Constituents Come First for Representative Brad Drake

Florida Chamber of Commerce

The game of political musical chairs is in full swing. With the theme of 2012 elections being "Redistricting," we expected all the rumors of who's running against whom to be floating around. After all, there are 26 districts in the Florida House where two or more incumbents live in the same district. Many of these incumbents are friends who really do not want to run against each other so they are all trying to decided what to do or where to run.

However, one of these situations in particular, has been settled and merits a call-out. The headline of the press release read "Rep Brad Drake Launches 2014 Campaign for the House of Representatives" with a followup line of "Supports the Reelection of Rep. Marti Coley for a Final Term."

Representatives Brad Drake (R) and Marti Coley (R) found themselves living in the same district when the district lines were drawn. In fact, the new HD 5 was made up of 64% of Drake's old district and 36% of Coley's district. With that information, this district was definitely more Drake's than Coley's. The press release continued:

"I am stepping aside for the next two years because it is in the best interest of our community," said Rep. Drake. "I am confident that Marti Coley can effectively represent our district; she currently represents part of Bay and Walton Counties and a majority of Jackson County. She has overcome incredible adversity and accomplished much for Northwest Florida. I strongly support her reelection to the House of Representatives. And in the meantime, I will look forward to meeting with constituents, working with community leaders and continuing to learn how I may be helpful. It is my hope that voters will allow me to continue to be their champion for small government and positive economic growth for our wonderful area. Whether as a private citizen or as an elected official, I am committed to fighting for the interests of our region."

This is not a surprise to those of us that know Brad Drake. He is geniune, sincere, respectful and is willing to do what is best for others. But you have to admit, it is commendable. In doing this, Drake has made everyone and every group a winner, especially the constituents of HD 5 because now they will have two people looking after their interests...the Representative they elect in November and Brad Drake in the background as he prepares to run in 2014.

House Speaker Designate Will Weatherford said it best, "Rep. Drake has selflessly chosen to put the interests of the district above his personal ambition. He is a true public servant, and I wholeheartedly support his future commitment."

So do we, Mr. Speaker Designate. Make sure you thank Representative Brad Drake.