Dwight M. Bullard
|Member of the Florida Senate
from the 39th district
|Preceded by||Larcenia Bullard|
|Member of the Florida House of Representatives
from the 118th district
|Preceded by||Edward B. Bullard|
|Succeeded by||Frank Artiles|
February 4, 1977 |
|Alma mater||Florida A&M University (B.S.)|
Dwight Bullard (born February 4, 1977) is a Democratic member of the Florida State Senate, representing the 39th District, which includes all of Hendry and Monroe Counties and parts of Collier and Miami-Dade Counties, since 2012.
Bullard was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and moved to Florida in 1981; his father, Edward B. Bullard, served in the Florida House of Representatives from 2000 to 2008, and his mother Larcenia Bullard, served in the House from 1992 to 2000 and in the Florida State Senate from 2002 to 2012. He attended Florida A&M University, graduating with a degree in history education in 1999.
Florida House of Representatives
In 2008, when his father did not seek another term from the 118th District in the House, Bullard ran to succeed his father; he emerged victorious from a crowded Democratic primary. He won the general election uncontested, but in 2010, he was challenged in the primary by Kionne L. McGhee, and won by less than 400 votes. He won the general election in a landslide against his Republican opponent, Charlie Lopez.
Florida State Senate districts were redrawn in 2012, and the 39th District, in which his mother could not seek another term due to term limits, was reconfigured, with the Palm Beach County sections removed and more sections from Miami-Dade County added. Bullard ran to succeed his mother, and faced Ronald Saunders, the Minority Leader of the Florida House of Representatives; former State Representative James Bush; JJ Johnson, and Sal Gutierrez in the primary. The Miami Herald, which felt that more representation for the Florida Keys was necessary in the legislature, endorsed Saunders. However, Bullard narrowly won the primary by 1,500 votes and 35% of the vote, with Saunders and Bush in a close second and third. In the general election, Representative Bullard faced Scott Hopes, the CEO of a health technology firm, and won the endorsement of the Herald, which praised his "push for education reforms." In the end, Bullard overwhelmingly defeated Hopes.
While serving in the Senate, Bullard sponsored legislation aimed at preventing cyberbullying, which allows schools to "discipline a student for cyberbullying if the student uses a computer, computer system, or computer network owned by a school." He criticized efforts by the legislature to reduce funding for Florida Virtual School while simultaneously allowing private companies to offer virtual education, noting, "We spend all of this money, time and energy to beef up our own virtual program, Florida Virtual School, and all of a sudden, we are cutting them and allowing outside providers nationwide to come in and take a chunk of the pot of money."
- "The Herald recommends: OUR OPINION: State Senate District 39, House Districts 100, 102". Miami Herald. July 23, 2012.
- "Bullard for Senate: OUR OPINION: Bullard has strong support in District 39". Miami Herald. October 16, 2012.
- "Cyberbullying Bill Passes Senate Committee Without a Fight". Sunshine State News. Retrieved April 15, 2013.
- "Law opens up funding for virtual schools". Bradenton Herald. Retrieved May 13, 2013.