2018       General Election      53 — 47


…T This is what Kristen Carlson  https://www.kristencarlsonforcongress.com/ says:

“It is absolutely horrifying that we have allowed partisan politics and the interests of the gun lobby to come before our children’s lives. We are better than this.

“I support the Second Amendment. And I believe that law-abiding citizens should not be denied the right to own a firearm.

“Congress, though, has a responsibility to act. We need to pass universal background checks, a ban on bump-stocks, which allow individuals to convert firearms into fully automatic weapons, and a ban on high capacity magazines and military-style assault weapons that are designed to kill as many people as possible in the shortest period of time.”

Kristen Carlson makes her points.  Few candidates begin a statement about gun safety with “It is absolutely horrifying…”  A few candidates have made their points with videos that have gone viral.  They are younger candidates.  Carlson is from a generation that relies on writing.  Me too. 

Writing about herself, Carlson persuades.  She is a great candidate for this district that stretches from Tampa northeast through central Florida toward Orlando.

“My father and mother met during World War II in Europe. Mom was an Army surgical nurse in a field hospital during the Battle of the Bulge and my father was a fighter pilot. After the war, Dad and Mom married, raised five kids, and made a career and life in the Air Force for over thirty years.

“Our family came to Tampa via MacDill AFB where Dad served as the wing commander. I attended high school in Okinawa and returned to Florida for college, since the Air Force Academy, my first choice, did not admit women at the time. After graduating from the University of Florida and Stetson College of Law, I worked as a prosecutor in Pasco County,…[That was] followed by 12 years with the Florida Department of Citrus in Lakeland serving as a Senior Attorney and General Counsel.”

Carson’s twelve years with the state of Florida, Carson’s subsequent work as a lobbyist: all focused on Orange Juice.

“When out-of-state juice companies started substituting orange juice with refined sugar and called their product 100 percent orange juice, I led the investigation to expose the juice adulteration and protect Florida growers, manufacturers, and consumers.

“When diluted juice drinks were palmed off on consumers as 100 percent juice, I worked with the FDA to correct the problem. As a result, today all juice content is labeled.

“And when we learned of corporations cheating on import duties, I joined up with US Customs in Operation Orange Squeeze to crack down on them and protect our Florida growers and American taxpayers.”

In private practice, she headed a trade association.  She was a lobbyist.  She makes her case for that work. 

“I’m also proud of my recent work in private practice to help local juice manufacturers streamline the federal inspection bureaucracy so they can invest more in creating jobs here in Florida.

“I’ve spent my life working to solve problems like these, but it seems like no one in Washington is focused on results. Too many members of Congress are putting partisan politics ahead of what’s best for our country. And our President is making it worse by using fear and hatred to divide us.”

Carlson is a great example of why flipping Republican seats leads to a Democratic caucus more moderate than it is now.  She is a business-oriented Democrat.  We need Kristen Carlsons as badly as we need Alexandra Ocasio-Corteze.Carlson has political views beyond business.  Here she is on other issues:

Women’s rights:  “I’ve been pro-choice my entire life and I will stand up to the continued attempts by Republicans in Congress to curtail a woman’s right to choose.

Health care: The Affordable Care Act was a step in the right direction….[T]he efforts in Congress to first repeal and sabotage is just partisan politics and it’s hurting Florida….[We] should be looking to fix the problems with the Affordable Care Act, and work to bring down costs for Americans.

The environment:  Climate change is real, and it’s having a real impact on Florida. Rising sea levels and hurricanes are destructive to our economy, safety, and way of life.  Those who deny climate change and seek to make it a partisan issue are presenting a false choice between economic growth and protecting our environment.

Taxes:  I support fiscally responsible middle-class tax cuts. Unfortunately, the new tax law is short-sighted with a windfall for those at the very top. When the law is fully phased in, middle-class Americans will pay more, while the top 1% get 83% of the benefits. Just as alarming, the new law adds $1.5 trillion in debt, and Congress is talking about cutting Social Security and Medicare to pay for it.

The local economy: First for me is giving people a fair chance and rebuilding the middle class. … [The stretch] between Tampa and Orlando, is poised for its own breakout moment. I will work hard to bring better transportation options to the I-4 corridor as well as high wage jobs that complement …existing business…

Kristen Carlson’s  politics appeals beyond her former business interests.  Nate Silver’s 538 gives hera one in four chance to defeat her opponent.  

Not easy, though.  The last Democrat to be elected to represent FL 15 did not run for reelection in 1994.  Since 2002, every Democrat has lost by double digits.  Some by 12 or 15 points.  Others by thirty or more.

One factor that helps in 2018 is that there is no incumbent. Another factor is that redistricting has made the district a little more Democratic,

A third factor is her opponent — Ross Spano.  Never a good thing for a candidate, during the summer he had a “mild cardiac event.”  Still, he won the Republican primary in August.

More important, the Republican candidate’s views are extreme.  He would make extreme spending cuts.  He blames Republican spending as well as Democratic spending for the deficit.   He is endorsed by the Family Research Council — an organization the Southern Poverty Law Council counts it as an anti-gay hate group. In the primary, his opponent wondered why he focused so much on pornography as a political issue. Spano says he has three priorities:  support President Trump, stop illegal immigration, and eliminate the Common Core in schools.

Spano is a right wing state rep running against a woman who has been a player in Florida’s most important non-tourist industry.  She is running for an open seat in a District that is not as Republican as it used to be.  Help Kristen Carlson  https://www.kristencarlsonforcongress.com/ turn her District Blue and  Congress Blue.  She is prosperous enough to provide some support for her campaign, but not to self-fund, even if self-funding were a good idea.  She is worth helping.  Help her.