2018 Primary Candidate Bios

2018 Primary Candidate Bios


Vote on Aug 28th, 2018


Gubernatorial Race

Gillum, Andrew



·       Previously, Gillum has served as the Mayor of Tallahassee (2014-Now) and sat on the City Council (2002-2014).

·       His major issues include raising corporate tax rates to 7.75% and spending the revenue on Education, raising the state minimum wage to $15, and enacting a Medicare for All policy.

·       He has been most notably endorsed by the progressive group “Democracy for America,” the former Florida Democratic Party chair Bob Poe, two US Representatives, and a former US Secretary for Housing and Urban Development, and others.

Graham, Gwen



·       Previously, Graham has served as a US rep for FL 2nd Congressional District (2015-2017).

·       Her major issues include expanding Medicaid in Florida, banning assault weapons, decreasing standardized testing in FL schools, and increasing environmental standards with regard to water quality and the Florida Forever land program.

·       She has been most notably endorsed by US Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, former DNC char Howard Dean, US Rep John Lewis, many FL state legislators, the Florida Education Association, and others.

Greene, Jeff



·       Previously, Greene ran as a candidate in the 2010 Senate Election primaries in FL, and he is a real estate entrepreneur worth $3.3 Billion.

·       His major issues include protecting families from the Trump agenda, investing in public schools, and fighting the NRA to keep families safe. He presents himself as an outsider/non-politician running to fight Trump policies.

·       He has not yet received any endorsements as he declared candidacy on June 1, much later than the others.

King, Chris



·       Previously, King has not held office, and is running as a “progressive entrepreneur.” He is the founder of Elevation Financial Group.

·       His major issues include increasing wages in FL, offering free tuition at technical colleges, expanding Medicaid, and shoring up Florida’s affordable housing fund.

·       His most notable endorsements are from the American Federation of Government Employees, and others.

Levine, Phillip



·       Previously, Levine was the mayor of Miami Beach (2013-2017).

·       His major issues include expanding needs-based college tuition grants, diverting tax dollars from charter schools, responding to climate change through the solar industry, and pushing the ban on assault weapons.

·       His most notable endorsements are from former DNC Chair and Penn Gov. Ed Rendell, Shaquille O’Neal and Ray Allen, former State Rep Keith Fitzgerald, and others.



Attorney General Race

Shaw, Sean



·       Previously, Sean Shaw has been a member of the Florida House of Representatives for District 61 (2016- present).

·       His main platform includes protecting children and families through safer schools and common-sense gun safety laws, cracking down on corruption and fraud with a zero tolerance policy to avoid ripping off tax payers, fighting the opioid epidemic, and defending civil and equal rights.

·       His most notable endorsements include former governor Bob Graham, former AG Bob Butterworth, Florida Young Democrats, Moms Demand Action, FEA, DPCF, many state senators and representatives, and others.

Torrens, Ryan



·       Previously, Ryan Torrens has worked as a consultant on the Independent Foreclosure Review Project, and as the owner of Torrens Law Group.

·       His main platform includes consumer protection and standing up to big banks using his previous experience as a foreclosure lawyer, fighting for seniors to combat financial scams, protecting families from criminals, and tackling the opioid crisis through drug trafficking and pharmaceutical companies.


Commissioner of Agriculture Race

Fried, Nikki



·       Previously, Fried has been a lawyer and lobbyist based out of Ft. Lauderdale

·       Fried is a longtime advocate for expanding access to medical marijuana. She is also concerned about the Commissioner of Agriculture’s play in background checks for concealed carry permits.

·       She has been said to be an intense fundraiser and established candidate, though she became a candidate late in the process.

Porter, Jeffery ·       Previously, Porter has been the vice mayor and mayor of Homestead, FL. He was on the City Council in this capacity for 10 years.

·       Porter is “resigning-to-run” according to the SDNL. Having been the mayor of Homestead, a leading agriculture city, Porter has used his experiences to work with flooding, hurricanes, frost, and fruit flies.

·       Many of his community leaders have pledged support, and he is creating a “Friends of Porter” action committee, as well a campaign leadership.

Walker, David



·       Previously, Walker has worked in Environmental research and policy. He researched with the National Park Service and Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission. He was also the President of the S Florida Audubon Society.

·       He is interested in protecting and conserving Florida environment, protecting consumer interests, and supporting the second amendment through background checks and banning assault rifles.

·       He has been endorsed by the Fort Lauderdale mayor, the Democratic Environmental Caucus of FL, and other Mayors and past representatives in Florida.




*All information above was found at ballotpedia.com or on the candidates’ websites as listed above. In addition, some information was found in Florida news sources such as floridapolitics.com

Indian River Local Primaries

Vote on Aug 28th, 2018 — Bold is the Democratic recommendation.  All Races are Non-Partisan.


School Board District 1

Schiff, Mara ‎



·       Previously, Schiff has been an educator and small business owner.

·       Schiff has a PhD in Public Administration and is considered a national expert in restorative justice. She is also a mom of a son in Indian River Public Schools.

·       Her priorities include safe schools through cultures of inclusion, fairness, and accountability, learning standards and policies that build achievement in the strengths of all students, and finally, improving our teacher retention through prioritizing budget money and focusing it on our teachers and students.

Wolff, Eugene



·       Previously, Wolf has held a Sebastian City Council seat and is a businessman. His spouse is a teacher in the public schools, and he had three children go through the public-school system in Indian River,

·       His priorities include bettering our school grades through student performance, achieving a transparent school board budget, lowering teacher turnover through fair and consistent discipline in the classroom, and ensuring comprehensive safety planning and training.



School Board District 2

Bermudez, Ruben



·       Previously, Bermudez was an IRC Sheriff’s Deputy and has worked in corrections, road patrol, detective, and school resource officer. He has six children in the public school system.

·       His priorities include creating responsiveness and open dialogue, meeting with the community and letting them have a voice at meetings, allowing for diverse and equal education, and enhancing the STEAM program.

Dupuis, Devon



·       Previously, Dupuis grew up on the Treasure Coast, and now works as an Academic Advisor with IRSC. She is also pursuing her master’s degree.

·       Her priorities include bringing the focus back to the educational needs of each student, avoiding overarching and impersonal policies, implementing local control, being responsible for the budget that we have, and using our SRO’s and single point entry plans to ensure school safety.

Green, Merchon



·       Previously, Green grew up in the Indian River County public school system. She is the founder of MDG Advisory Group, a full-service consultant, and an advocate for students through Pioneering Change, Inc.

·       Green attended Florida State University and received her Juris Doctorate from Southern University.

·       Her priorities include advocating for equitable allocation of fiscal and Human Resources to schools, improving the quality of education and support systems for our students, focusing on hiring, training, and retaining teachers to provide students with the best education and opportunities, and transforming the culture and climate of our school district to encourage an environment of advocacy and stability.

Rosario, Jacqueline ·       Previously, Rosario has been an educator and has held the role of teacher, administrator, and school supervisor. She has also been an Educational Center Director and ESOL testing coordinator.

·       Her priorities include increasing community involvement, being fiscally responsible, engaging in discussion on quality staff retainment, creating more extracurricular activities for homeschool students, and encouraging STEAM and literacy events.

School Board District 4
Barenborg, Teri



·       Previously, Barenborg has taught in middle and elementary schools, been an Assistant Principal and district science STEAM specialist, co-written 7 curriculum books, and coached varsity golf at VBHS.

·       Her priorities include pursuing answers to achieve an “A” grade district, assuming fiscal responsibility, finding strong new teachers to encourage retention, and working with local law enforcement to review emergency procedures and safety.

Heimler, Randy



·       Previously, Heimler owned and operated a costume jewelry business, taught elementary school, and served on SDIRC committees.

·       His priorities include bettering the school district and school grades, improving and enforcing discipline policies to prevent students and teachers from choosing alternative schooling, paying our teachers more, and stopping cronyism and nepotism in the district.

Klim, Stacey



·       Previously, Klim has been a teacher at the high school, preschool, and community college levels, substituted both long and short term, worked as a paralegal and business manager, and advocated for families of children with disabilities in special education and medical fields.

·       Klim served as a legislative education advocate and public policy fellow in Washington State.

·       Locally, Stacey volunteers with the Learning Alliance as a tutor and has served on several committee for the SDIRC.

·       Her priorities include increasing school staff morale through giving them a voice for change, increasing volunteer programs to bring community back into schools and improving ESE programs, STEAM initiatives, grant writing, parent engagement, and professional development.





















*All information for School board candidates came from the Indian River Supervisor of elections (voteindianriver.com), or from the interviews conducted by the Indian River Chamber of Commerce (found at:  https://indianriverguardian.com/2018/07/20/indian-river-county-school-board-elections/).

County Court Judge Group 2
Menz, Nicole



Previously, Menz has been an Assistant State Attorney, a County Court supervisor, and supervisor of Circuit Court. She has also provided legal training to the VBPD. She practices in family law, dependency, and criminal defense. She is one of 500 to be certified in Criminal Trial Law. She sits on the Board of Directors for the Substance Awareness Center of Indian River County and presided over traffic court as a Civil Traffic Infraction Hearing Officer.  Lastly, she believes in fair and impartial judgements in rulings, and she emphasizes the importance of integrity, dignity, and humanity.
Moylan, Kiernan



Previously, Moylan has worked for the 7th Congressional District of Florida. He practiced as the in- house counsel before becoming Vice President of JM Family Enterprises. He then was an Assistant Attorney General as a civil litigator in the office of the Attorney General of FL. He then became the Assistant Public Defender in the 19th Judicial Circuit. Finally, he believes in fairly interpreting the law, not making new law. Additionally, he does not want to limit any rights given us by the constitution.
Stone, Robyn



Stone is an Assistant State Attorney in FL 19th Circuit, and she is a supervising attorney for IRC. She was the 2013 prosecutor of the year. She also is a team member of Veteran’s treatment court, mental health court, and drug court in IRC. She is also the VBPD legal instructor, and has been the legal instructor for the Ft Pierce PD.


Florida Circuit 19 Judge
Larsen, Louis



Previously, Larsen has been a practicing attorney for over 26 years, a board certified attorney to the highest level of evaluation, and a founder of e-Lawyer.com, one of the first online law firms. Currently, he is of counsel at Treasure Coast Legal. He believes in improving the lives of citizens through technology, and he is committed to taking the suggestions of the community. He wants to work to see our system of government play out.
Meadows, Robert




Previously, Meadows has been a local law enforcement officer, a member of the Board of Directors of the Indian River Federal Credit Union, a local attorney for 13 years in private practice criminal law, family law, and civil law. Presently, he practices in mostly criminal defense with some Family and Civil litigation. He promises to never compromise the law, and he is a firm believer in our Constitutionally given rights.
Smartt, Nirlaine



Previously, Smartt was a judge for the St. Lucie County Court. She was appointed by Gov. Scott, and sought a full term in the seat, but was defeated in the election in 2016. She has also been an assistant state attorney, and attorney at law firms Butler, Burnette & Pappas as well as Tallandier-Smartt & Everett-Jones, P.A. Up until her year as a judge, she was also an assistant state attorney for the 19th Circuit. She continues to serve in that position presently. It is her desire to serve the community through administering justice and upholding the constitution.


*The information on the Candidates for County Group 2 and Florida Circuit 19 Judges came from TCPalm, meet the candidates, ballotpedia.com, Vero Beach 32963 online (vb32963online.com), and their respective websites as listed above.