Longtime Florida Keys businessman Henry Rosenthal has filed to run for the seat held by state Rep. Ron Saunders, who is running for the state Senate.
Rosenthal has been active in community service projects and local politics in the Florida Keys for more than 25 years. He has served as president of the Islamorada Chamber of Commerce for more than 10 consecutive years. He also served as chairman of the Monroe County Advertising Commission and on the Consumer Advisory Council of the Florida Keys Aqueduct.
"It's time for a common-sense revolution," Rosenthal said.
Rosenthal has run for public office twice, losing a 1982 Monroe County Commission bid by one vote to Republican Alison Fahrer. Two years later, he lost the Democratic primary to Ron Saunders for the state House seat. Two years ago, Rosenthal filed to run for the Middle Keys seat on the Monroe County Commission that was held by Mario Di Gennaro. However, he withdrew from the race just months after filing, citing personal reasons.
Rosenthal has run a series of successful businesses in Islamorada since moving to the Keys 44 years ago from Baltimore, Md., including owning Whale Harbor Marina in Islamorada. He also owned the Green Turtle Inn in Islamorada.
If elected, Rosenthal intends to tackle issues such as education, health care and public safety, which he called "the foundations of a successful society." On a local level, he wants to address issues such as wastewater, insurance rates and environmental protection, "namely maintaining a healthy ecosystem for our canals and shoreline waters," he said.
"I've had my finger on the pulse of this community for over 30 years and plan to use my business experience to make a difference."
Rosenthal also worked as a professional mentalist for Carnival Cruise Lines and has given charity performances. Mentalists profess to read minds or tell fortunes, says Webster's New World College Dictionary, and may use such techniques as hypnotism on stage.
Rosenthal is the second Democrat to file his paperwork with state Division of Elections this week. Key West resident Ian Whitney filed earlier this week. The two will square off in the August primary.
Former Key West Mayor Morgan McPherson and Saunders' aide, Holly Raschein, have also filed to run for the state representative seat. Both are Republicans.