Steve Edmonds – Candidate for Florida House of Representatives, District 28
Steve Edmonds is a candidate for Florida House of Representatives from District 28. This district is located northeast of Orlando and includes the Oviedo area. Mr. Edmonds is a graduate of the University of Central Florida with a master’s in Political Science. He is an adjunct professor. He’s owned several businesses, and he has goals for improving the state of Florida as a member of the Florida House of Representatives. We recently had a chance to learn more about Steve Edmonds in an email interview with him. Read on to find out about Mr. Edmonds, and what he would like to do as a member of the Florida House.
How did you become interested in politics and then what led you to actually step out and become involved in the process by running this campaign?
Edmonds: I grew up in politics. My parents were heavily involved in Martin County politics. I was stuffing envelopes for Reagan when I was 8. Since then I have worked on every type of campaign from municipal to Presidential. I have a Bachelors and Masters Degree from the University of Central Florida in Political Science. I teach American National Government and State and Local Politics for Daytona State and Eastern Florida State Colleges. I know theory, I know real world, and I am running to lead by example. My slogan is “Run Your Government or It Will Run You.”
What experiences do you have that will be valuable in this office (political or just life experiences)?
Edmonds: Aside from my political background and training, I have been a small business owner for most of my life. I have had successes and failures, and I have learned a great deal from both. In most of my endeavors, including my campaigns, I have been able to accomplish amazing things with little to no capital. I know how to navigate considerable obstacles. One of my most educational experiences was creating and building a yellow grease cleaning facility with my own hands, and right about the time it was going to make me independently wealthy, certain circumstances occurred and I lost it all. I believe you learn a lot of from trying and failing. It’s why I have never been afraid to run “an impossible” political race.
Why did you decide to run as an independent/3rd party?
Edmonds: I believe the parties are part of the problem. Their priorities are maintaining power for their established organizations. They do not represent the people. I want to represent the people, not a party.
Do you support moving to a Top 2 primary format?
Edmonds: No, I do not. I believe this will consolidate power to the controlling party of a city, county, or even a state. It will eliminate any chance of smaller party or no party candidates. My solution would be to end the primary system all together. Let the parties pay for, and decide, their champions within their own organizations. Tax payers should not foot that bill. In the event we cannot end primaries, I would at least open them. Top two is a Trojan horse just like the primaries were sold when they were implemented.
What do you think are 3 biggest issues facing US/FL and how do you propose that we address them?
Edmonds: Florida issues – Water, Criminal Justice Reform, and Cronyism:
Water: I would tackle a state wide plan for storm water management. I believe storm water is the root cause to many of our water pollution issues throughout the state. I will try and build coalitions to create a statewide water infrastructure program that will capture, clean, and redistribute clean water to necessary places. If we build it correctly, we could irrigate our oysters in Apalachicola and provide fresh water to the Everglades. We could do this without having to compromise residents or farms, provide water to fight salt water intrusion in some of our major cities, stop using Lake Okeechobee as a retention pond that has to be drained (which kills our estuaries), and recharge the aquifer. Hopefully one day, this will create a surplus of water that we can figure out what to do with. It would be nice to sell water to Georgia instead of suing them for it.
Currently we flush an average of about 20 billion gallons of water a day to tide as a result of our current storm water system. Agriculture uses 15-18 billion gallons a day. The majority of Florida’s population situated south of Lake Okeechobee uses about 8-9 billion gallons a day. Some experts say that at our current growth, current consumption per individual, utilizing the system as-is, it is estimated that our drinking water supplies will run out between 2030-2040. We have to stop washing our cities, suburbs, and fields with our rain, then directing it to our streams, rivers, and lakes which kills our ecosystem, finally wasting it to tide.
We can build a better system, and at the same time create jobs, opportunity, and grow our economy. It’s going to be a lot of money up front , so the follow up would naturally be to ask how are we going to pay for it. Visit www.hemp4water.org for more info.
Criminal Justice: I would cut half the stress, danger, and liability from our first responders on the street. I would end the war on drugs at the state level at least. I would encourage invoking the 10th amendment when it comes to federal intrusion of state jurisdiction. I would end mandatory minimums. I would require that all state law enforcement be live-streaming body cam footage for the protection of the officer and the public. I would encourage education and programs that brought the public and the police together in positive situations more often.
Cronyism: This is the most difficult, because it is really difficult to legislate effective measures that would not also severely limit the process. Cronyism, as it works today, is surprisingly not illegal in many cases. That does not make it any less intolerable. I would find ways to increase transparency and reporting-especially in personal and campaign finances. It amazes me how someone gets elected to a job that pays $29,600 a year and becomes very wealthy-millionaires in some cases.
I am already working on exposing and explaining how the money shell games work, particularly with political committees. I believe education and exposure will be the most effective in lessening the cronyism in Tallahassee. I would not limit my scope to just legislators; we need the sun to shine on the executive offices as well. I have never been a fan of government picking winners and losers, but it is even more despicable when they do it case by case.
Do you think the government has a role to play in controlling income inequality?
Edmonds: I do not think the government should be choosing winners and losers. By nature and make up, it is far too corrupt of an institution for that. What government gives to one person, it must first take from another. Government should be a referee not a participant, and it should ensure equal opportunity and access.
What do you think the US’s role should be in international affairs?
Edmonds: I think we need to stop fighting for fossil fuels. We need to learn to be energy independent without fossil fuels anyway. We do not need to be the world’s policeman. We should trade and do business when it’s in our best interest. We should return to having an unbeatable defense and stop with the preemption policies. I would clean up our messes and go home, especially in regards to the Middle East.
Do you support school choice and/or vouchers?
Edmonds: Yes, I will support all opportunities for education.
Although it’s handled at a federal level, what, if any, tax reforms would you propose/support?
Edmonds: I like the fair or flat tax. I would support Gary Johnson’s plan of eliminating the income tax, abolishing the IRS, and replacing it all with a single consumption tax.
Do you feel that occupational licenses and marriage licenses serve a needed role in Florida, or could they stand to be reduced or eliminated?
Edmonds: The government does not need to be involved in the personal choice of marriage. I would reduce recreational fishing and hunting licenses substantially, and only utilize the licensing information as a measuring tool to estimate the amount of harvest that could be expected. Occupational licenses can be substantially reduced in many areas as well. The market is more than capable of regulating itself in most cases. There are certain professions that require oversight. There are certain professions that the market has proven works better without the government license model. For example, Uber is working more efficiently than municipal and state licensing in the transportation industry.
What is your opinion on the war on drugs?
Edmonds: I see it as a complete and total failure. The average age of drug experimentation has dropped almost a decade and usage rates are up in all drug categories. We have spent trillions of dollars, and we have gone from a free country to one that incarcerates more than any other 1st world country by both percentage and population. The “drug problem” did not really exist until we created it. Now that we have it, we need to handle it through the medical and mental health communities. People do not need to be in cages for a personal choice. We do not need to jeopardize our law enforcement resources on these types of crimes. The only people prohibition benefits is organized crime.
What do you think should be done, if anything, to try to reduce or eliminate mass shooting incidents in FL and the US in general?
Edmonds: More focus on mental health, better inter-agency cooperation, and listen to reports coming from gun shops when they do their due diligence.
With the recent focus on police violence and shootings, what do you think would help with the racial tensions and to ensure that police are trained to properly handle deadly force situations?
Edmonds: I have seen an overload of information on this in the last week. I do not know the answer, but I do know there must be open dialogue and understanding on all sides to come to a place where citizens do not fear police and vice versa. I think ending the drug war scales back the aggression and militarization of police forces. If they are not fighting this drug war, they do not have to act like soldiers and they can get back to protecting and serving.
What are some things that voters would not know about you (hobbies, family, talents, etc)?
Edmonds: I grew up on the water so I love to surf, fish, and play in the water anyway that I can.
What would you say to people that are frustrated with the current political process and partisanship, and how can people make a difference to change the current political climate?
Edmonds: Get involved! It will be even more frustrating, but if you don’t, nothing will change. If you don’t run for an office, help someone that is. Go to your city council and county commission meetings. Watch the legislature on the Sunshine network. Find a cause, and go champion it. Do not let the keyboard substitute for your civic duty.
What else would you like to address that was not mentioned above?
Edmonds: Run Your Government or It Will Run You! #BeThePeople
Where is the best place for people to find out more about you and your campaign, and how can they support you in your election campaign?
Edmonds: You can follow my campaign at:
We appreciate Mr. Edmonds taking time to discuss his campaign with Independent Florida. It’s easy to focus on presidential elections and the ones that get all the press, but local and state elections are very important. Share this article with your friends and family that live in the Oviedo area. Don’t forget to join the discussion in our Florida Elections Forum to let us know what you thought of this article, and check into the other forums for any other political thoughts that you would like to share. We would love to hear from you!
*Independent Florida does not endorse any candidate or organization in connection with this or any other article. We strive to educate voters on their options, so they can make informed decisions. Additionally, we try to provide a media platform for candidates that don’t receive the same funding of major political party candidates, so the independent/3rd party candidate’s voice can be heard.