Candidate for Florida’s 40th House District

Issues

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Partisan Politics

As we have seen through the political fog of the last decade the move to party line politics has proven to be a destructive force. Our nation and state has been turned to a political battleground where our neighbors have been forced to choose a side in a political war driven by the extremes of our nation’s two prominent parties. This divide has served no one well and effectively ended the days of compromise. It is my belief that there are core issues and values we all share and must be the building blocks that help bring us together as a state and a nation. It is my commitment to you that I will be a representation of you the people and will do all in my power to reach across party lines to help build a better and stronger Florida.

Universal Health Care

The opportunity for every Floridian to have quality health care should be a fundamental right and not a privilege. Research is clear that access to health care, and in particular preventive health screenings and care, have a substantial impact on both quality of life and life expectancy. In addition to a better life, preventive medicine has also been shown to lower the long term cost of care for the patient. It is the responsibility of legislators to work towards a health care solution that helps the patient and controls the cost of care all while also protecting the taxpayer.

Protecting Women’s Health Care Rights

Abortion is one of the most difficult decisions any woman will ever make and I, like many Americans, wish that this was a choice no women would have to make. Recent history has shown us the power of education and the increased availability of contraceptives as abortion rates have fallen to their lowest rate since Roe vs Wade. It is vital that we continue to grow these initiatives while promoting and streamline the adoption process and protecting the right of women to make reproductive choices granted to them by the Supreme Court.

Growing Our Economy

As we have seen during our economic recovery we are more now than ever seeing a lack of growth in the middle class. In Florida we must grow our economy through empowering our entrepreneurs and small business through creating an environment that rewards the American spirit of innovation. Through streamlining regulation and providing economic incentives to companies looking to call Florida home we build a base where we can grow wages. Florida must target STEM and technology based business to position our state for long term growth. We must also commit the needed resources to provide for retraining of those in our workforce who have lost jobs due to automation.

Environment

The science is clear and conclusive – climate change is real and humans play a significant role. As Floridians, we have more to lose than almost any state due to our coastal location and the role tourism plays in our economy. Global warming, rising sea levels, ocean acidification and coral bleaching all have real and substantial impacts on our state. We have a responsibility to be leaders in both protecting our natural resources and in doing what is necessary to move to clean energy by continuing incentives to both consumers and corporations to develop and move to new technologies.

Gun Control

Americans have a fundamental and Constitutional right to own firearms. As a gun owner and avid outdoor enthusiast myself who is the son in-law of a gunsmith I have a strong appreciation of this right. What is also clear is that our nation has a real issue with gun violence. It is our responsibility to protect the rights of law abiding gun owners while passing common sense legislation to further promote firearm education and to ensure that guns are kept out of the hands of those who should not possess them.

Immigration

As a state that ranks in the top five in the nation of undocumented immigrants, Florida must lead the way in immigration reform. I believe all Americans are in agreement that border security is an issue of national security. Immigration enforcement and border security is best improved through the bolstering our local law enforcement agencies and increasing the human resources needed in our agencies tasked with this job - not by building walls. We as Floridians must also understand that most immigrants are not criminals and many have spent decades in our state making key contributions to our economy. We have a responsibility to reform the immigration process making it more manageable and affordable for those seeking to enter our nation so as to eliminate the incentive to enter the country illegally. We also have a responsibility to craft a route to citizenship for those undocumented immigrants that have been in our country contributing to our state and nation for years.

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Meet Jason

Husband, father, son, friend, educator, coach, leader and survivor are all terms that can be used to describe Jason Montgomery. Born in Central Kentucky, Montgomery first came to Florida in 2001 and has called Lakeland and Polk County home since 2010. Raised by wonderful parents, his father an Army Special Forces veteran and entrepreneur and his mother a stay at home parent. Jason would attend and graduate from Campbellsville University where he was a two sport athlete and received a bachelor’s degree in History.

Following college, Jason would embark on a distinguished career as a teacher, basketball coach and administrator giving him unparalleled experience in his field. In the over two decades in education Montgomery has taught at grade levels ranging from middle school through the collegiate level while teaching at public, private and charter schools including in the on-line setting. He holds Florida teaching certifications in Physical Education, Health, K-6, Exceptional Student Education and holds his Principal certification (Education Leadership). In addition to his certifications, Jason also holds a Master’s Degree in Education Leadership and his Education Specialist degree in Sports Management. As a women’s basketball coach he amassed over 200 career wins and was named a coach of the year 13 times all while his teams excelled in the classroom and in the community. As an administrator Montgomery has quickly risen through the ranks at every stop along the way serving as athletic director at four different schools as well as serving as assistant principal. Currently he oversees the athletic programs for the School District of Manatee County serving six high schools, ten middle schools and some 40,000 students.

Personally, Jason is married to his college sweetheart Erin who is the Assistant Controller at Polk State College and is also the Finance Vice President for the Junior League of Greater Lakeland. They were blessed with two talented and incredible children. Their daughter Taylor, a graduate of McKeel Academy, is currently a senior at Florida State University finishing a degree in Political Science with a focus in Homeland Security. Their son Tate, a recent Kathleen High School graduate, joined the U.S. Army and will be working in with unmanned aircraft systems. Jason and Erin love the outdoors, spending time with family and friends and the arts.

The last few years have proven to be both challenging and transformational for Jason. In February of 2013 Jason lost his mother to suicide following a lengthy battle with depression. Two years later, an otherwise healthy person, Jason would suffer a heart attack at age 41. These two experiences have reshaped his view and appreciation of life and his focus on treatment of mental illness and health care for citizens. Now he is committed to making a difference in the world for his children and future generations. It is this commitment that led to his decision to seek public office.