To the editor:
As the election draws closer, there is little doubt that both parties are making every effort to ensure that their base makes it out to the polls. This could very well be the largest election turnout in history. One would naturally assume that this is good news for our Nation. However, I often wonder with the polarization across our country is there any room for voters to cross party lines and vote for a candidate outside their party. Or will we simply vote for a candidate based on the (R) or (D) following their name.
In my opinion, we don't have to look much further than in our own back yard to determine how we vote in the 21st Century. The U..S.. Congressional, Florida's 19th District will be a litmus test for our attitude toward voting and whether we value principles over party. In this particular race we have the Republican candidate, Trey Radel. As a successful entrepreneur with much of his focus in journalism and media relations, Republican nominee Radel makes no apologies for being conservative. The majority of, if not all of his policies, are in line with those of the Republican Majority.
He is running against the Democratic Candidate, Jim Roach. Candidate Roach is a decorated combat veteran who has worked as a research engineer and currently owns a small business in Cape Coral. With a broad range of experience, Jim Roach approaches all issues as a problem solver. This is most notable by his approach to the Affordable Care Act. Candidate Roach took the time to read the Affordable Care Act and separate fact from fiction. The unfortunate news for candidate Roach is that he did not have anyone contest him during the Democratic primary. Subsequently his name is not as recognizable as his opponent.
On the other hand, candidate Radel gained much notoriety and criticism during the Republican primary for purchasing internet domain names of fellow primary candidates and placing misinformation on those sites to deceive the voters. When reporters first approached him on these allegations he denied them. Later he would admit to the purchase of those domain names. Later he released them to his primary opponents for use, but it appears enough damage had been done. His final position on the issue was simply that it was a smart business move. Candidate Radel successfully pulled out a victory in the primary winning 30 percent of the vote; however he had seemed to upset a larger portion of primary voters and their primary candidates.
The question remains will he be able to unite those voters. Has he satisfied concerns of many that it was simply a smart business move or will voters see this as unscrupulous?
Personally, with such low approval ratings for Congress I'm not so sure we want to continue to send controversial candidates to Washington. I'd like to see representatives that want to go to work and solve the problems of the debt, deficit and job growth. I'd like to see a representative that wants to strengthen Social Security and Medicare, not simply eliminate them as some arbitrary debt burden.
But more importantly, I'd like to know that the representative I voted for has already shown that his principles can't be questioned. That he is someone who will represent everyone and has already shown his dedication to this country through his actions as a military veteran. When we remove the party labels from these two candidates, I believe the choice is clear. It is the labels that hinder us from making the right choice sometimes. Don't let labels hinder you this election year. Don't let party win over principles. Vote Jim Roach!