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00000174-121d-d47e-a1f7-523d2c950000 WUSF News regularly collaborates with University of South Florida journalism classes in Tampa and St. Petersburg, providing students an opportunity to share their work with the greater Tampa Bay area.Some of the projects have included:“Past Plates” - a podcast and written stories produced in Spring 2017 that look into people’s memories and traditions related to food, food culture and food business in south St. Petersburg. In fall 2016, students profiled candidates running for Tampa Bay area elected offices. They were produced as part of the USF Zimmerman School of Advertising and Mass Communications' Advanced Reporting or Public Affairs classes; and as part of the Media and Elections class at USF St. Petersburg’s Journalism and Mass Communications Department.In 2015, WUSF journalists joined the USFSP Neighborhood News Bureau in creating oral histories of residents of St. Petersburg's historic Midtown neighborhood. That work was featured on WUSF's Florida Matters public affairs show.

Elections 2016: Florida House Of Representatives District 72 Candidate Alex Miller

Alex Miller

Alexandra Miller believes the Florida House of Representatives needs more business people to better represent the interests of Floridians.

“We need more outsiders, more business people in Tallahassee who understand what it means to sign the front and back of a check,” says the Republican candidate for the District 72 House seat. “I believe that our founding fathers envisioned a citizen legislature, not one that is filled with only attorneys and professional politicians.” 

Age: 43  Education: Bachelor’s Degree in psychology from the University of Rhode Island;  MBA from Carey School of Business at Johns Hopkins University  Occupation: CEO at Mercedes Medical Political experience: Nine Member Sarasota Memorial Hospital Board

Miller left New York in 1994 to join an expanding and increasingly vibrant Sarasota family business. Built from the ground up as a small start-up company, Mercedes Medical has exceeded $40 million in sales.

In 2005, Miller became chief executive officer of the company. She said she believes that the success of her business is a selling point for her run for state office. 

With about $217,000 raised in campaign contributions, according to campaign finance reports through Oct. 14, Miller has support from many businesses in the medical field. 

She says she wants to take her firsthand experience in job creation to the legislative halls of Tallahassee.

“I’ve built a successful company right here in Sarasota, from the ground up, which now employs 70 people,” Miller says. “I’ve also served on numerous non-profit boards and fundraising committees.  I care deeply about this community, and I’m ready to take my experience creating jobs in our community and put it to work for Sarasota's families. 

She faces Democrat Edward James III in the Nov. 8 election. 

On the Issues:

Jobs: Cut taxes and end repressive regulations in order to allow domestic businesses to grow and make out of state companies want to create new jobs in Florida. 

Immigration: Secure border, end sanctuary cities and require e-verify to protect the use of American jobs. 

Health care: Miller described Obamacare as a failed policy with costs accounting for 30 percent of the state’s budget, stressing the need for free market enterprise without expanding it. 

Alex Massaad is a student journalist attending the University of South Florida Zimmerman School of Advertising and Mass Communications. This story was produced as part of the school’s Advanced Reporting or Public Affairs class this semester, under the leadership of instructors Wayne Garcia and Wendy Whitt.