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Guest Panelists

Florida Senator Mike Haridopolos

Mike was first elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 2000, then to the Florida Senate in March of 2003. He was re-elected to the Senate in 2006 and will seek re-election to his final term in the Senate in 2010.

In December of 2009, Mike was honored with the unanimous support of his colleagues when he was designated to succeed Jeff Atwater as President of the Florida Senate. Mike will take office as Florida’s 96th Senate President following the November 2010 general election.

Mike has stood up for Floridians against more government, higher taxes, and unrestrained spending in Tallahassee. Mike is a co-founder of the Freedom Caucus that led the fight against tax increases and signs Americans for Tax Reform’s Taxpayer Protection Pledge to “oppose and vote against any and all efforts to increase taxes” every year before the Legislature goes into session.

Mike currently serves as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy, Environment and Land Use and the Senate Committee on Reapportionment. In addition to these Chairmanships, Mike sits on committees for Social Responsibility, Ways and Means, Communications, Energy and Public Utilities, Health and Human Services Appropriations, Judiciary, Transportation, and the Select Committee on Florida’s Economy.

Mike has appeared on Fox News’ Huckabee to discuss Transparency Florida, an initiative he led to put the state budget online for all Floridians to see. He has also appeared on CNN as a guest of Lou Dobbs and has been featured in Florida Trend magazine as a legislator “…who could shape Florida politics.” He was also recently named by the Hotline as one of six “rising stars” among Republican state legislators.

Mike graduated from Stetson University in 1992 with a B.A. in History, and in 1993 earned a Masters in History at the University of Arkansas. Later that year, at the age of twenty-three, Mike became a history instructor at Brevard Community College, and within three years he was named the Department Chair of Social Behavioral Sciences. In 1997, Mike was promoted to the Chair of the Liberal Arts Department at BCC. Mike is currently a full-time lecturer at the Bob Graham Center for Public Service at the University of Florida.

Mike represents District 26 in the Florida Senate, which includes parts of Brevard, Indian River, Osceola, and St. Lucie Counties. He is married to Stephanie Haridopolos, M.D., and they have three children: Alexis, Hayden, and Reagan.

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