Democratic Nominee, Florida House District 39
Never held elective office.
Co-owner, KBI Staffing Solutions LLC
Florida International University, B.S., Communications with Minor in Marketing, 2012
Full Sail University, Master's, Entertainment Business Management, 2013
A community activist, education advocate and the youngest president to have ever led Orange County’s NAACP, Democrat Tiffany Hughes is running for state representative in House District 39. Unopposed in the primary, she faces conservative Republican Doug Bankson on Nov. 8.
Hughes is the daughter of immigrants from St. Thomas of the Grenadines, mom to a two-year-old and co-owner with her husband of the staffing agency KBI Solutions LLC.
In an April interview with The Apopka Voice, Hughes said she’s running to represent people who are typically underrepresented. "I'm the voice I don't hear enough of in the Florida Legislature," she told the newspaper. "Someone who's a business owner, a mother, and a wife who can understand the nuances of a diverse community."
In that interview, she said, if she’s elected, she would take a bipartisan mindset to the Republican-dominated legislature to support bills that benefit her community. “We may be on different sides of the aisle, but that doesn't mean we can't get things done together. I like to say there are no foes in the community where you work.”
Hughes talked with VoxPopuli about where she stands on key issues.
Hughes said lowering homeowners insurance premiums would be her top priority as a legislator. “My father lives in Naples. He built his house about three years ago, and between then and now, his insurance has gone up something like 40 percent. My insurance has gone up. It's just a huge problem for the state of Florida and will certainly be the first priority of my time in Tallahassee."
Hughes noted that when the legislature met in May for the special session that created the RAP (Reinsurance to Assist Policy Holders) funds, attorney fees and coverage denials were addressed, but not insurance rates. “It did not actually decrease homeowners insurance rates. So it was certainly a step in the right direction, but it did not go far enough,” she said.
"What we need to do is make sure that we are fully funding our public education system, making sure that our teachers are paid the salary that their profession deserves so that they can best support our children and make sure that we are keeping politics and politicians out of the classroom,” Hughes said. "We just need leaders who will put our children above partisan politics.”
“I’m not a medical professional but what I do know is that 99 percent of abortions occur before 21 weeks, and anything beyond that is typically a very complex situation where that mother, that doctor and that family needs every option on the table," Hughes told the Orlando Sentinel during a candidates forum.
Hughes, who has a 2-year-old son, Legacy, shared with VoxPopuli that her own pregnancy was high-risk because the year prior she’d had fibroid surgery. “This issue is very, very personal for me because when we talk about women's reproductive healthcare and women's lives, that life could have been mine. So I want to be clear that when we are talking about abortion, we are talking about life-saving reproductive healthcare — one of the most personal decisions that a woman can make. That decision must be left between that woman, her family, her doctor, and her faith. Not politicians in Tallahassee.”
SECOND AMENDMENT/GUN SAFETY
Hughes said this issue is top of mind as both a mother and a gun owner.
“I know that we can protect our right to bear arms, and keep firearms out of the hands of violent criminals. We have our Red Flag laws. We expanded background checks. We raised the age to purchase a firearm to 21 immediately after Parkland.
Hughes said her Walther pistol is stored, unloaded and in a locked case with the clip separated.
"I support all of those measures, making sure we keep our firearms safe in our own homes and protect our children, our family members in our own homes. But also that we are protecting our loved ones as they go to school, as they go to the grocery store, as they go to their place of worship. No one should have to do any of those things in fear. We deserve to be able to walk our children to school and know that we can pick them up in the afternoon.”
“We need to look at every option available to provide access to affordable healthcare to Floridians and one is definitely expanding Medicaid. It would instantly grant hundreds of thousands of Floridians the healthcare that they deserve, that they desperately need," Hughes told VoxPopuli.
“I would say we also need to look at lowering the cost of prescription drugs and expanding public-private partnerships. You know, I've never heard a business owner say they don't want to offer health insurance. What I do hear small business owners say is that health insurance is too expensive. So, I want to look at creating new ways for small businesses to offer insurance in addition to expanding Medicaid.”