Maitland’s vice mayor recently filed for her candidacy.
One of Maitland’s top elected officials has entered the Florida House race.
Lawyer and Maitland Vice Mayor Joy Goff-Marcil has entered the Florida House 30 District race. The district envelopes Winter Park, Maitland, Altamonte Springs, Goldenrod and other Central Florida municipalities.
“What got me interested to begin with is that I’ve lived in this district my whole life,” Goff-Marcil said.
An attorney specializing in probate and wills, Goff-Marcil was raised in Maitland and graduated from Winter Park High School. She received her political science degree from Florida State University and earned her Juris Doctorate from Stetson University.
She was first elected to the Maitland City Council in 2013 and was re-elected in 2016. The folowing year, she was chosen to be vice mayor by her peers. She filed for her candidacy as a Democrat and is in the midst of fundraising for the primary in August and the election in November.
She is not the first in her family to run for higher office — both her father and sister have run for house positions in Florida and New Jersey, respectively.
“In the back of my mind, I always thought I might run for office,” she said. “I’m always thinking ‘OK, if we do this, what will be the implication of this, what will be the ramifications to the people under this law?’”
As with many of her peers in local government, Goff-Marcil has taken umbrage with several legislative choices made by the state government — it’s a big part of what made her want to run for state office.
“(While on Maitland City Council) I saw how the state government was taking away the power from the local government with various bills they were trying to pass,” she said. “They just kept taking away (local government) control, and that gave me inspiration to run. They’ve been doing it every year, and it seems like they’re closer and closer to taking away our home rule.”
Goff-Marcil is a proponent of the home rule for local government, which gives more control to local municipalities over the Florida Legislature. Both Winter Park and Maitland recently opposed state bills pre-empting control over tree removal.
“We as a city are very proud of our tree canopies,” she said. “We work really hard to take care of them and are also reasonable with them. … It was just infuriating that (some state legislators) would think they could do a better job than us.”
For Goff-Marcil, a serious issue for the Sunshine State is a lack of education funding.
“As a mom, I’ve watched state legislature take away funding from public schools, and I’ve been very concerned about that,” Goff-Marcil said. “Discouraging teachers, making them teach to the test.”
She said protecting the district’s wetlands and overall environmental health were a focus for her during her time on Maitland council and that would continue if she was elected.
Goff-Marcil said she was also invested in pursuing sensible gun control across the aisle.