With just 11 days remaining until Election Day, Republican newcomer Marva Preston will seek to unseat her Democratic opponent, Loranne Ausley, and turn Florida Senate District 3 — a Democratic stronghold for nearly two decades — red.
She sat down with The Capitolist just days before the General Election to discuss her campaign and qualifications for the district she wants to represent.
1) How would you describe yourself?
“I am a Wife, an Ordained Minister, and a retired Law Enforcement Officer of over 27 years. I remember People who tried to tell me who I was and where I belong. I never let them, and I won’t start now.
“As a Community Advocate, I am inspired and motivated to be a Voice for change. God gave us two ears and one mouth for a good reason, I am here to listen and lead with honesty and integrity.”
2) What made you want to run for Florida Senate District 3?
“I was raised and educated in the segregated schools of Wakulla County. I graduated from and received a quality education from the first integrated in Wakulla County. This education afforded me the opportunity to later earn an Associate and Bachelors Degrees.
“I brought with me many years of Community Service. I have been involved in the school system, churches and health care organizations as an Advocate for those in need. After moving back to North Florida, I continued my Law Enforcement Career as an Investigator with Attorney Generals Office Medicaid Fraud Unit. I worked in Tallahassee for two years (with a special assignment with the Inspector General’s Office).
“I have been and continue to volunteer with local organizations such as Empty Bowls, Operation Santa, Operation Wakulla, The Wakulla Senior Center, Farm Share, The Wakulla Wellness Task Force, Crawfordville Lions Club, NAMI, Florida Wild Mammal, 4-H and other duties dedicated to serving my Community.”
3) What does it mean to be conservative in 2020?
“By the time I was 13, I had lost both my parents and was attending a segregated school. My grandparents, a day laborer and a maid, raised us to work hard and be proud of who we are. For me, being a conservative is about protecting the American Dream for everyone, not just those who’ve been born into privilege. Ensuring access to world-class education opportunities, creating an environment where businesses and workers can thrive, and keeping our communities safe aren’t just conservative ideals, they’re the foundation of the American Dream.”
4) You have over 27 years of law enforcement experience. How has that prepared you for public office?
“I joined the Miami Police Department first as a Street Cop, then as a Homicide Detective (investigating Murders, Suicides, Natural and Accidental Deaths). I also investigated Sexual Batteries and Child Abuse cases. I later worked in Internal Affairs, dealing with Good and Bad Police Officers. I was also assigned to investigate Public Corruption, holding and finally in a task force holding corrupt politicians accountable for their actions.
“I have faced life and death situations as a cop but I learned that potentially lethal situations can be diffused but education rather than enforcement. I’ve put criminals of every color behind bars but I know what it’s like to have a beloved member of my own family in prison.
“After retirement, my husband Clyde and I moved back to my hometown of Crawfordville 14 years ago.”
5) For voters still undecided, what would be your message to them?
“When I am elected to the Florida Senate I intend to lead as I have served, with a simple philosophy that a hand up is better than just a handout.
“I believe that Floridians of every color and creed of every political stripe must unite behind the promise of a renewed American dream; a dream that flows not from the corridors of power but from our communities themselves.
“I strongly believe when we bring people together and listening to their concerns, we can overcome our deepest divisions and save the American Dream for everyone.”