Florida House races up for grabs. The Times Editorial Board recommendations

District 65: Jen McDonald, Democrat

Democrat Jen McDonald is one of the brighter lights seeking legislative office this year, and her experience, priorities and energy could be a winner for this South Tampa and coastal suburban district.

McDonald, 42, has owned an insurance business since 2013 and been active in local government, civic and business organizations. That background gives her a keen understanding of the district, the political process and what residents need from Tallahassee. She would be a valuable resource as the Legislature grapples to get property insurance under control. More broadly, she would invest more in affordable housing to help with skyrocketing rents and land costs, and help local governments maximize their resources by better aligning growth with public infrastructure.

McDonald would spend more on teachers and the public schools and on entrepreneurship programs at community colleges. She opposes offshore drilling near the Florida coast while supporting protections for the Florida Wildlife Corridor. She opposes government interference on abortion, calling it a private medical decision between a woman and her doctor. She would work to expand Medicaid access for hundreds of thousands of working Floridians, and seek state help for improving Hillsborough’s transportation system.

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