District 80 candidate Joseph Davidow and his family. (submitted photo)
Candidate for the Florida House of Representatives seat for District 80 Joe Davidow “likes to get into the fight.” He has run for office before, losing his bid for the District 19 congressional seat in 2012. A partner in the Naples law firm Willis & Davidow working primarily in finance and business litigation, government has always been his passion, he said. Even as a boy social studies and American History grabbed his attention. Mr. Davidow worked as a certified legal intern for the Miami-Dade County State Attorney’s Office. He began a civil litigation and criminal defense law firm in Nashville, Tennessee, before returning to Florida in 2010. Mr. Davidow has experience in prosecution and worked for firms providing criminal defense. He has been a legal advisor for an international corporation and provided legal service at the administrative, State and Federal levels in both Florida and Tennessee. He has experience in Federal Court, representing a group called the Guardian Angels, which provides service dogs to veterans, after a federal contract with the organization was rescinded. He successfully got the case returned to lower court for review. At 32 years of age, he said he always knew he wanted to be a lawyer. Even as a youngster, his attitude was “don’t tell me what the law is . . .” He wanted to find out for himself. He believes in the government, he said, adding that it functions well when people are educated on the issues. He is aware of the lop-sided demographics of District 80, which includes all of Hendry County and northern Collier from the Vineyards area to the eastern county line. In this district, he notes, “the tail wags the dog,”referring to the small area of Naples with the highest population density. During this campaign, he is making a concerted effort to learn the inland areas of the district. He points out that he has no agenda - he’s just here to listen and help. If he goes to Tallahassee, he said he will seek appointments to Legislative committees he sees as especially important to this district: agriculture, health care and transportation. Mr. Davidow said he is ready to use his conservative credentials to help District 80 and the State figure out the difficult problems and wants to make the process fair. He wants to help sort out local issues like conservation credits for development and inland problems like the ongoing deficit of rural doctors. There is so much to be done at the state level. He feels law enforcement could and should be in schools k-12 and that private daycares could be assessed for officers at those facilities. Agriculture is a top State committee because, bottom line, food is the most important thing there is. He said he wants to see agriculture expand into the area of economic development in areas like Hendry and eastern Collier counties with ag-related technology. In fact, he sees the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Services (IFAS) as the nucleus of that vision - generating education that will keep people here with a vibrant agricultural industry that includes growers and also propels this area into a national and even worldwide ag technology center. “It’s all about communication,” he notes, and adds that the government should move with the times, but not rush its steps - but do it smartly. He also thinks we should look to the past for some solutions and collaborate to find workable solutions. He adds that discussion with community government works best when it’s close to the people. Mr. Davidow said he is a dedicated husband whose wife, Christina, is also an attorney. The couple has two young daughters. Florida is a purple state, he noted, and adds that there is a Conservative Republican collaboration in Tallahassee. On all levels, we need to “tone down the politics.” It’s the lack of communication that is the enemy, he points out, along with laziness, apathy and lethargy.