PARKLAND, FL- Parkland Mayor Christine Hunschofsky never anticipated running for the Florida House of Representatives. In a surprise announcement on Tuesday, Hunschofsky released a statement saying she'll do just that. The seat she'll be running for is Florida House of Representatives District 96, the seat held by Hunschofsky's friend, Rep. Kristin Jacobs. Jacobs recently passed away following a three-year battle with colon cancer.

"There's an opportunity to do more in state policy that affects us on a local level," shared Hunschofsky. "I cannot think of a time when my friend Kristin Jacobs’ leadership has been more needed than during this current crisis. Losing her is a true blow to our district and I intend to use my experience in government to do all I can to continue her work of fighting for our community in Tallahassee."

Hunschofsky was first elected Mayor of Parkland in 2016 and served in the position during the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Hunschofsky feels she'll be leaving the city in a strong position as she transitions out of the mayor's office this November. 

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"Our city is in great shape financially. Last year we did an in depth strategic planning leading to a comprehensive plan for the nest few years focusing on safety, infrastructure, parks, and communication. the traffic light at Hillsboro and Nob Hill is finally being installed. the roundabout at University Drive and Old Club Road is being planned, Loxahatchee Road design is almost done, and we made the strategic purchase of 24 acres of land at the NE corner of Hillsboro and Nob Hill (where the radio towers were) to have space for a future park." she added.

Declaring her candidacy, Hunschofsky said, “I could never have imagined when I entered public office that I would see our community brutalized by a mass shooting and confronted by the devastating effects of an international health emergency. Both of these events have revealed urgent issues which must be addressed by the legislature now including emergency preparedness, economic recovery and fixing a broken unemployment system."

Hunschofsky's campaign will also focus on improving access to quality, affordable healthcare; expanding Medicaid; increasing school safety; and increasing mental health funding in Florida’s budget.

"I'm very passionate about having access to affordable mental health, and I want to work on that at the state level," says Hunschofsky.

Hunschofsky is additionally pledging to continue the work of Rep. Jacobs by fighting for the environment and clean water. Before becoming Mayor, Hunschofsky spent nearly four years as a Parkland City Commissioner, seven years on the city’s Education Advisory Board and currently serves as a member of the Broward League of Cities School and Community Public Safety Task Force. 

"I love being connected to the community and serving the public," summarizes Hunschofsky. "I just want to make a difference."