Representative Ray Rodrigues
By: Dr. Kelli Criss
In our series, Faith in Florida, we’d like to familiarize the faith community with leaders who serve Florida in ministry and public service. This series will also help people of faith learn more about candidates running for office in 2020 who uphold Judeo-Christian values. We posed four questions to leaders. Each blog shares a particular leader’s responses with you. We thank God for the service of these leaders and pray for them daily. Today, we profile State Representative Ray Rodrigues.
State Representative Ray Rodrigues
A lifelong Republican, Representative Ray Rodrigues has served District 76 in the Florida House of Representatives since 2012. In the Florida Legislature, Rep. Rodrigues has championed issues that matter for Florida, including restoring and preserving our water quality, an open and transparent government, and lower taxes. Currently, Rep. Rodrigues is running for District 27’s State Senate seat.
Rep. Rodrigues earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Berry College in Rome, Georgia and in 2017 earned his Master’s in Public Administration degree from Florida Gulf Coast University.
Your Faith’s Influence
How has your faith influenced your decision to run for office and to serve Florida?
My faith is the foundation of my public service. I originally ran for the Florida House of Representatives because of my belief that Christians have a duty to participate in government. We are called to be in the world, but not of the world. The political process is part of our world. Therefore, it is critical that there are Christian voices in the process to advocate for biblical principles and morality as public policy is being formed.
Top 2021 Public Policy Priorities
Considering your faith, what are your top public policy priorities in 2021?
As a Christian, I believe we have a responsibility to protect our most vulnerable citizens. That is why I have prioritized and supported legislative proposals to protect our unborn, our children and our disabled. While I feel good about the progress that Florida has made in these areas during my eight years of service in the Florida House of Representatives, there remains much work to be done that I look forward to continuing in the Florida State Senate.
I believe segments of our economy that can result in addiction and abuse like alcohol, gambling, and drugs must be highly regulated and kept away from children. I will continue to support legislation that pursues those goals and will resist the efforts of the libertarians and progressives to weaken and remove those safeguards.
Who has greatly influenced your relationship with God, whether family, mentor, friend, faith leader, or public figure?
I’ve been blessed with great Christian mentors and encouragers through the years.
When I left home for the first time to attend Berry College, I was blessed to attend church with Randy Richardson. Randy was a professor at Berry, and he took me under his wing and served as a mentor throughout college and has remained a lifelong friend.
At the church where I’ve worshipped for the past 26 years here in Fort Myers, I’ve been blessed with a minister, Randy Simmons, who is both a great teacher and a friend. I’ve found that the church has always been a great place to find friends who positively impact my relationship with God.
Finally, my wife Ruth Rodrigues is my closest friend. We’ve been married for 28 years and together we have built a family centered on Christ. Ruth always challenges me to live my faith rather than just talk about it, and pushes me to grow spiritually. Finally, our son Rhett has drawn me closer to God because in him I see the love that God feels for us.
What books are you reading currently?
I am currently reading Arguing with Socialists by Glenn Beck. Given that I will be facing a liberal progressive Democrat in the upcoming November election, I figure there could be good material in here to use on the campaign trail.
I just finished reading Angel Eyes by Ace Atkins, continuing Robert Parker’s Spenser detective series. The Spenser novels have long been one of my guilty pleasures and I’ve read them all. It was a fun summer read.
Getting to Know Representative Ray Rodrigues
For more information about State Representative Ray Rodrigues, go to www.isayray.com and Rep. Rodrigues Florida House of Representatives page.
We’re excited to be profiling additional leaders who serve Florida’s faith community throughout the remainder of 2020. Be on the lookout for our Faith in Florida series. Visit the Florida Faith and Freedom Coalition website and read previous blogs to learn more about us.