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Ritch Workman’s legislative colleagues praise his Uber ambitions

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

State Rep. Ritch Workman, Tallahassee’s newest Uber driver-partner, is getting rave reviews from his legislative colleagues.

Workman, whose other part-time job is chairman of the House Rules Committee, is also director of business development at Keiser University. The Melbourne Republican hopes to use his passion for Uber to gain insight on an issue sure to face legislative battles in the 2016 session.

Impressed by first-hand participation, several legislators praised Workman as both an ambitious Floridian and hardworking businessperson. Married with six children, Workman told reporters the extra money would also help support his family.

“Ritch is just a great guy,” says state Sen. Rob Bradley. “He’s funny, smart and loves his family. And as you can see, he’s got some honey badger in him.”

Bradley, an Orange Park Republican, is chair of the influential Regulated Industries Committee. He represents Senate District 7, which covers Alachua, Bradford and Clay counties.

“I think it’s a great example of American innovation and citizen legislator all rolled up in one,” adds North Fort Myers Republican Matt Caldwell, who also serves on the Rules Committee. “Uber opponents should take note. This Legislature loves helping innovation take root in Florida and Ritch just made that clear.”

St. Petersburg state Sen. Jeff Brandes has been an ardent supporter of ridesharing and other tech advances (such as driverless cars) in the Sunshine State. As chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, Brandes is actively pushing to add legislation to the House and the Senate agenda next year that will help expand Uber and Lyft throughout Florida.

Brandes sees independent Uber drivers, like Workman, as the key to the state’s growing economy.

“Ritch, as well as other Uber partner-drivers, represent the spirit of entrepreneurship we value in all Floridians,” Brandes says. “And those are the values we will continue to protect in the 2016 session.”

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Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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