Audubon Florida is proud to announce a new feature for the Audubon of Florida News Blog! Get ready to better know the hard working people who represent our state in Tallahassee! During the spring and summer, we will be doing a little Q & A with some of the most influential policy-makers in Florida. For our inaugural post we are featuring Representative Jimmy Patronis, a Republican from beautiful Panama City. Thanks so much to Rep. Patronis and enjoy this opportunity to learn a little bit more about our wonderful state!
Looking back at the 2012 Regular Session, what would you say is your proudest accomplishment?
Single proudest was the passage of HB 503 with unanimous votes of support by both the House and the Senate.
Looks like you recently had one of those “significant” birthdays. Any special celebrations as part of that?
Very big one, 40. I took a short vacation with my wife Katie and boys, Theo (3 years) and Johnny (17 months).
Those are two very cute sons you and Katie have! Got any good stories to share about them or are they totally angels?
They are totally night and day. They bring me the greatest joy in the world. Theo actually made the news for the Organizational session of 2010 by casting a very loud voice vote of “NO” when the chamber was asked if we were certified to hold office.
What is the best advice you have ever received and who gave it to you?
Always know who’s related to whom in the legislative process. A tremendous amount of this process is influenced by who you know, especially who a legislator, lobbyist, staff or advocate is related to.
Captain Anderson’s, your family-owned restaurant in Panama City is included in Florida Trend’s Restaurant Hall of Fame. What is your favorite dish there?
We are a fish house, we only buy whole fish. My favorite is blackened Scamp (from the Grouper family).
Twitter shows you to be very active and popular. How many followers do you have and do you do your own tweeting?
It is very effective. I have 2,576 followers that I am grateful for. I do all of my own tweeting. I would love you to follow me @jimmypatronis.
You once served as a Research Assistant at the House of Commons in London, England. Wow! How was that experience?
It was incredible, the MP that I worked for is Bob Ainsworth, he is actually the most recent Former Minister for Defense for the United Kingdom. It was at the peak of the IRA bombings, I actually had a background check to see if I or my family had Irish ties.
Read any good books lately?
Bill Bryson, A short history of nearly everything. He is very funny, I find myself laughing out loud reading his books.
What would be a perfect day for you? No limits! Anything is possible!
All day long, on my boat with Katie and the Boys.
And last but not least, if you were “King for a Day” and could pass any bill in the Legislature with no interference or opposition; what would it be?
I think everyone wants more transparency, I would vote for that.