Dear Chairwoman Tant-Richard,
When I made the decision to run for the Florida House of Representatives, I did so to make a point. That point was that Florida Democrats should be running in every possible legislative district, regardless of the likelihood of winning. With Donald Trump heading the ticket, Democrats in Florida could bring real change to Tallahassee. However, in House District 44, the numbers are getting better and a Democratic candidate can win the district (which I will get to later).
Unfortunately, the tragic events in Orlando has changed everything.
When I decided to run for House District 44, I did so to make a point. I did it because I was mad at the inaction of the Florida Democratic Party. And, yes, I did it because of my own ego.
However, after the events of yesterday, where 49 people lost their lives in my home town, making sure Democrats get elected to the Florida Legislature is bigger than my ego. It is bigger than the party’s ego. It goes beyond both partisan politics and in-party fighting. It comes down to bringing true policy reform to Florida.
Florida Democrats need to give all Floridians an option to vote against the policies supported by Florida Republicans. Whether we win or lose, we need to give them a voice. Those who live in House District 44 are being deprived of that opportunity to vote against the degenerative and parochial views espoused by Florida Republicans. With this being the case, we are not doing our civic duty as a party.
As of right now, I do not plan on paying the filing fee to run for the Florida House. Why? Because I will probably not be returning to Orlando in the next few months to seek the office that I am running for, and I personally cannot make the investment (with both my time and money) to make a serious run for the seat. However, the people of the 44th District do need a Democratic option to show their opposition, and in some cases disgust, to the policy positions of the Florida House Republicans.
I ask, and in fact beg, the Florida Democratic Party and House Victory to field a candidate in Florida House District 44. The people of the district need to be able to voice their disapproval for Republican policies. If the party cannot find someone to run for the seat, I would be more than happy to remain on the ballot, with the party’s support, to give people the option to vote against the Republican Party’s principles. If Democrats cannot field a candidate for House District 44, then we are doing the citizens of southwest Orange County a great disservice.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this open letter, the numbers are workable. In 2012, Romney won the district with only 53% of the vote, and with about 18% of independents favoring President Obama (using exiting polling data to predict vote trends for major party candidates). Senator Nelson, Sheriff Jerry Demings and SoE Bill Cowles won this district in 2012. In addition, when you calculate for the volatility of votes in each precinct, Republican precincts are much more unstable, with Democratic precincts being solid. Therefore, with Trump leading the ticket, and an expected drop in Republican turnout, Democrats can win this election. Also, Representative Eric Eisnaugle has only raised $1,000 since February.
But again, that is not the entire point, but it should catch your attention.
We need to do what we can for the citizens of Florida. We really do need to give them clear choices. Even if voters do not know the Democratic candidates, they can vote for the candidates with the (D) next to their names as a protest against the increasingly intolerable Republican Party policies facing Florida and the nation.
Again, I beg you to put a candidate, any candidate, in this seat. This is bigger than me. This is bigger than the party. This election is to save the soul of Florida. The Florida Democratic Party has a responsibility to the voters to offer clear policy alternatives. Now is not a moment for inaction, but a moment to rise up.