State Rep. Doug Holder knows how tough it is to be away from his wife and children during committee weeks and Session — particularly when handling the scope of issues that he took on this year. Holder passed the ban on texting while driving after six years of working to do so, and utilized his role as Chair of Regulatory Affairs to help negotiate reforms to Citizens Property Insurance.
But that’s not all. Holder sponsored four bills in 2013 — 100 percent of which were passed by both chambers and already signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott.
Holder returned home the morning after Session, went to dinner as a family, and spent the weekend at the beach and at his son’s baseball games. This summer, Holder is looking forward to “a good, old-fashioned road trip” to visit family in North Carolina and Alabama, and will put some time into getting his golf game “in working order”. He will finish restoring his Ford Bronco that has been a project for the last nine months, and will be rereading classic books that his 8th grade son has on the summer list — Catcher in the Rye, Farewell to Arms, This Side of Paradise, and For Whom the Bell Tolls.
That said, Holder non-stop campaigns, meets with constituents, attends community events, and feels that with all the work that must be done in 2014, September 23 may not be soon enough for committee weeks to begin.
Here is how Rep. Holder is spending his Summer vacation, in his own words:
How long did you linger in Tallahassee following Sine Die?
I packed up and left the next morning. I was ready to spend some family time with my children and wife. Spending that much time away from them during committee weeks and Session is tough!
Legislative Accomplishment of which you are most proud?
Passing the ban on texting while driving (SB52) was a welcome relief and I feel like a great accomplishment. I had been trying for 6 years and this was finally Sen. Detert’s and my year! Also, my position in the House put me in a spot to help negotiate the Citizens Property Insurance Reform issues. This was no easy feat and took countless meetings to get some policy that a majority was comfortable with implementing.
Which one of your legislative colleagues surprised you for the better this past session? Why?
We had such a solid group of members this year. A lot of the first year members surprised me with their abilities to get their legislation passed. I really respect how Jim Boyd dealt with Elections and Ethics bills. Rob Schenck, as Rules Chair, did a great job. The Miami-Dade caucus was fantastic for being so strong and knowledge based with their participation on property insurance reform. House Leadership did such a great job in ensuring our priorities were carried out successfully.
What’s the first thing you did when you returned back to your district?
We went to dinner as a family then spent the weekend at the beach and at Chase’s baseball games.
What do you do to communicate to your constituents what occurred during the legislative session? Newsletter? Town hall meetings? What else?
We do send newsletters. My post session newsletter is actually at the printer right now. I’m always available to my constituents via Twitter and Facebook as well as anybody that wants to come meet with me in my office. I’ve also given numerous legislative updates to community groups since Sine Die.
When you are not busy being a lawmaker, how will you spend your time this July, August and September?
I’m looking forward to a good, old-fashioned road trip with my family to visit family in North Carolina and Alabama. I’ve also dusted off my golf clubs and I am trying to get my game in working order. Since I’m an outdoors guy, summer time is my favorite. I’ll also be finishing up restoring my Ford Bronco that has been a project for the last 9 months!
Do you plan on hitting the campaign trail in the coming months? If not, why not?
I am constantly speaking with constituents about our legislative accomplishments and about what is going on in Tallahassee. I guess you could say that is non-stop campaigning!
Any personal vacation plans?
We are looking forward to our road trip to North Carolina and Alabama. I’ve done a good bit of traveling since Session ended and I’m sure there will be some smaller trips here and there before Committee Meetings start.
Any good books on your Summer reading list?
My reading list this summer is devoted to rereading classics that my 8th grade son will be reading in the upcoming year (Catcher in the Rye, A Farewell to Arms, This Side of Paradise, and For Whom the Bell Tolls). For fun, I’m reading John Sanford’s Silken Prey. Any recommendations Peter??
Summer movies you are looking forward to seeing?
I’m a little behind on some of these, but I hope to catch a few flicks this summer while they are still in theaters. I’m thinking The Man of Steel, the Lone Ranger, The Great Gatsby, and The Internship.
Legislative committee meetings begin again during the week of September 23; Too soon? Or are you eager to get back to Tally?
The Legislature has a lot of work to do, and I’m not sure that Sept. 23 is even soon enough. I’m looking forward to getting back to Tallahassee and working on the issues we will face in 2014.
What do you think will be the top priorities during the 2014 Legislative Session?
Education, business development, and job creation are issues that will most likely lead the way. You can count on having the usual insurance issues to tackle as well.