Democratic hopeful David Holden believes now is the time for the party to challenge sitting Congressman Francis Rooney for control of Florida’s 19th District.
“I think there are several things that point to the possibility of a Democratic victory,” said Holden. “Many people think the country is on the wrong track, I think the country is on the wrong track, and we also have an incumbent who is extremely far to the right.”
Holden, who must first win a primary against challenger Todd Truax, spoke to a crowd of Democrat voters during a town hall held in Fort Myers Wednesday night. The candidate has a history of political activism, having formally served as chair of the Democratic Party in White Plains, New York, where he grew up. A mix of practical political experience and community service are what Holden believes will help to secure the him the nomination
“I have grassroots on the ground political organizing experience,” Holden said.
The candidate holds a Master’s in Public Administration from Harvard. He and his wife, who both work as financial advisors, moved to the area in 2015.
Much has been made of the shocking loss by Roy Moore in a U.S. Senate race in the deeply red state of Alabama and the possible effect of having a polarizing figure like Donald Trump at the head of the Republican party during midterm elections. Holden said that while that will certainly factor into the race, especially with Rooney being a vocal supporter of the Trump administration, he isn’t counting on it to carry him to victory.
“It’s a question of how big that wave is, we can’t do anything about that, so we are going to run our race,” said Holden.
Rooney recently caused a stir by calling for a “purge” of the Department of Justice during a December 26 interview on MSNBC.
“I’m very concerned that the DOJ and the FBI, whether you want to call it ‘deep state’ or what, are kind of off the
rails,” Rooney said.
The congressman went on CNN the following day to further explain that his comments were in referring to individuals who he believed had politically compromised investigations inside those government agencies. Holden characterized it as a “rule of law” problem that will be part one of the major issues he will address in his campaign.
“We have a Congressman that called for a purge of the FBI and the Department of Justice, and that is a very particular word that you don’t hear in American political discourse because it harkens to what happened in Russia, what Stalin did, what happened in Germany,” said Holden. “I believe he wants people removed who disagree with the administration and with Francis Rooney, I think that’s what he said.”
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