Raschein was sworn in as the new county commissioner

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Former State Representative Holly Raschein is back in voter service for the Florida Keys, this time as County Commissioner.

Governor Ron DeSantis appointed Raschein, of Key Largo, to the District 5 seat of the Monroe County Council of County Commissioners on Friday. Raschein, who served for eight years as a state representative and currently works as director of government relations for AshBritt, will occupy the seat of Mike Forster, who died of COVID-19 on September 6. Raschein applied for the governor’s office for the seat of Forster. September 13.

She was officially sworn in at the Murray Nelson Government Center by Jennifer Belz, Deputy Clerk, on September 28.

Raschein will serve until 2022. An election will then be held for the remaining two years of the term of District 5, which serves Key Largo and Tavernier. Raschein told The Weekly shortly after the announcement that it was a bittersweet announcement for her.

Former State Representative Holly Raschein speaks with Monroe County Commissioner David Rice at a Mote Marine Lab event in Islamorada in May. JIM McCARTHY / Keys Weekly

Raschein has been known to Forster since her early days in politics as a legislative assistant. Forster’s civil service began in the early 2000s as a member of the Islamorada Local Planning Agency. He would then serve five terms, or 12 years, as a member of the board of Islamorada before moving to become departmental commissioner in November 2020.

“A brilliant public servant was taken from us far too soon, and no one can ever fully replace Mike Forster,” she said. “But the people of Monroe County deserve to continue Mike’s legacy, and I am deeply touched and grateful that Governor DeSantis has entrusted me with this task.”

A board member of the Florida Housing Finance Corporation, Rashein is also a board member of the Mariners Hospital Foundation; Monroe County Board of Directors; and the Florida Keys Healthy Start Coalition Council. She is a former member of the Florida Defense Support Task Force and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture. She received her BA in Political Science from Florida State University and an MA in Public Administration from Florida International University.

“I have spent most of my adult life serving the Florida Keys,” she said. “Our people have granted me this privilege for eight years in (state) legislature, and I will use their gift to continue our common fight for a better environment and a more resilient community. “

Raschein, who will be attending the October 20 meeting, said she is keeping Forster’s executive assistant Corie McGraw-Abel.

“Mike had a lot of irons in the fire, and I want to keep that promise and keep his plans going,” Raschein said. “She knows what’s been going on since Mike brought her on board, and there is no better choice than her.”


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