Florida House of Representatives District 34
Florida’s House District 34 covers parts of Citrus and Hernando counties in the central region of the state. It contains a mix of rural agricultural areas and suburban communities. The district is currently represented by Republican Robert Brackett.
Overview of District 34
House District 34 encompasses southern Citrus County, including the communities of Sugarmill Woods, Homosassa, and Crystal River. It also covers northern Hernando County, including Spring Hill and Brooksville. The district borders are defined as US-19 to the west, US-41 to the east, and County Road 486 to the north.
Recent Election Information
In the 2022 election, Robert Brackett defeated Democrat Karen Greb to win the District 34 seat. He took office in November 2022. Prior to that, the district was represented by Ralph Massullo Jr., also a Republican. Massullo was term-limited in 2022 after serving 4 consecutive terms from 2016 to 2022.
Demographic Makeup of District
The population of District 34 is approximately 180,000 residents. The district has a predominantly white population at over 90%. The median age is in the mid-50s. Home ownership rates are high, with over 75% of residents owning their home. Politically, the district leans Republican.
District 34 has elected Republican representatives for over two decades. The last Democrat to hold the seat was Nancy Argenziano, who served from 1996 to 2000 before switching to the Republican Party. She was succeeded by Republican David Russell. Since 2012, Republicans have won by double-digit margins.
Key Issues and Priorities
Some major issues and priorities for District 34 include preserving the natural environment, supporting agriculture, improving infrastructure, addressing the opioid epidemic, and managing growth. Water quality is a concern, as the district contains many springs and rivers. Transportation projects, like the Suncoast Parkway expansion, are priorities.
Economy and Business
The economy of District 34 relies on tourism, agriculture, healthcare, and retail. The district’s state parks, coastal areas, and springs attract many visitors. Citrus farming is a major industry. With an older population, healthcare providers are major employers in the region. New housing developments have bolstered retail.
District 34 is served by the school districts of Citrus County and Hernando County. There are over 15 public elementary, middle, and high schools. Three private schools operate in the area as well. Higher education options include Pasco-Hernando State College, Saint Leo University, and Rasmussen College in Brooksville.
District 34 is connected by several major highways, including US-19, US-41, and the Suncoast Parkway. The Suncoast Parkway 2 project will extend the toll road north to US-19. The district is not served by any commercial airports. Residents utilize Tampa International Airport or Gainesville Regional Airport for air travel.
With a large senior population, healthcare is an important issue in District 34. Major medical providers include Bayfront Health Brooksville, Oak Hill Hospital, Citrus Memorial Health System, and several Health Department clinics. Mental health and substance abuse treatment are needed to combat the opioid crisis.
Protecting the natural springs, rivers, coastline, and state parks is a priority for District 34. Key environmental issues include reducing nutrient pollution, improving stormwater management, and addressing coastal erosion. The district contains part of the Chassahowitzka and Crystal River National Wildlife Refuges.
Citrus farming is the backbone of District 34’s agriculture industry. The region produces oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and other citrus fruits. Cattle ranching is another important sector. Aquaculture, vegetable farming, and tropical fish farming also contribute to the local economy.
Popular attractions like the Chassahowitzka and Crystal River National Wildlife Refuges, Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park, and Crystal River Archaeological State Park draw eco-tourists to District 34. The coastal towns along the Nature Coast are vacation destinations. Freshwater springs attract recreational swimmers and boaters.
Role of Representative
As the state representative for District 34, Robert Brackett serves as an advocate for the region in the state legislature. His duties include filing bills, voting on legislation, and securing funding for local projects. He works with state agencies to address constituent concerns and oversees schools, transportation, healthcare, and other matters impacting the district.
Challenges and Opportunities
Key challenges facing District 34 include diversifying the economy, preserving natural resources, improving infrastructure, and managing population growth. There are opportunities to expand vocational training, support small businesses, increase high-tech jobs, and develop eco-tourism. Investing in roads, technology access, and career development will help the region thrive.
Florida House District 34 occupies an important geography in central Florida with both rural inland areas and Gulf coast communities. Protecting this environment while allowing for responsible growth and economic progress will require strong representation focused on the best interests of all constituents.
Who is the current representative for District 34?
Robert Brackett (R)
What counties make up District 34?
Citrus and Hernando Counties
What is the political makeup of District 34?
It leans Republican. The district has elected GOP representatives since the 1990s.
What are some top industries in District 34?
Tourism, agriculture, healthcare, retail.
What are key environmental issues in District 34?
Preserving springs, rivers, coastal areas. Reducing nutrient pollution and improving stormwater management.