Editor’s Note: This post has been updated.
By Megan Lehman
Vennia Francois is an Orlando native, a graduate of the University of Florida, a lawyer, and a candidate. And she is running for Congress.
After immigrating to the U.S. from the Bahamas, Francois’s parents, George and Lucille, worked and fought for their piece of the American Dream and created a better life. And Francois has taken every effort to make sure her parent’s fight was not wasted.
With every intention of applying for medical school, Francois found her calling when she began working with College Republicans, volunteering with political campaigns, and serving in her community during her undergraduate career. After attending the University of Florida for a couple years, Vennia went on to pursue her J.D. at Florida A&M University. In order to pay her way through law school, Francois accepted a position with Michael and Steve Maher as an intake coordinator for the medial and nursing home malpractice division of this Central Florida preeminent law firm.
While still in school, Vennia began devoting herself to serving her home. In 2005, she was appointed by Mayor Richard Crotty of Orange County to the County’s Minority & Women’s Business Enterprise Committee. Just a few short months later, she was also appointed to the Certification Appeals Board of Orlando by Mayor Buddy Dyer, holding both these positions for two years and following them up with an internship with Florida Republican congressman John Mica and Florida Republican senator Mel Martinez.
After graduating law school, Francois joined Martinez’s staff full time as a policy advisor, continuing in this role for Senator George Le Mieux after Martinez’s retirement. In 2011, Francois made a change to the private sector, but it didn’t last long as she felt that familiar pull once again to be a part of public service. In 2013, she became a contract attorney at the United States Securities and Exchange Commission where she spent her time protecting the public from fraudulent and deceptive financial practices.
And now, Vennia wants to serve the people and the place that she loves; the people of Florida. “I have always felt the pull of public service. Our system of government is designed to be of the people, by the people, and for the people. And it allows ordinary people like me to be able to do extraordinary things while serving their country,” Francois said of her desire to run for office. “I am running because I strongly believe I’m the best candidate, not only in the Republican field, but because I can do a better job representing the district than the incumbent.”
If elected, Vennia has the plans and the ambition to make Florida more successful than ever. “The most important thing I can do is work with my colleagues to continue the job growth we’ve seen under President Trump,” she said. “We can continue to grow our economy by keeping our taxes low and making the tax cuts permanent.”
Additionally, Francois intends to focus on the federal student loan system, free market health care reform, and creating a plan to really address the growing poverty within the country as well as the broken immigration system that so many are affected by. “It’s am ambitious agenda,” Francois said. “But I can promise you the one thing I won’t do in my first term is vote to shut the government down.”
There is an overwhelming notion promoted by the media within our country that the Republican party is not for women and not for minorities. This false narrative is nothing more than that, false. And if elected, Francois would work to dispel this notion and would become one of three African Americans serving in the House, joining Mia Love of Utah and Will Hurd of Texas.
Character. Leadership. Action. Vennia Francois is prepared to serve Florida’s Seventh Congressional District. And she is prepared to do that better than any of the other player on the field. Given the chance, Francois has the power, passion, and persistence to make Florida better than ever.