Candidates Webster Barnaby and Dolores Guzman, who are running for state representative for District 27, debated their qualifications and platforms Oct. 8 in Deltona.

The two answered questions from moderator Eric Alexander, chair of the West Volusia Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Governmental Affairs Committee, at The Center at Deltona. 

Questions ranged from topics like gun laws, the future of tourism in Florida, and other issues that the candidates could soon affect from the Florida House of Representatives.

For Dolores Guzman, who is currently the chair of the West Volusia Hospital Authority board, her experience, and how it could potentially aid her in Tallahassee, were top of mind.

“I want to go to Tallahassee and represent this district because I love the people in this district,” she said. “I have been working hard for the past ten years, serving in my community and helping people achieve health care and things that we really take for granted, [that] some of us take for granted.”

Guzman stressed her desire to better fund schools, expand environmental protections, and prioritize Florida’s working people with initiatives like raising unemployment benefits.

For the British-born Webster Barnaby, a frequent talking point was his pride in being an American citizen, and his desire to give back to the people of his district.

“One of the things I want to do in Tallahassee is to make sure the residents here in Volusia County know they have a champion — a champion working for you in Tallahassee.” he said.

Barnaby said if elected, he would vote against issues that he feels represent government overreach, like red-flag gun laws, and laws that would require Florida residents to update their septic tanks. 

Barnaby added that he should be elected because, as a member of the majority Republican party in the Florida Legislature, he could get more work done.

Around 30 people came out to watch the candidates debate. Among the viewers were students from University High School’s Career and Technical Education program who filmed the debate, and will have it available to watch on the Chamber of Commerce’s YouTube channel.

The debate is also available to watch on the West Volusia Regional Chamber of Commerce Facebook page. Click here to watch the debate.