As with each election season, the months leading up to the big day are filled with the announcements of new candidates vying for a political seat.
With Rep. Mike Miller (R-Winter Park) deciding to run for Congress, his Florida House District 47 seat has been left vacant and therefore open to contention.
It’s an opportunity that Mikaela Nix just couldn’t pass up.
“I believe in small business and entrepreneurship — I own two businesses and a law firm — and I’m a working mom, and I’m a business owner,” Nix said “More importantly, (I) have (a) background to make a difference in the district. Our district is pretty diverse, and I believe I represent the diversity of this district.”
Nix, a self-described fiscal conservative who will run as a Republican, is the second candidate from the GOP. Republican businessman Stockton Reeves, of Winter Park, already announced his candidacy. Democrat Anna Eskamani, an Orlando resident, also has filed.
Although she is originally from Rochelle, which sits just outside of Gainesville, and was partly raised in Miami, Nix has been in the Orlando area for some time.
Nix earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Florida in 2004 and her juris doctorate in 2009 from Florida A&M’s College of Law in Orlando. She now lives in College Park.
Currently, Nix runs her own law firm — Nix Law, P.A. — in Orlando where she practices family law. Along with running her firm and two other businesses, she also serves as an adjunct professor at both Valencia College and Seminole State College.
The newcomer made the decision in early January to enter the race after folks approached her about running — though it took a lot of thought and planning on her behalf as the mother to an 11-month-old baby.
Despite the concern, Nix decided to file. She believes she is the best candidate who can shape and improve the district with her policymaking. Among those policies that Nix plans to put in the forefront of her campaign includes access to vocational training, safer schools and streets, the promotion of small business, and ethics reforms.
“One of my main passions is vocational education — although I hold a juris doctorate, everybody is not going to go to college, but everyone should have equal access to jobs,” Nix said.
Another key issue for Nix is what she sees as serious issues in ethics at the state level in Florida.
“We need some transparency in the Florida government, and that is something I’m going to be really big on,” Nix said. “Actual legislators should not be employed by a lobbying firm, and they should be able to report that if they do — we use to have that rule and I would like to bring that rule back.
“People are tired of the common public political rhetoric — they want to have transparency in their government,” she said.
Nix also said part of her reform would include keeping an eye out for family members of politicians who are hired by companies after elections.
With nine months left before the Nov. 6 midterm, Nix will some time to get her message out and boost her campaign.
“We have a strong grassroots campaign, and I think that’s what you need — you need the community behind you, and if you have he community behind you, you can feel strong about running for that district,” Nix said. “So far, we are geared up and we are ready to go.”