Jacksonville’s Rep. Mia Jones set to return as House Democratic Leader Pro Tempore

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Jacksonville Rep. Mia Jones has been tapped for a second term as the House Democratic leader pro tempore. Democratic-Leader Mark Pafford emphasized Jones’ expertise on health care and her knowledge as a lawmaker when announcing her as part of his leadership team.

“Her commitment to improve the health of every Floridian, especially its youngest people, is a credit to Mia and a huge benefit to Democrats in the House of Representatives,” said Pafford. “All of us are lucky she’ll be back as leader pro tem.”

Jones was first elected to the Florida House in 2008 and was a member of the Jacksonville City Council from 2003 to 2008. She is a special assistant to the mayor of Jacksonville as a health commissioner.

House Democrats will meet Monday to elect its leader for the 2015 and 2016 legislative sessions.  The elected leader of the caucus then nominates a leader pro tempore.

Pafford is the designated leader who is expected to be elected Monday but Daytona Beach Rep. Dwayne Taylor has mounted a challenge, blaming Pafford for the Democrats losing six seats in the mid-term election.  Taylor said he has the votes to deny Pafford the position, an assertion Pafford has dismissed as a distraction.

“I look forward to working with Mark to solidify the caucus as one body, to recognize the importance of standing as one, and fighting as one, for the things we believe in,” said Jones.  “Now it really becomes a greater responsibility to stand united as Democrats to fight for what’s most important to us.”

The Democrats are outnumbered 81 to 39 in the House, with a special election scheduled for House District 13 in February. That seat is currently held by Democrat Reggie Fullwood.