MANATEE — When Greg Steube is asked about his qualifications for the District 67 House seat, he frequently starts with the fact that he is a Manatee County native, and knows the community quite literally from the ground up.
He is seeking the Republican nomination in the Aug. 24 primary for the right to go on to the November general election where he would face Democrat Z. J. Hafeez and no-party candidate John Studebaker.
His opponents in the primary are Bob McCann and Jeremiah Guccione. The seat comes open due to the retirement of the term-limited Ron Reagan.
A Southeast High School graduate and oldest son of Sheriff Brad Steube, he was born in Manatee Memorial Hospital. He is comfortable on horseback among cattle, in a field among row crops, or in a court setting.
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Steube went to the University of Florida to major in animal science, and ultimately earned a law degree. He is today a practicing attorney in Manatee County.
After the terrorist attacks of 2001, Steube enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving initially as an infantryman and later transferring into the Judge Advocate General Corps.
Having grown up in Manatee County and working here have allowed him to have the pulse of the community, Steube said.
“Having a background in agriculture, a background in law and a background being deployed to Iraq” are other strengths, he said.
Steube also touts his experience in working in the legislative process. He is the only candidate to have interned in Congress.
He was the first candidate to announce for the office, in January 2009, and has amassed a formidable war chest, his contributions more than doubling those by Guccione and McCann. He also has won endorsements from Reagan and other political leaders.
Steube says the legislature needs to focus on economic development and bringing jobs to this community and the state.
“I would like to see the state of Florida be more productive in recruiting business to our state and being more supportive of our small business,” he said.
Steube said he opposes any new taxes and would work to cut wasteful spending.
He and his Republican primary rivals oppose Amendment 4, the so-called Hometown Democracy initiative, that would send any comprehensive plan changes to voters for approval. The amendment would be “burdensome and unwieldy and will reduce jobs in our community,” he said in his candidate questionnaire filled out for the Bradenton Herald.
Steube has also expressed concerns about drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, wanting to ensure that the technology is safe, and opposing near-shore drilling.
Surprises in the race? That some of his opponents went negative.
“I’m proud of the fact that I’ve stayed positive and stayed with the issues,” he said.
James A. Jones Jr., East Manatee Editor, can be contacted at 745-7021.
Profile: Greg Steube
Birth date: May 19, 1978
Number of years living in community: 32