Holly Merrill Raschein
|Holly Merrill Raschein|
|Member of the Florida House of Representatives
from the 120th district
November 20, 2012
|Preceded by||Ronald Saunders|
December 16, 1980 |
|Alma mater||Florida State University (B.S.)|
Holly Merrill Raschein (born December 16, 1980) is an American politician, a Republican member of the Florida House of Representatives, representing the 120th District, which includes Monroe County and southern Miami-Dade County, since 2012.
Raschein was born in Anchorage, Alaska, and moved to the state of Florida in 1999 when she started at Florida State University, where she graduated with a degree in political science in 2003. During her time as an undergraduate, she began working as at Robert M. Levy & Associates, a state government relations firm in Tallahassee. After her graduation, Raschein began working as a legislative aide for State Representative Ken Sorensen, a Republican. When Sorensen was unable to seek another term in the legislature in 2006 and Ronald Saunders was elected to replace him, Raschein continued working in the office, despite the fact that Saunders was a Democrat.
Florida House of Representatives
In 2012, following the reconfiguration of the state's legislative districts and following Saunders's decision to run for the Florida Senate rather than seek re-election, an open seat occurred in the reformatted 120th District. Raschein opted to run for the seat, and faced former Key West Mayor Morgan McPherson, the 2010 nominee, in the Republican primary. She was able to defeat McPherson comfortably, winning 66% of the vote to his 34%, and advanced to the general election, where she faced Ian Whitney, the Democratic nominee. Over the course of the campaign, the two candidates staked out positions in opposition to each other. Raschein supported private school vouchers while Whitney did not; Whitney supported the expansion of Medicaid under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act while Raschein opposed it, noting, "I am all for health care. But I don't know how the states are going to be able to pay for the expansion of Medicaid. The devil is in the details. How are we going to pay for that? We don't want to cut education anymore, social services can't be cut anymore. I am concerned about how we are going to fund it." Despite the competitive nature of the election, Raschein and Whitney maintained mutual respect and kindness for each other, with Whitney noting that the two of them got along "very well" and Raschein calling her opponent "a very nice guy." Ultimately, Raschein narrowly defeated Whitney, winning her first term with 52% of the vote to his 48%.
During the 2013 legislative session, Raschein sponsored legislation that aimed to protect stray cats, creating "protected cat colonies where the glut of strays scavenging for food and shelter could be trapped, neutered or spayed, then released to fend for themselves," and worked with Democratic State Representative Joe Saunders to author legislation that "adds sexual orientation and 'gender identity' to the list of characteristics against which private businesses cannot discriminate in the provision of employment or services."
In the 2014 legislative session, Raschein worked to renew funding for a "state tax incentive program that entices film and television productions," which benefitted several television series filming in the Florida Keys, but the legislative session ran out before the bill could be considered. She noted, "There were a lot of differing opinions [in the legislature] on how we as a state should support the film and television industry. It kind of got held up in the process. It wasn't a priority and that's unfortunate." She also worked with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and State Senator Greg Evers to author legislation that banned the importation of lionfish into the state, as the fish is an invasive species that has a detrimental effect on local ecosystems.
- Giunta, Eric (February 26, 2013). "Holly Raschein: 'Socially Moderate' Republican to Target Wastewater, Property Insurance". Sunshine State News. Retrieved May 19, 2014.
- DeSantis, John (September 4, 2012). "Gentility marks state house representative race". Key West Citizen. Retrieved May 19, 2014.
- Cotterell, Bill (April 13, 2013). "Fur flying in Florida as cat lovers push law to protect strays". Reuters. Retrieved May 19, 2014.
- Wadlow, Kevin (May 7, 2014). "State lets tax credits for movies, TV expire; effect on Netflix sseries being made in the Keys unknown". Florida Keys Keynoter. Retrieved May 19, 2014.
- Cocking, Sue (March 9, 2014). "Lawmakers attempt to control lionfish". Miami Herald. Retrieved May 19, 2014.