KISSIMMEE, Fla. - Three years after he was accused of pulling a gun on his wife outside a school, a former Kissimmee commissioner told Channel 9 he now wants to become a state representative.
Carlos Irizarry was arrested in May 2010 and pleaded no contest to pulling a gun on his wife outside the Living Word Academy in Orlando, but he is now planning to build his campaign on a platform of domestic violence awareness.
Irizarry insists he never had his weapon on him that night but he paid for what happened and said what he learned will make him a better public servant.
Irizarry met with Channel 9's Nancy Alvarez at Kissimmee's new lakefront park, a project he worked on until his political career came to a sudden end three years ago.
"A lot of people are still wondering today, did you pull a gun on your wife?" Alvarez asked.
"My answer to that question is no," said Irizarry.
Irizarry pleaded no contest to charges related to the confrontation with his now ex-wife. He served a year of probation, completed an anger management program, lost his job as an ad salesman and lived out of his car for a period of time.
"Now, nobody can say to me, 'You don't suffer what I'm suffering right now,'" said Irizarry. "My answer will be, 'I suffer and I know.'"
That's why Irizarry said he's ready to run for office again, this time for state representative of District 43 in Osceola County.
"The people are asking me to run because they remember me from the past when I was the only elected official who answered the phone, who had an answer," said Irizarry.
Irizarry also said his experience taught him more needs to be done to protect women who are victimized and men who are falsely accused.
"If I get elected, I'll have the chance to review that law," he said. "Maybe God wanted me to learn something to help somebody else."
Irizarry has since married a woman he said is very supportive of his future plans. His next steps are to launch a website for his campaign and start fundraising.
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