March 1, 2017: Berny Jacques, a 29-year-old immigrant from Haiti that came to the United States at the age of seven, is running for Florida House District 66.
Jacques is a Washington Adventist University alumnus who also was the student association president during his time there.
He will run on a Republican ticket for the seat currently occupied by Larry Ahern, a Republican who in 2018 will reach his term limit.
District 66 covers parts of Florida Pinellas County towns Clearwater, Largo, Seminole and others.
Jacques earned his Bachelor’s degree in History and Political Science from Washington Adventist University in Takoma Park, Maryland.
While at the Adventist school, Jacques was a Legislative Intern to Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart and served as President of WAU’s Student Association from 2008-2009.
He went on to earn a law degree from Stetson University College of Law.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, Jacques said he will be running as a Republican to preserve the opportunities he has enjoyed since he and his family fled an unstable political situation in Haiti in 1994.
Jacques worked as assistant state attorney in the Pasco-Pinellas State Attorney’s Office before going into private practice.
He has served actively in local organizations and started the Young Floridians for Opportunity political action committee, which supports conservative candidates for political office.