third term without opposition.

Following the 2012 elections, fellow State Representative Chris Dorworth, the designee for Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives for the 2014-2016 legislative session, was defeated for re-election, and Republicans in the legislature voted for Crisafulli as Dorworth’s replacement.

When Crisafulli won re-election, he became Speaker for the 2014-2016 legislative session.

To Crisafulli, nothing is more important than his family and his faith.

College sweethearts, Steve and his wife Kristen have been married for more than 20 years and have two daughters, Carly, and Kennedy.

Steve and Kristen are actively involved in their daughters’ education and extracurricular activities. He and his family are members of the First Baptist Church of Merritt Island.

– Wikipedia contributed to this report

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