Wednesday, July 29, 2020

New Candidate Alert-- Jared West (D-FL)


Alan Grayson represented a big part of Polk County as part of his Orlando-metro congressional district. He's been very enthusiastic about the future of Polk Co. and has spoken with me for years about how well it has been developing politically. Now one of the best candidates running anywhere in Florida for the state House, is running in Polk County's 41st House district. He worked for Disney World and Atkins Global Engineering and, believing a community is not a community unless people work for a better tomorrow, has also worked for community-based organizations. That’s why in 2016 he served as President on the non-profit A Voice For Them and helped fund rehabilitation for people suffering from drug addiction. As someone who has worked part-time jobs in the past to pay the bills, Jared understands the struggles the people in his district, which includes Winter Haven, Davenport, Haines City, Dundee and Eagle Lake.

And, speaking about HD-41, although there is a Republican incumbent, Sam Killebrew, who the Florida Democratic Party had decided to not challenge, the district is exactly the kind of district that the party can and must flip to win back the legislature. Currently this is the party registration for HD-41:
Democrats- 48,420
Republicans- 42,282
Independents (NPA)- 37,901
Goal ThermometerWest stepped in where the party feared to tread. That's the kind of guy he is. When I first started to get to know him, he and his husband, Matthew, had just celebrated their 4th anniversary, and seemed super-excited about building their lives in Polk County, where they bought a house a few years ago. A strong Berniecrat, I think I need to introduce him to Grayson, who he told me was an inspiration to him while he was in Congress. I asked him to write a guest post introducing himself to DWT readers. If you like what he has to say and would like to help a strong, dedicated progressive replace a garden variety conservative, please click on the Blue America Florida 2020 thermometer above and consider contributing what you can to Jared West's campaign.

As of yesterday, Ron DeSantis' and Sam Killebrew's Florida had surpassed New York in total number of confirmed COVID-cases. And where New York has the pandemic under control, Florida's leaders have refused to take the tough decisions needed to beat the virus. Polk County now has 11,893 cases, 11,657 of them active! There were 16 new deaths Tuesday, 5th highest in the state, bringing the total to 236. This isn't going to be helpful to any Republicans on the ballot this November-- not Trump and not Killebrew.

Stepping Into The Breach
-by Jared West

Growing up as a gay man in small town Indiana, it was never easy to exist. I was born in LaPorte, but lived in Walkerton, which, as you may remember, was the location of the pizza place that refused to serve gay weddings after Vice President (then Governor) Mike Pence passed the Religious Freedom Law. To my knowledge I was the only openly gay male in Walkerton.

The point is, I had to learn real quick to have thick skin. I’ve been called every name in the book. I’ve been threatened, harassed, bullied and physically harmed. Due to this, every morning, the fire burning in me grew stronger to do more to fight back. I started becoming more politically involved around that time, planning rallies against the laws Mike Pence passed, volunteering for candidates, and eventually becoming president of a not for profit which fundraised money to fund rehab for those with opioid addictions.

I moved to Florida in 2012 and unfortunately this community is very much like my previous one and faces many of the same issues. Food insecurity, lack of affordable housing, a crippling drug epidemic, and openly racist and hateful elected officials like Grady Judd, who use a national platform to only speak hate.

Stepping up to run as a first time candidate, for me, was a no brainer. I’m use to being out of my comfort zone and fighting for my community. I’ve spent my entire life fighting.

I find it sad that so many of our residents are struggling, and yet our Republican controlled government refuses to do anything about it. There is NO EXCUSE for ignoring your constituents for multiple terms, and doing absolutely NOTHING to help them and actually actively work against them by doing things like stripping away municipal ability to require developers to set aside a portion for affordable housing, taking away sanitary laws, continuing a systemic dismantling of our public school system, and refusing to hold a special session to fix our EXTREMELY BROKEN unemployment system.

We need to hold these people accountable NOW, and you can do so this November by voting for candidates like me, fighters, who will listen to the needs of constituents and actually do something about it. I’m tired of sitting back and watching my friends, family, and neighbors struggle while these Republican Representatives continue to do as they please. My opponent has even gone on the record making awful remarks, once stating “Liberals are acting like (President-elect Donald) Trump is going to kill all the gays, make slavery legal again and take away women's right. Did he become a Muslim?" in a facebook post in 2016. It wasn't easy to come to the decision to run, but we can not let him go unopposed again.

The WONDERFUL thing about this district is that we now have 6,138 more democrats than Republicans, and gained 108 new registered Democrats just last month. We also lead massively in Democratic vote by mail registration.

28 of my 35 precincts now have more Democrats than Republicans, and my ground game has started and is going strong. My opponent has yet to lift a finger to campaign, which is yet another blessing.

My opponent ran unopposed in 2018, but in 2016 he won by 2%, and this district for many years has had narrow losses for Democrats.

It’s been 80 + days since he (my opponent) has mentioned coronavirus, 90+ days since he’s mentioned unemployment (our unemployment rate has skyrocketed to 19.1%, the fourth highest in Florida, and of course he voted against having a special session to fix unemployment and expand Medicaid.

The only thing he does have going for him is donations. He has over $40,000 on hand, but not a single penny of it has come from people, it’s all from businesses. I on the other hand have raised about $7,500 since may and it’s all from individuals, over 100 of them.

I can not wait to get elected and make real change for the people in this district. We currently have a shortage of affordable housing, a lack of high paying jobs, and a 25% food insecurity rate. We need someone in this seat who will listen, rather than ignore and hide when the going gets tough. I grew up the only openly gay man in a small town called Walkerton, Indiana. I’m a fighter by nature, and I’m going to ensure my district thrives. With a little help and a lot of hard work, I really can flip this district and make a huge difference here.


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At 6:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

it is NOT unexpected that the florida mlb team is the one that is the covid hotspot... or it should not be unexpected anyway.

can such a shithole elect anyone that is not a fucking pos?


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