John Tobia

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John Tobia
John Tobia.jpg
Member of the Florida House of Representatives
from the 53rd district
Assumed office
November 20, 2012
Preceded by Rick Kriseman
Member of the Florida House of Representatives
from the 31st district
In office
November 18, 2008 – November 20, 2012
Preceded by Mitch Needelman
Succeeded by Bryan Nelson
Personal details
Born (1978-01-06) January 6, 1978 (age 39)
Honolulu, Hawaii
Political party Republican
Alma mater University of Florida (B.A.) (M.A.)
Profession Professor

John Tobia (born January 6, 1978) is a Republican member of the Florida House of Representatives, representing the 53rd District, which includes southern Brevard County, since 2012, previously representing the 31st District from 2008 to 2012.


Tobia was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, and moved to the state of Florida in 1990. He attended the University of Florida, where he received both his bachelor's and master's degrees in political science. Following graduation, he began working as a professor at Valencia College, teaching introductory political science courses.

Florida House of Representatives[edit]

When incumbent State Representative Mitch Needelman was unable to seek re-election in 2008 due to term limits, Tobia ran to succeed him in the 31st District, which stretched from Malabar to South Patrick Shores. He faced Jason Steele, Ronald Stump, and Ken Babington in the Republican primary, and emerged narrowly victorious, winning 32% of the vote to Steele's 31%, Stump's 22%, and Babington's 15%, despite facing allegations that he allowed his college students to "skip their final exam...if they would volunteer for his campaign".[1] He advanced to the general election, where he was elected unopposed. In 2010, he was challenged in the primary by Indialantic City Councilwoman Lori Halbert, who accused him over the course of the campaign of committing acts of vandalism against her, including stealing her campaign signs, trespassing on her property, and flattening the tires of someone parked at her house, charges that Tobia denied.[2] He defeated Halbert by 193 votes, winning 51% of the vote to Halbert's 49%. In the general election, he faced Jodi James, the Democratic nominee. The Orlando Sentinel roundly criticized both candidates, declaring that "voters in this Brevard County district deserve better than Republican Rep. John Tobia", in part because he made "inappropriate comments about women in his lectures." However, James had a prior conviction for drug trafficking, causing them to reluctantly endorse the incumbent for re-election.[3] Tobia defeated James in a landslide, winning 62% of the vote.

In 2012, when legislative districts were redrawn, Tobia was drawn into the 53rd District, which included most of the territory that he previously represented. He was challenged in the Republican primary by Tres Holton and Laureen Trent, whom he defeated with 52% of the vote. In the general election, he encountered Democratic nominee John Paul Alvarez. Florida Today endorsed him for re-election, praising his "independent streak" and his "support of education issues," while noting that Alvarez was not as informed on state issues. [4] Tobia narrowly defeated Alvarez on election night, winning 53% of the vote to Alvarez's 47%.


  1. ^ "Our take on: State Rep. John Tobia's ethics & Justice for sexually abused". Orlando Sentinel. April 28, 2010. Retrieved December 13, 2013. 
  2. ^ Torres, John A. (August 25, 2010). "Tobia edges Halbert in House primary". Florida Today. Retrieved December 13, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Our Endorsements: For the Florida House District 34, 33, and 31". Orlando Sentinel. September 29, 2010. Retrieved December 13, 2013. 
  4. ^ "We recommend John Tobia for state House". Florida Today. October 26, 2012. Retrieved December 13, 2013. 

External links[edit]