Bruce Antone

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Democratic candidate, Florida House District 41

Public Service

  • 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

Occupation

Consultant

Education

  • Tuskegee Institute, B.S., Electrical Engineering, 1983

  • University of Central Florida, graduate studies in Public Administration, 1995

Religion

Methodist

Former state Rep. Bruce Antone, who won the Aug. 23 Democratic primary against three challengers, including incumbent Travaris McCurdy, who replaced him in 2020, will face off Nov. 8 against Green candidate Robin Denise Harris for the House District 41 seat.


Antone, an experienced legislator who served six terms in the legislature before leaving due to to term limits, said on his website that he understands “the process of passing laws, policies and procedures, and putting together multi-billion-dollar (sic) budgets.” He also said that he understands the need to build working relationships with other lawmakers. He did not respond to an email for an interview, and he has little social media presence. His Facebook page hasn’t been updated in 12 years, and the social media icons on his website do not link to anything.

However, he spoke at an Aug. 3 NACCP candidates forum that was also attended by his four rivals, including Harris, ahead of the primary for House District 41. Antone was also interviewed Aug. 3 by FNN News. At both events, he talked about issues that he would pursue, if elected.


At both the NAACP forum and FNN interview, Antone said he’s running because he cares about people “who are like me” and everyone else in the district. He also said that McCurdy had “rendered himself irrelevant” because of a “political stunt he pulled in Tallahassee” and that Antone could better represent the district. He also said in the FNN interview that Black elected officials in Tallahassee need to be better trained as legislators. Rather than “throw bombs” at them, Antone said the Black legislators need to develop relationships with Republicans and the GOP governor to get laws passed and secure funding for programs needed in their districts.


Education
On his site, Antone said he would increase teacher salaries and provide mentoring programs, sports, job and after-school programs as well as find funding for vocational job training. He would also provide more programs for seniors, although he didn’t list anything specific.


During the FNN interview, he said teachers are overworked and many are working two or three jobs because they’re underpaid. As a result, they’re leaving the profession. “That should not be the case.”


Housing

On his site, he said he would seek measures to reduce rents for apartments and build more affordable housing as well as help those seeking to buy their first homes such as increasing funding assistance for down payments.

During the NAACP Forum, he said that he would ensure that the Sadowski Fund — created in 1991 to finance state and local affordable housing initiatives, but has been routinely tapped by state legislators to balance the budget, leaving less for actual housing — should be fully funded. He said every dollar should go towards construction of affordable housing (as well as help with downpayment assistance).

On rent, which he called a “serious” issue, he said it’s going to take the state legislature, Congress and local governments to tackle that problem because it’s not easy. “But we can get it done,” he said.


Crime and Public Safety
On his site, Antone said he would work with neighborhood associations within the district and with law enforcement to reduce crime, drugs and gun violence, though he offered no specifics.

Transportation

On his site, he said he would seek increased funding for Lynx, add more Lynx buses, increase frequency of service and add more covered bus stop shelters. He said he would see to improve transportation for seniors and the disabled community that need service to, for example, doctor’s offices, grocery stores and other destinations. He also said he would work with Orange County and Lynx to build a commuter rail system across the county. During the NAACP Forum and FNN interview, he also said more needs to be done to build up infrastructure, and touted his efforts and accomplishments to bring money for such projects when he was a lawmaker.


Economic Development
On his site, Antone said he would “start a new small business assistance program to help small and minority businesses grow, secure loans and get their fair share of business contracts and business opportunities.” Additionally, he said he would provide more job training and apprenticeships for high school juniors and seniors, returning citizens and adults.


During the NAACP Forum, Antone said more needs to be done to get young people focused on college, careers in the military and vocational training, which pays good salaries.


Gun Violence
During the FNN interview, Antone said something has to be done about gun violence but didn’t offer any solutions. On his site, Antone did not list anything though “lorem ipsum” placeholder text was used.


Over his legislative career, Antone led the Legislative Black Caucus and served on the Education, Civil Justice and Local, Federal, and Veterans Affairs committees. He also served on the Government Operations and Technology Appropriations Subcommittee and Select Committee on the Integrity of Public Research Institutions.


Antone early in his political career served as chief legislative aide to then-state Sen. Buddy Dyer, who is Orlando’s mayor.

— Dibya Sarkar