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Marihelen Wheeler, an Alachua County educator and activist, declared her candidacy for the U.S. House of Representatives for Florida’s Third Congressional District, for the seat currently occupied by freshman incumbent, Rep. Ted Yoho.
Wheeler has lived in Gainesville for 25 years. She currently teaches at Westwood Middle School, where she has worked the last 20 years. Prior to that time, she taught for 10 years in Levy County. All throughout this time, Wheeler has been active in a variety of local arts and environmental groups.
“It is my belief that too many voices from Florida’s 3rd District are not being heard in Washington, D.C. Our voices, those of the ranchers, fishermen, educators, students, union workers and working and retired men and women, are asking for policies that address our everyday concerns,” said Wheeler in her initial statement of candidacy.” We expect policies that will help build our small businesses, provide everyone with the type of education they need to get good jobs, and ensure that our diverse agriculture industry thrives while our unparalleled natural resources are protected and preserved for the next generation of Floridians.”
Wheeler stated she intends to be “the voice of those needing the services of the Affordable Care Act, immigration reform leading to a clear process to citizenship, education that leads to employability, environmental conservation and response to global warming, women’s health issues and pay equality and those veterans who expect the country to live up to the promises made to them and their families.
Wheeler further added: “I am compelled to seek this office as our current representation does not adequately reflect the nature and needs of our District 3. The broad base of constituents living here demands a more balanced response to federal policies that impact us all. There are many voices in our district which are not now being heard in Washington, and by seeking this office I intend to ensure that those voices and views are heard during this critical election year and in the years to come.”
Wheeler intends to run a vigorous campaign and reach out to citizens in all parts of the Third District, and her campaign will immediately begin collecting signatures to qualify for the ballot. Staffing announcements will be forthcoming and in the meantime, those who are interested in volunteering or contributing may contact the campaign office at (352) 375-2012.