PINELLAS COUNTY (FLV) – In an exclusive post-election interview, former prosecutor Berny Jacques spoke with Florida’s Voice on his victory and goals as he scores State House District 59 into Republican hands.
Jacques defeated Democrat Dawn Douglas with around 60% of the vote.
He says voters in Florida are sick of the indoctrination that is “permeating through our education system,” such as Critical Race Theory and inappropriate gender ideology.
As a former prosecutor, Jacques served as an Assistant State Attorney at the Pinellas County State Attorney’s Office and worked in private practice as a civil litigation attorney.
He says he is keenly aware there will be people that will want to violate the law: “There are gonna be some school districts who are gonna try to circumvent the laws against these types of things and even individual teachers who have publicly stated on their social media that they don’t care – they’re gonna go about it anyway.”
In March, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the Parental Rights in Education Act (HB 1557) which bans teaching young kids about gender and sexual identity in public schools. Jacques says he will use his skills to make sure school districts don’t violate these types of laws.
“You need legislators who are going to be watchdogs – and make sure to hold these school districts accountable – that they are abiding by the law against indoctrinating our kids and so that’s the kind of legislature I want to be,” said Jacques.
Top of the List: Public Safety
On the top of his list, Jacques says he wants to focus on public safety and continue the path of law and order in Florida.
“Even though we’re must safer here in Florida than other places, they (voters) realize that they want leaders who are going to have this issue top of mind when they get to the State House and so I’m very grateful for that,” Jacques said after his victory.
Although Florida’s crime rates are below the national average, Jacques says many other cities have seen violent riots and Florida needs to keep their eye on the ball when it comes to crime.
“We need to continue to pursue this positive path of law and order and send a strong message that that kind of behavior is not going to be tolerated here in Florida and I plan to be a leader in these types of policies.”
Florida as an Example
Florida’s GOP saw a sweep across the board, gaining supermajorities in both houses of the legislature. Following the red sweep, Jacques says the rest of the country should take note.
Courage is contagious. Certainly, our Governor has demonstrated tremendous amount of courage – whether it’s through the COVID policies that he pushed back against, whether it’s taking on woke ideology at every institution and whether it’s just keeping our community safe by backing law enforcement and not flinching one bit when it comes to that – these are the type of things that ordinary people rally behind.Berny Jacques
DeSantis and the Republican Party of Florida successfully flipped traditionally Democrat-heavy or Democrat-leaning counties across the Sunshine State, in some cases by double digit margins.
He says the historic win shows that the message resonates with all voters and all parties.
“This is a lesson the rest of the country can take from our experience here in Florida,” Jacques said.
Faith and the Future
Jacques says he thanks God for where he is at today – in every aspect, including the opportunity to serve in District 59.
On social media, Jacques has been very vocal in sharing his religious beliefs, quoting the bible often, and in a victory message following his win.
“Without him, none of this would be possible. It’s important for us for us to freely exercise our faith,” he said.
Jacques says people of faith and Christians shouldn’t be hesitant about sharing the faith.
“Just like the radical left – they’re not bashful about sharing their woke ideology, they’re out there loud and proud – we can do the same – the Constitution provides us with the same protections to be able to be loud and proud about out faith and so I hope we see more of that,” said Jacques.
“A Voice For Those Often Ignored”
Going forward, Jacques says he wants to be a voice for everyday people.
“There’s a lot of hard working people here in our District they’re not politically connected, not part of the ruling class, they just want to be able to raise their families and have their kids be well educated and be safe in their communities, and I plan to be a voice for them which is a great responsibility and it’s just the honor of a lifetime.”
“I’m ready to give a voice to a lot of people who are often ignored and overlooked – just the everyday, patriotic, hard working Americans,” he said.
Jacques is a pro-life Christian, a member of the NRA, and vows to defend constitutional rights.
He holds a B.A. in History and Political Studies from Washington Adventist University, and a law degree from Stetson University College of Law.
In 2020, DeSantis appointed Jacques to the Sixth Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission and Sheriff Bob Gualtieri appointed him to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Civil Service Board. He also served as the Vice Chairman of the Florida Federation of Young Republicans.
Jacques currently resides in Seminole, where he serves on the city’s Developmental Review Board and was Vice Chairman of the city’s Charter Review Committee in 2019.
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