Andy Mele is running because he watched the Legislature spend two full sessions after the horrific algae blooms of 2017 and 2018 without addressing the state’s water crisis in any meaningful way.
He is running against incumbent 1-term representative Will Robinson, whose donor list reads like a roster of polluting industries, ultraconservative PACs, big tobacco, Big Sugar, fossil fuels and even Mosaic, which is currently ruining 8% of Manatee County’s lands, soon to strip mine another 20,000 acres in the southeast corner of the county.
Andy has an MS in environmental science from Bard College, with a thesis in environmental economics. He is a Vietnam vet with honorable discharge, having spent two tours in the Tonkin Gulf aboard the USS Brooke, DEG-1 (named after a Confederate officer who went on to help Japan develop a modern navy!) He is author of Polluting for Pleasure (W.W. Norton, 1993), which led directly to eliminating flows of gasoline and oil in excess of 50 million gallons per year into US waterways. As an environmental activist, he has had several major wins against world-class polluters like GE and Entergy, and also was the architect of the Hudson River Park Act, that created a 5-mile waterfront park on Manhattan’s west side.
Andy believes that the Republican majority, veering farther and farther to the extremes, has brought Florida to the brink of collapse: in the economy, in public health, and the widespread water crisis that grips the state.
He has a balanced legislative agenda in those three areas, which is being posted on his campaign web site: www.andymeleforflhouse.com.
He is the underdog in his race, facing a corrupt incumbent who takes money for his campaign unconcerned about the votes he will have to make later, as long as it will further the extremist conservative agenda. The people of Florida are merely a means to an end.
His team consists of campaign manager Megan Martin, communications director Beth Desautels, volunteer coordinator Jessika Arman, and advisers including Mikki Snyder-Hall and Claire Snyder-Hall.
Andy has two children—Tina Freligh and Paloma Mele—and four amazing grandchildren: Andre, Lucian, Henry and Ava.