|Member of the Florida House of Representatives
from the 7th district
November 20, 2012
|Preceded by||Marti Coley|
November 27, 1971 |
Winter Park, Florida
|Children||Grace, Caroline, Suzanne|
|Alma mater||Florida State University (B.S.)
University of Florida (M.S.)
Halsey Beshears (born November 27, 1971, in Winter Park, Florida) is a Republican member of the Florida House of Representatives, representing the 7th District, which includes Calhoun, Gulf, Lafayette, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Taylor, and Wakulla Counties in the Florida Panhandle, since 2012.
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Beshears's family moved to Monticello and he graduated from Brookwood School, a private school in Thomasville, Georgia in 1989. He later attended Florida State University and the University of Florida. Since 1997, Beshears has served as an executive at Simpson Nurseries and the President of Total Landscape Supply, which serves wholesale clients across much of the United States.
Florida House of Representatives
Following the reconfiguration of Florida House of Representatives districts in 2012, the 7th District was created, which sprawls across many counties in northern Florida. Beshears opted to run in this district, and defeated Mike Williams, former State Representative Jamey Westbrook, and Don Curtis in the Republican primary, winning 38% of the vote. In the general election, Beshears faced Robert Hill, the Democratic nominee and the former Liberty County Administrator, Clerk of Court, and Public Schools Superintendent. Beshears was criticized by the Tallahassee Democrat for displaying a "marked lack of interest" and they noted that they "just don't get" his popularity within the district. In the end, however, Beshears swamped Hill, winning every county in the district except for Liberty County, which Hill carried comfortably. In 2014, Beshears was re-elected without opposition to his second term.
While serving in the Florida House of Representatives, Beshears proposed legislation to protect "agricultural lands from being subject to double regulations at both the local and state or federal level." When confronted with legislation that would "outlaw all sales of various smoking devices defined as 'drug paraphernalia,'" Beshears took a strong stance against it, declaring, "The government can intrude in any business, and I just completely disagree with that. So if we're going to outlaw smoking paraphernalia, why don't we outlaw spoons, why don't we outlaw aluminum cans, why don't we outlaw anything that is used to smoke?" After a University of Florida study showed that the oyster population in Apalachicola Bay was dwindling, he called for drastic solutions, asserting, "We're going to have to change our harvesting practices there to give [the oysters] the time to grow adequately, to where they can catch up," affirming that the overharvesting of oysters "raped the land."
Beshears was re-elected to his second and third term in the legislature in 2014 and 2016 without opposition.
During the 2014 session of the Florida Legislature, Beshears sponsored a bill in the Florida Legislature that made application to Congress to convene an Article V Convention to propose amendments to the United States Constitution for the limited purpose of proposing a Single Subject Amendment. This bill passed the Florida Legislature making Florida the first state in United States history to apply for an Article V Convention to propose this amendment to the United States Constitution. See the April 23, 2014 entry in List of state applications for an Article V Convention.
- "Our Opinion: State House, District 7". Tallahassee Democrat. October 12, 2012. Retrieved May 2, 2014.
- "Beshears gets his first bill through the house". The News Herald. April 18, 2013. Retrieved May 2, 2014.
- "Bong ban passes state House". The News Herald. April 24, 2013. Retrieved May 2, 2014.
- Beaton, Matthew (April 24, 2013). "Oyster study confirms fishery problems". The News Herald. Retrieved May 2, 2014.