SB Candidate Forum

Green Party Candidate for Florida Representative, District 6: Henry Lawrence

I had the distinct pleasure of attending the Small Business Forum for Florida Representative Candidates – District 6. This forum was a first outing for the eight candidates running for the seat held by Jimmy Patronis, who is term limited and can not run for the seat this election cycle.

Henry Lawrence, co-chair of the Green Party of Bay County was among the candidates at the forum, and guests got to hear a little about Henry, and about what a Green Representative will bring to Bay County. Other candidates speaking at the forum were: Tho Bishop, Melissa Hagan, Thelma Rohan, Jamie Shepard, Jay Trumbull, Ryan Jack Singletary, and Jerry Wyche.

henry at sb forum1
Henry Lawrence speaks at the Small Business Association Candidate’s Forum.

Each candidate got two minutes to share some information about themselves, and tell the audience why they felt they would be the best person to represent the citizens of Bay County. Then the moderator, Don Arias, asked a series of question, three per candidate, and each person got 90 seconds to answer the question asked of them.

Henry Lawrence performed well in representing Green values as he introduced himself to the audience. Having lived in northwest Florida most of his life, Lawrence is aware of the issues facing this area, and as a small business person himself, he knows how important small business is to Panama City. Promoting jobs, and economic growth is vitally dependent on education at all levels, and providing good jobs is key to keeping young people in Bay County after they have graduated from high school or college – good quality job candidates will not stay in an area that does not offer the high paying jobs they seek in order to make a decent living.

Mr. Arias asked Henry for his opinion on the control the federal government has, mentioning that government control over our lives is spiraling out of control. Lawrence agreed that government is taking control of our lives, saying that Edward Snowden had revealed just how much control the US federal government has had in violating the privacy of US citizens. Using the internet as an example, Lawrence pointed out that the amount of private information collected is increasing at an alarming rate, he went on to say that corporations have been part of the problem and deserve part of the blame as well.

“What makes you the best candidate for small business in Bay County?” Arias asked.

Henry Lawrence has been around small business all his life. His father owned a small business that Henry started working in at age 14. As an adult, Lawrence has owned his own landscaping and irrigation business. He knows how hard it can be: From government regulation, to paperwork and accounting, to the physical and financial limitations of being unable to operate the business when tragedy strikes. He also understands how important it is to look at the big picture of where and how you operate since every business environment has its own unique problems.

In closing, Lawrence stated that though STEM education is important, we shouldn’t neglect the arts, because most small business owners need employees that are well-rounded. ”A well-rounded education is important, “ Lawrence said, “STEM, while important, is an over-used idea that competes with other programs for funding.”

You can see more about the SB Candidates forum here:

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