|Member of the Florida House of Representatives
from the 76th district
November 20, 2012
|Preceded by||Kathleen Passidomo|
April 17, 1970 |
|Alma mater||Berry College (B.A.)|
Raymond "Ray" Wesley Rodrigues (born April 17, 1970) is a Republican member of the Florida House of Representatives, representing the 76th District, which includes southern and coastal Lee County, namely, Bonita Springs, Fort Myers Beach, and Sanibel, since 2012.
Rodrigues was born in Pensacola and attended Berry College in Rome, Georgia, where he received a scholarship from the WinShape Foundation and graduated in 1992. Following graduation, he moved to Estero, where he became an active member of the community, eventually working as the Budget Manager for the College of Arts and Sciences at Florida Gulf Coast University.
Rodrigues has been active in the Lee County Republican Party since 1995, serving in various capacities including Vice-Chairman from 2010-2012. In 2004, Rodrigues embarked on his first campaign for public office when he ran for Lee County Supervisor of Elections, but he lost in the Republican primary to incumbent Sharon L. Harrington.
Florida House of Representatives
When the Florida House of Representatives districts were redrawn in 2012, Rodrigues elected to run in the newly created 76th District. He faced off against former State Representative Michael J. Grant and Chauncey Solinger in the Republican primary. Rodrigues won by a fairly large margin, winning 50% of the vote to Grant's 28% and Solinger's 22%. Rodrigues was unopposed in the general election.
During his time in the legislature, Rodrigues sponsored legislation that guaranteed the public's right to speak at official government meetings, due to the fact "that there is no explicit right for those in attendance to speak at meetings of bodies such as city councils, county commissions, school boards and taxing districts," which passed the legislature nearly unanimosuly. Additionally, he authored legislation that would allow overseas absentee voters to have their ballots fully counted as long as they are postmarked by Election Day and received within ten days of Election Day, as previously, ballots received within ten days of Election Day were only counted for votes for President. He noted, "Our military voters overseas are sacrificing for us to have the opportunity to hold elections. I think the right thing to do is to guarantee their full participation; I wanted to see their entire ballot counted in that ten day window." He also worked with fellow State Representative Cary Pigman to sponsor legislation that would require "immediate medical care for fetuses born alive following an attempted abortion." In 2016, Rodrigues drafted a bill that allows fracking in Florida and prevents local governments from making any laws prohibiting fracking; under this bill the oil and gas industry would be required to disclose carcinogens and monitor the future effects of the chemicals injected into the ground.
- Turner, Jim (June 17, 2013). "Rep. Rodrigues' bill to ensure right to speak at meetings now in Scott's hands". Naples Daily News. Retrieved May 8, 2014.
- Giunta, Eric (January 26, 2013). "Ray Rodrigues: Require Government Agencies to Hear Public at Meetings, Let Every Absentee Vote Count". Sunshine State News. Retrieved May 8, 2014.
- "Anti-abortion group attack Kathleen Peters' voting record". Politifact. January 9, 2014. Retrieved May 8, 2014.
- "Florida House approves bill to authorize, regulate fracking". miamiherald. Retrieved 2016-03-22.