The conservative Madeira Beach Republican is
the first to enter the race to replace Kathleen Peters.
Madeira Beach resident Ray Blacklidge today announced his candidacy for the District 69 seat in the Florida House of Representatives. Blacklidge, a Republican, has an extensive background as an entrepreneur and consumer advocate and currently works as an attorney in the management of a Florida-based insurance company. He is the first candidate to file for the seat since Representative Kathleen Peters announced she would not seek re-election in order to run for the Pinellas County Commission.
“I want to continue the tradition of excellent representation that Kathleen Peters has provided to south Pinellas,” said Blacklidge. “As a conservative, I will always seek ways to improve our economy through letting business flourish while keeping the stifling effects of too much government regulation and taxation at bay. I am passionate about serving others and giving back to the community.”
Blacklidge also remarked on his strong belief in the rule of law: “Whether it’s banning sanctuary cities or fighting fraud, elected officials have a duty to uphold the rule of law, and voters should expect no less.”
House District 69 covers the south Pinellas beach communities from Redington Shores to Fort DeSoto, as well as portions of St. Petersburg, Gulfport, Kenneth City, and Pinellas Park. With 36 percent of the district’s voter registration, Republicans maintain a slight lead over the Democrats’ 35 percent. Independents and minor parties make up 29 percent of the district.
Blacklidge and his wife, Lisa, have five children and three grandchildren. Born in Virginia, he has also lived in Indiana, Illinois and Georgia. Since moving to Florida in 1996, Blacklidge’s extensive community service includes the Knights of Columbus, American Red Cross, Boy Scouts of America, The Community Law Program, Inc., the Florida Association for Insurance Reform, and Woodmen of the World. Blacklidge also served 12 years as an elected official in Illinois and is proud to be an Eagle Scout.