Former Speaker of the House Tom Gustafson today formally announced his candidacy for House District 89. In accordance with rules set forth by the Florida Department of State, Gustafson was unanimously selected by the Palm Beach County Democratic Party to replace Pamela Goodman following Goodman’s withdrawal for personal family reasons last week.
Gustafson was previously elected to the Florida House in 1976 and served as Speaker from 1988 to 1990. He has extensive experience in both the public and private sector, and most recently served as the Research Program Director in the Office of the Finance and Administration Department at Florida International University. Gustafson has also championed a variety of major transportation, insurance, healthcare, and criminal justice initiatives and was instrumental in the creation of the Tri-Rail commuter line which serves Palm Beach, Miami-Dade and Broward counties.
“We need proven leaders who will stand up for Florida’s middle class families and fight back against Bill Hager and his extremist policies,” said Tom Gustafson. “I’m honored to accept this nomination, and I look forward to working with all the residents of Palm Beach to grow our economy, help businesses create jobs and put an emphasis back on empowering our public school chidren.”
“Democrats are excited to have Former Speaker Gustafson join our strong and diverse slate of candidates,” said Democratic Leader Designate Rep. Perry Thurston. “Tom has real world, commonsense solutions we need to grow our economy, and the experience to get results for middle class families. We’re looking forward to doing all we can to support his campaign.”
“Former House Speaker Tom Gustafson willingness to serve means we have a candidate who can hit the ground running, and a candidate who will win this seat,” said Representative Mark Pafford of West Palm Beach. “Tom’s record of service is respected by both Democrats and Republicans, and he’ll be a strong voice for our community. I’m looking forward to campaigning with him so that we can elect another Representative who will stand up to anyone and do what’s right for the residents of Palm Beach.”
“Democrats in Palm Beach were excited to select Former Speaker Gustafson as our Democratic nominee,” said Mark Alan Siegel, Chair of the Palm Beach County Democratic Party. “Former Speaker Gustafson has a long and distinguished record of fighting for all Florida’s families. It’s exactly this sort of experience we need in Tallahassee to stand up to the broken, Tea Party extremism of Rick Scott and the GOP. Democrats here in Palm Beach county are looking forward to working hard to elect Tom and win this seat.”