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Bob Buesing introduces ‘bonus kids’ in 1st SD 18 TV ad

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Bob Buesing is going on the air with his first TV ad in the Senate District 18 race.

“Table” is biographical spot introducing Buesing, his wife, Karen and three of six “Bonus Kids” to the people of Hillsborough County.

Then 30-second ad is available on YouTube.

The ad focuses on Buesings’ belief that every child in Florida deserves a fair shot at a better life. Over the last decade, they worked to put those values into action, by welcoming six young people into their home who were either at-risk or outright homeless.

These “bonus kids,” who may have slipped through the cracks, were given a chance at a better life.

A statement by the campaign talks about the three children featured in the ad: Laura Lee, Bianqa and Alberto.

At 14, Laura Lee was a classic at-risk youth, lacking a stable home and surviving moment to moment. After replying to a plea at a community event from her older sister to take teens who had aged out of foster care, the Buesings were asked to take in Laura Lee instead.

Laura Lee spent seven years in the Buesing household. Today she works full-time as a waitress at a local restaurant, and serves as a key volunteer in Bob’s campaign.

Laura Lee met Bianqa after joining the Buesings, and when Bianqa’s parents lost their jobs and home in the recession, Laura Lee asked if Bianqa could move in for a few weeks until her parents found a new place to live. Those few weeks turned into six years.

Today, Bianqa is a technical college graduate and works as a medical laboratory technician at a hospital.

Living out of his car and working for minimum wage at a chain restaurant, Alberto was 21 when a local social worker referred him to the Buesings. All his life, he’d been told he was not capable of learning.

Upon his arrival, the Buesings said, “it’s time to write yourself a new story.”

During his time in the Buesing household, Alberto earned his high school diploma and his certification as a certified nurse assistant. He continues to live with the Buesings while he works at a local nursing home and attends community college in the hopes of becoming a nurse.

“In an age when it is easy to become cynical about our politics, Bob Buesing and his family are a reminder that there are real people in our communities giving back without fanfare each and every day,” said Buesing campaign manager Jason Ascher. “The Buesings and their ‘Bonus Kids’ are symbols of our better angels, of what happens when we cease to care about who gets credit and instead put others ahead of ourselves. The campaign is proud to bring their powerful stories to a wider audience.”

A native of Appleton, Wisconsin, Buesing visited his grandparents in the Tampa Bay region every year as a child, deciding then that Florida was where he wanted to make his home.

After earning his B.A. and J.D. from the University of Wisconsin, Buesing took a job at Trenam Law in Tampa in 1977, where he has been a construction lawyer for 39 years. An active member of his community, Buesing serves on the board of directors of the Tampa Metro YMCA, the Florida Alliance of YMCAs, the Early Learning Coalition of Hillsborough County, the Florida Children’s Forum, the Florida Council on Economic Education, the Family Healthcare Foundation, and the Tiger Bay Club of Tampa Bay.

Buesing is a founding member of the Business Alliance for Early Learning of the Florida Chamber Foundation.

Buesing faces Republican House Majority Leader Dana Young and Joe Redner, who is a no-party-affiliation candidate, for the open SD 18 seat.

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