Last night, I went to an amazing event. The Leesburg 912 Group held a Candidate Forum for the three US Congressional Districts that cross Lake County, Florida. There I meet up with three great candidates running for congress: Patricia Sullivan (CAN-R-FL-08) who is trying for the honor of outing Alan Grayson (INC-D-FL-08). Don Browning (CAN-R-FL-06), running against 22-Year Congressman Cliff Stearns (INC-R-FL-06). Last, but not least, Jason Sager (CAN-R-FL-05) who is out there trying to replace Ginny Brown-Waite (RET-R-FL-05).
(I want to note that Cliff Stearns was not there, but he did have a representative there for him. I found it in bad taste that a representative sent a representative, to the people he's supposed to represent. I will tell you why later.)
Patricia Sullivan has lived in Florida since 1973 and in Lake County since 2001, so when there was a candidate forum in Lake County, she just had to come! A 4-H Leader and Home Schooler, she knows the importance of community.
Co-founder of the North Lake Tea Party, Patricia Sullivan was (like many of us) spurred into action by what she saw as a wrong dirrection our country is heading in. Now she wants to represent the Republicans to get Alan Grayson out of Florida's Eighth Congressional Seat.
Don Browning served for four years in the US Navy's 7th Fleet in Yokosuka, Japan. He has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration, which he has used for the rest of his life in the private sector either creating or running businesses. Mr Browning was elected Vice Mayor (and Councilman) of Winter Springs and after meeting his goals, he kept his pledged of a self-imposed term limit.
While Don Browning has nothing personally against Cliff Stearns, he thinks the Gentleman of Florida's Sixth Congressional Seat has been there way too long. It is time for a change. Browning asks the question: "What has Stearns done for you in the past 22 years, except given you a learning center?"
Born in Florida, Jason Sager moved to Hernado County and after graduating high school, joined the Navy. When he return, Sager went to Pasco Hernando Community College and became a Audio-Visual Engineer in New York City. After witnessing the September 11th attack on the World Trade Center, he turned to political activism.
Returning to Hernando County and co-founding the Hernando 912 Group, Jason Sager chose to challenge Ginny Brown-Waite after she gave a speech supporting the idea of a Living Constitution (a race, he was told, he could not win). Now with Brown-Waite retiring, Sager has a chance of taking this seat for a real Conservative Republican.
All Three Together
All three noted that they wanted to get things started, even before they get sworn into office. Browning said that, at a max, he only wanted to be in Washington DC for six years, so waiting for seniority is out of the question for him. Freshmen or not, they want to be leaders the day after November 2nd.
Cliff Stearns? Permanent Minority?
Nothing peronsally against the representative of Cliff Stearns, but if Stearns is going to moan about being in the minority then he should have just come to this forum instead of getting nothing done in Washington DC. Both Don Browning and Jason Sager blasted Stearns for being in that permanent minority mindset. Introduce legislation, even if it's not going to pass, and get people on the record (argued Jason Sager).
Cliff Stearns may be a soild conserative and have seniority, but he showed us he has both a Washington DC and permanent minority mindset without even being there. May Republicans in Florida's Sixth Congressional District have the wisdom when chosing Stearns or Browning.
The Most Important Election In 100 Years
I've said it before and I will it again: This is the most important election in a hundred years. The debate taking place around the country is shaping up. In Florida, that debate takes shape on August 24th. These are but three voices in that debate.
I fully support Sager, I am behind Browning, and I wish Sullivan all the luck in the world. Please check out each of their sites to find out more about these everyday people trying to make a difference in their world.