Coe Runs on Sustainability Platform in District 72

Politics

BY JACOB OGLES SRQ DAILY FRESHLY SQUEEZED CONTENT EVERY MORNING TUESDAY SEP 26, 2017

After years of working as a consultant lobbying elected officials, Alexandra Coe says she got the bug to run herself. After an unsuccessful attempt to run for Sarasota County Commission without party affiliation, she’s now eyeing a special election to represent state House District 72. This time she’s running as a Republican, but still hoping to buck the system. “I’m not interested in politics to become a career politician,” she says. “I do have this make-the-world-a-better-place disease I can’t seem to shake.”

A trained anthropologist and sustainability consultant, Coe has worked with the United Nations on crisis programs around the world, and also been involved in local education efforts about the agricultural economy. Should she be elected to the Florida Legislature, she hopes that expertise will help the state deal with environmental issues. “I understand what is and isn’t climate change and global warming,” she says. “Florida’s environment is our economy. It supports tourism and the second economic engine that we have: agriculture. We need people in Tallahassee who understand the science behind environmental policy.”

She also expects issues like health care to become critical as new directives come from Washington, D.C. to the state capital, and wants to champion women’s issues from a seat in the House.

Long involved in Libertarian politics, Coe says she left third-party politics in part because of disenchantment around the 2016 election cycle. She had been among attendees at the Libertarian National Convention last year, when presidential candidate Gary Johnson emerged on second ballot.

Coe says she’s had an eye on this legislative seat for sometime, really since former Rep. Ray Pilon announced he would not run for re-election in 2016. But she stayed out of that contest, fresh off her county-wide run in 2014, and Alex Miller ended up winning the seat last November. But Miller resigned the seat earlier this year; Coe heard about the impending special election while traveling in Europe and decided to file for the seat after she returned home. While she did not qualify by petition, Coe says she’s raising money this week to pay the qualification fee. Candidates must qualify by noon Friday.

Coe right now faces Republican James Buchanan in a Dec. 5 Republican primary. Democrats Margaret Rowell Good and Ruta Jouniari have also filed, as has Libertarian Alison Foxall. The special election is set for Feb. 13.

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