Lundin running for District 80 House seat

John Lundin is running as a Democrat in the Florida House of Representatives District 80 race. Matt Hudson currently holds that seat but will be unable to run for it again due to term limits. He is, instead, running for Florida Senate District 23 seat.

Originally from Broward County, Mr. Lundin lives in Golden Gate and is a freelance audio visual technician.

Voters may remember Mr. Lundin as a candidate for Collier County District 5 commissioner in 2012. He lost to current Commissioner Tim Nance at that time.

District 80 includes parts of eastern Collier County including Immokalee, and all of Hendry County – areas impacted strongly by agricultural issues as well as fast growing urban area issues. The district is diverse, he notes, with growing minority populations and differing issues. Areas in the westernmost section are densely populated urban areas, while the east, including Immokalee and Hendry County, need jobs and small business development and need to curb any tendencies toward urban sprawl.

In this area, he favors controlled economic development with assistance through Enterprise Florida.

Hendry County has the highest unemployment rate in Florida… I would apply for funding from Enterprise Florida, the state economic development agency … to offer state money to bring new small business projects in Clewiston and LaBelle to create jobs.

I support “smart growth” economic development, bringing in small new local businesses, which means not bringing in large developments like huge industrial factories (Arthrex in Ave Maria) or mega corporate stores (the proposed Walmart in Immokalee).

Mr. Lundin said he is eager to use his experience as an activist in environmental causes in Tallahassee.

A strong environmentalist, he is glad to see the C-43 Reservoir under construction just west of LaBelle, which will prevent excess outflow of fresh water and harmful nutrients to the Caloosahatchee Estuary.

He feels his background in fighting for environmental issues has given him the key to political success in other areas. He said he can use his experience and knowledge in aggressive political tactics to win. It’s just part of the political process, he explains. Dealing with government, he said, you need to know how to get things done.

Environmentally, one of his highest ranking complaints is fracking – the process of pumping water and unknown chemicals deep underground in order to make oil accessible. He flatly states that the Legislature and DEP are pro fracking and favors a Constitutional amendment to end the practice.

“I helped to stop the Dan A Hughes Oil Company from fracking in Collier County in 2014,” he points out, “by filing an Ethics Complaint against Gov Scott concerning his $164,000 investment financial and conflict of interest with the Schlumberger Oil Services company.”

Strong on panther protection, he said it should be “easy to graph when panthers are killed” so precautions can be taken.

“More development kills panthers,” he notes, “It’s a simple math equation” and he asserts that it should not be difficult to slow the impact on panther habitat. Twenty-five panthers (10 percent of their population) are killed every year by vehicle deaths. He responds, “This has to stop. I would propose a new state law to limit the size of any new real estate, commercial or industrial development projects in panther habitat… based on the traffic impact studies correlated with panther vehicle deaths.”

Big money, he said, must be fought aggressively. He compares politicians to “movie stars” with huge egos. They rationalize their positions, he said, and must be “watched like spoiled children and spanked.”

Immokalee is thriving, he said, with good things like health care, clinics and low income housing. The town does need redevelopment and improvements on SR 29 and Immokalee Road. He added that he is against the proposed SR 29 bypass of Immokalee, saying that there already is an efficient bypass route in Immokalee, New Market Road. The proposed bypass road is really designed to help traffic for future new development outside of Immokalee, he feels.

He does support controlled growth in Immokalee and Hendry County, while curbing urban sprawl.

In Tallahassee, he said he would rekindle the push to buy up all of the sugar land by 2024 and would include an economic incentive to attract “non-agriculture, non-sugar” jobs. Once in Tallahassee, he said, he would also use scientific evidence to convince the Republican Legislature that climate change is real.

The Caloosa Belle is published every Thursday.

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