|Member of the Florida House of Representatives
from the 78th district
November 20, 2012
|Preceded by||Steve Perman|
October 8, 1960 |
|Spouse(s)||Richard D. DeBoest|
|Children||Alexander "Zan" Dawes|
|Alma mater||Hollins University (B.A.)
Shepard Broad Law Center (J.D.)
Heather Dawes Fitzenhagen (born October 8, 1960) is a Republican member of the Florida House of Representatives, representing the 78th District, which includes the city of Fort Myers in central Lee County, since 2012.
Fitzenhagen was born in Dallas, Texas, and attended Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia, before moving to the state of Florida in 1987. She then attended the Shepard Broad Law Center, the law school at Nova Southeastern University. Afterwards, she started Resolution Strategies, a mediation and arbitration company, and worked as the Marketing Director at the Condo & HOA Law Group, PLLC.
Florida House of Representatives
In 2012, she ran for the Florida House of Representatives from the newly created 78th District, based in the city of Fort Myers. Fitzenhagen faced Jonathan Martin in the Republican primary, whom she was able to defeat with 69% of the vote. In the general election, she had Independent Party of Florida nominee Kerry Babb as her opponent, and she easily won, winning 67% of the vote.
In 2013, Fitzenhagen supported a bill in the Florida legislature that would allow U.S. veterans using the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008 to pay for their college educations to receive in-state tuition instead of out-of-state tuition, regardless of whether the veteran met the residency requirements. She said that the schools would benefit by "having the kind of leadership and the kind of character in the classroom that a veteran will bring." During the 2014 legislative session, Fitzenhagen authored legislation that would allow people with no criminal record "to carry a firearm without a permit" during natural disasters. When the House passed the legislation, she declared, "The bells of liberty are surely ringing throughout Florida today." The Florida Sheriffs Association opposed the legislation, however, calling for clarification before it was signed into law.
In 2014, Fitzenhagen cosponsored 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.
Fitzenhagen joined personal injury law firm Morgan & Morgan in July 2014. She works at the firm’s Fort Myers and Naples offices. Although the law firm’s founder, John Morgan, is a well known Democratic supporter, Morgan and Fitzenhagan have said Morgan’s politics are kept out of the office. Fitzenhagan has said she “wouldn’t have taken the job if it were otherwise.”
- Smola, Jenn (November 11, 2013). "States figh for in-state tuition for student veterans". USA Today. Retrieved May 8, 2014.
- Cotterell, Bill (April 11, 2014). "Florida bill would allow guns with no permit in natural disasters". Reuters. Retrieved May 8, 2014.
- Parker, Betty (July 25, 2014). "Fitzenhagen joins Morgan & Morgan". The News-Press. Retrieved August 2, 2016.