Democratic candidate, Florida House District 41
Member, Florida House of Representatives, 2002-2006 and then again from 2012-2020
Orange County Planning and Zoning Commission, 2010
Former Legislative Aide to State Senator Buddy Dyer, 1992-1999, 2001-2002
Orange Blossom Trail Development Board, 1997-1999
Tuskegee Institute, B.S., Electrical Engineering, 1983
University of Central Florida, graduate studies in Public Administration, 1995
A former longtime state House representative, Democrat Bruce Antone is throwing his hat back into the ring, vying for the House District 41 seat in a crowded Democratic field to unseat incumbent Travaris McCurdy in the Aug. 23 primary.
The newly redistricted District 41 covers much of the area in House District 46, which is currently represented by McCurdy, making him the incumbent. District 41 includes a sliver of Ocoee as well as the neighborhoods of Parramore, Orlo Vista, Oak Ridge and Washington Shores — a largely African American, mostly working-class community. The winner of the Democratic primary will face the Green Party’s Robin Denise Harris in the November general election. No Republican is running in the race.
Antone previously served in the House, representing District 39 from 2002 to 2004, and then District 46 from 2012 to 2020, both covering mostly the west side of Orlando and western Orange County. He left the House in 2020 due to term limits and unsuccessfully ran for a seat on the Orange County School Board that same year, according to Florida Politics. (Antone had dropped out of the race when one of the opponents filed a lawsuit, claiming Antone didn’t live in the district although Antone denied it.) It was McCurdy who replaced Antone in District 46 two years ago.
Antone also served as Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer’s legislative aide and chief of staff in the 1990s when Dyer was a member of the Florida Senate.
On his Facebook page, Antone, who was the ranking member on the Education Committee his last two years in office, lists several legislative accomplishments. Among them are:
Created three separate categories for home invasion robbery and increased penalties.
Increased penalties for people who “intentionally kill, hurt, harm, maim, kick or gouge police animals,” which cost law enforcement at least $14,000 to buy and train.
Provided $400,000 to create a teacher training program and institute for teachers in urban schools that is a partnership consisting of University of Central Florida, Bethune Cookman University, Orange and Volusia County Public Schools.
Provided $432,000 in matching funds to maintain and operate medical clinics in 17 Orange County public schools.
Provided $5 million annually to Orange County Public Schools to subsidize, operate and maintain the Community Education Partnership, an alternative education for students with truancy and disciplinary issues.
Provided $250,000 for AIDS/HIV outreach in the Haitian and Hispanic communities in Orange and Osceola counties.
Provided $1.2 million annually for up to $75,000 in doctoral fellowship grants to African Americans pursuing doctorate degrees in math, science, engineering and related fields.
Providing $5 million annually to train teachers of minority students to help them pass Advanced Placement classes and prepare for SAT/ACT tests.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida also gave high marks to Antone for his civil rights and civil liberties voting record for 2017-2018 and 2019.
In 2020, after the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers, Antone, who was then chair of the Florida Legislative Black Caucus, told the Tampa Bay Times that being pragmatic was necessary to make change, especially in a Republican-dominated legislature. “You’ve got to get some stuff passed,” he said. “When all of this stuff is done, the nation is going to be looking for some change. If we don’t get something done, this will all be for naught.”
The Florida Chamber of Commerce has endorsed Antone in the race.