Florida State Rep. Paul Renner (R-District 24) has been selected as the next speaker of the Florida House of Representatives. Renner will succeed current Speaker Chris Sprowls (R- District 65) when Sprowls’ term ends after the 2022 legislative session.
After being selected, Renner touted traditional conservative policies and moving toward policies rooted in freedom rather than a vision of moving away from freedom.
“This vision places its faith in bureaucrats, elites who are convinced they know what’s best for us and are eager to make decisions for us, controlling the health care we receive, controlling how our children are educated and controlling how much of our hard-earned money we’re allowed to keep, believing they can spend it better,” Renner said.
Renner noted his support for pro-life policies, the Second Amendment, and how Florida Republicans “are the champions for ‘We the People.’” However, Renner noted Florida will not be following Texas’ lead regarding their recently signed fetal heartbeat bill. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis indicated support for Texas-style legislation earlier this month.
“We’re not going to follow Texas’ lead necessarily, we’ll follow our own lead,” Renner said. “And again, hear from all sides, have a real deep conversation about the balancing of interests on both sides and land in a place that I hope moves us in a direction towards a pro-life decision.”
He also said to be prepared for what might be facing Floridians, seeing as the COVID pandemic was something no one could have predicted and affected Floridians’ lives so drastically.
“Two years ago, when I sat where you’re sitting now and the speaker was standing here, none of us could have imagined the existence or effects of COVID-19,” Renner said. “I do not pretend to know what the world will look like in 14 months or what new challenges we might face.”
Renner fielded questions related to COVID policies, mask and vaccine mandates, and wanted to prioritize America’s “pluralistic” views.
“If we have a handful of people define what the public good is, then we descend into majoritarianism,” Renner said. “And our country has always been about making sure that we’re pluralistic, that we respect people of different views. When I served in the military, I served in part to be able to defend the right of people who hold my views in contempt, to have a right to say those views.”
Renner is a Palm Coast attorney and is a pastor’s son and retired U.S. Navy Commander. He was deployed to the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm in 1991 and also to Afghanistan in 2011 during Operation Enduring Freedom.
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Grant Holcomb is a reporter at the Florida Capital Star and the Star News Network. Follow Grant on Twitter and direct message tips.
Photo “Paul Renner” by Paul Renner. Photo “Florida House of Representatives” by Second Judicial Circuit Guardian ad Litem Program. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.