In 2003 Jennifer was courted to run for a State House seat during an open election, she ran and won with over 80% of the votes. She was subsequently reelected without opposition for four consecutive terms.
As a legislator, Jennifer worked to pass meaningful legislation that enhanced economic development, which included: procuring $2.9 million to fund the Florida Export Finance Corporation to help employers have access to short term loans in order to retain and create jobs. She sponsored the Entertainment Economic Development Legislation that created thousands of jobs for Floridians who were paid over $485 million in wages.
Some of the legislation she passed helped abused women, gave equal access to disabled people with service animals, funded Black males to explore college opportunities, expanded Black businesses in Florida, and created the Martin Luther King Jr. license tag where proceeds from the tag sales goes towards reducing birth defects, reducing infant mortality, reducing homelessness, and sickle cell disease education and research. Jennifer was elected Chairperson of the Clay County Legislative Delegation in 2005 and 2009 and Chairperson of the Duval County Legislative Delegation in 2010. Jennifer also served as Deputy Majority Leader from 2003-2004, Majority Whip from 2004-2006, Vice Chair of the Transportation and Economic Development Committee 2003-2004, Chair of the Finance Committee from 2006-2008 and Chair of the Economic and Development Council from 2008-2010 and served on Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee. Bipartisan leadership – Jennifer was the only Republican member of the Florida Conference of Black Legislators. Approximately 80% of her introduced bills had either a Democrat Senate sponsor or Democrat co-sponsors in both the House and Senate.
As a State Legislator, Jennifer focused on economic and tax policies. She sponsored legislation that focused on growing small businesses in particular. Jennifer sponsored a $203 million jobs package to provide tax credits to encourage companies to hire Floridians who have been out of work. Some of the incentives include: improving the Qualified Target Industry Program to provide tax refunds to businesses that commit to creating a certain number of higher-wage and higher-skilled jobs for Floridians.
Another tax credit Jennifer sponsored was the Entertainment Industry Financial Incentive Program which stimulated job growth and generated millions in revenue to local and state governments. Jennifer was successful in amending portions of the Unemployment Compensation (UC) Statutes which provided immediate relief to employers by reducing their UC taxes. During the 2009 economic recession this relief provided Florida businesses with a delay of $909.6 million in tax increases over a period of three years which enabled them to continue running their businesses.
Jennifer gets greetings as she enters the Florida House of Representatives
Jennifer's first bill passed as a legislator, Neighborhood Watch Program, Session 2004 Bill Signing with Gov Bush and Senator Miller
Jennifer delivers a State of the Nation Speech
Jennifer greets President George W. Bush in Jacksonville, FL
Jennifer and Congressman J.C. Watts
Jennifer and husband Nolan with Presidential candidate Mitt Romney and VP candidate Paul Ryan
Jennifer gives prayer for Mlitary Appreciation Day at the Capital
Jennifer served as Mistress of Ceremonies during the 2010 Presidency 5
Jennifer presents bill in the Florida Legislature
Jennifer and Governor Chris Christie at the 2012 Republican Convention
Jennifer and President George W. Bush celebrate the Christmas holiday