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Politics / Issues
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 Edward James III

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Edward James III

Edward James III says he is focusing on how to bring change to his community if he is elected to the District 72 seat in the Florida House of Representatives.

The Democrat says that his great-grandmother was an influential role model. She and others came together and helped desegregate the public beaches in Sarasota.

Age: 25 Education: Bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Chicago and master’s degree in Applied American Politics and Policy program from Florida State University.  Occupation: State Farm licensed insurance agent in Sarasota, where he specializes in life, health, property, auto and business. Political Experience: Helped to run President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign in 2012, and served as a regional field director for Gwen Graham’s 2014 campaign for Congress. 

“These people need leaders who will fight for real change,” making reference to his great-grandmother’s social impact in Sarasota,” the 25-year-old candidate says.

James doesn’t want Sarasota to be only a retirement community. He is taking on the issue of economic expansion to “create a place for folks to not only retire but also start a business or career.” 

James was born and raised in Sarasota. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Chicago and a master’s degree in the Applied American Politics and Policy program from Florida State University.

He is a Democrat, but he said that party affiliation should not be the focus in the race; rather the entire population working together as one.

“Regardless of party affiliation, if they are willing to sacrifice, people can change policy,” James says.

Prior to running for the Florida House seat, James has been a part of Google’s legal department, helped run President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign in 2012 and served as a regional field director for Gwen Graham’s 2014 congressional campaign.

His focus on winning his own race centers on what he calls the “three E’s” – education, environment and expanding economic opportunity.

James, a licensed agent for State Farm Insurance, faces Republican Alexandra Miller in the Nov. 8 election. He has raised more than $104,000 in political contributions through Oct. 14, according to campaign finance reports.

Neena Pacholke 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.