This just isn’t a normal political season. So it goes that in perhaps probably the most highly-anticipated mid-term elections in no less than a decade, Naples Congressman Byron Donalds (R-19) will face a main problem on Aug. 23 in his first term in office from a political newcomer, Port Charlotte Republican Jim Huff.
Donalds, who captured more than 60 percent of the vote in 2020 towards Fort Myers Democrat Cindy Banyai, will seek to repel Huff within the Primary Election in the newly redrawn district that now extends from Collier County and Lee County out to a portion of Charlotte County. A district that was already solidly Republican is even more so.
With different approaches, Donalds and Huff have more in common than they do aside, including the fact that each come from the north country and are relatively young for political candidates. Huff, 38, is a local of rural northern New Jersey, whereas Donalds, 43, grew up in Brooklyn, New York.
Donalds is looking for the Republican Party nomination to face Banyai in a rematch of the 2020 elections.
While in workplace, Donalds earned a popularity early on as an ally of former President Donald Trump, voting in opposition to the certification of the 2020 election. He issued assist shortly after the election for a lawsuit by the state of Texas challenging the election results of several states, which was dismissed by the U.S. Supreme Court. On Jan. 6, Donalds voted in opposition to the certification of the election leads to Arizona and Pennsylvania. Donalds stated he nonetheless stands by these votes. Donalds also voted against the impeachment of Trump over his alleged incitement of the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol.
“It was surreal,” Donalds said of the Jan. 6 riots. “It was a really unhealthy day for the country, really unfathomable,” he said. “Nobody has the ability to storm a federal building.”
Though troubled by the occasions of that day, Donalds did not blame Trump and said he does not suppose it changed the nation.
“I assume everyone was saddened by what they noticed,” he mentioned. “The politics has gotten worse. The majority party has continued to concentrate on Jan. 6.”
Donalds stated he stands by his votes against the certification of the election, citing Pennsylvania’s counting of some early voting ballots obtained after the expiration date, though courts rejected all challenges to the election.
Donalds called the latest raid on Trump’s club and property at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach an “unprecedented invasion” towards the former president and “an assault on our constitutional republic and reeks of political retribution.”
Donalds stated the top concern domestically is water high quality.
“Water high quality goes to still be our number one issue in Southwest Florida. It’s necessary to our financial system and the environment,” he mentioned.
Donalds stated the administration of President Joe Biden has not carried out enough on water projects, though he noted the C-43 reservoir has been accomplished and the C-44 reservoir basin is nearing completion.
While Donalds said he would like the federal government to do extra on water quality initiatives, he additionally believes there is an extreme quantity of spending in Washington, D.C. Donalds referred to as the Inflation Reduction Act “a full lie.”
“Inflation is annihilating family businesses,” he mentioned.
“We’ve spent a couple trillion dollars that are not going to help businesses in Southwest Florida, that are not going to help housing costs,” Donalds mentioned.
Donalds stated the cost of housing has risen so rapidly lately because “everybody wants to move right here.” Donalds mentioned that though he thinks prices for homes have started to stabilize, pressures on house costs will continue as “there is simply so much land.”
Donalds criticized Biden for not doing extra on immigration and the border with Mexico.
“The president not going to the border is obscene. I’ve been to the border four occasions,” he mentioned. “Our border is a whole mess.”
Donalds mentioned securing the border was essential to combat fentanyl overdoses and to secure the nation.
Donalds said he’s pro-life and supports the united states Supreme Court choice on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which eliminated the constitutional proper to an abortion by allowing states to ban abortion.
Donalds has additionally opposed gun-control measures, saying he thinks measures proposed by Democrats would not have stopped most of the mass shootings.
“The Buffalo shooter was an apparent purple flag. New York has red flag legal guidelines. As Americans, we still have to guard the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens. Their rights shall not be infringed upon as a end result of we had terrible shootings,” Donalds stated.
Huff was working in Jacksonville for the us Army Corps of Engineers when he decided to run and leave his job behind in April. He bought his residence and moved to Port Charlotte within the redrawn district.
Raised in Sussex County, New Jersey, Huff attended the University of Florida before going to work for the Army Corps in Baltimore for 9 years. He then went back to school to Florida Gulf Coast University to obtain a civil engineering diploma. For the past five years, he worked for the Army Corps in Jacksonville.
Huff had to step away from his job with the federal authorities so as to run for workplace. Huff stated he’s lucky in that he can go back to his job in case he does not win the election.
“I already have folks calling me (for work),” he stated.
Huff’s work in the Jacksonville district extended to water management issues that affect Lee County, including the management of releases from Lake Okeechobee. He is familiar with the C-43 and C-44 reservoir projects, in addition to the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) Reservoir Project, a 6,500 acre wetland and stormwater therapy space expected to be prepared in 2023. Huff mentioned C-44, located in Hendry County, is within the ultimate phases of testing. Huff mentioned the initiatives will be essential in defending the Caloosahatchee River from a surge of vitamins from Lake Okeechobee.
Huff mentioned he want to see extra work carried out for the remedy of water along the Caloosahatchee.
“The discharges have really brought on some issues along the Caloosahatchee,” he mentioned. “We have algae within the canals at Cape Coral.”
Old septic tanks are leaking, also inflicting pollution, he added.
Huff said more remedy centers alongside the Caloosahatchee would help shield the water from pollutants and elevated oxygen ranges. Huff mentioned he believes Donalds ought to have carried out more to push for funding for such a venture. Huff said he would work with FGCU to help monitor the Caloosahatchee.
Huff’s platform contains time period limits for congressmen, and limiting presents and contributions to elected representatives. He believes the price of medicine is simply too excessive.
Huff said he wish to see Donalds working in Congress to convey back infrastructure funding to the district, quite than personally attacking representatives on tv.
“I don’t have whatever facts he may have been offered,” Huff said of Donalds’ votes in opposition to certifying the presidential election. “That election is historical past.”
Rather than focusing on fraud accusations, Huff mentioned he would focus on voter integrity.
“President Biden is our president and will be till the next election,” he mentioned.
“I don’t imagine it ought to be a federal legislation,” Huff said of abortion.
On gun control, Huff mentioned he helps the Second Amendment and also backs extra psychological health checks for gun owners. According to his marketing campaign website, he is a concealed carry permit holder.
Huff criticized Donalds for voting towards the Respect for Marriage Act.
“I support LGBT marriage,” Huff stated.
On the rising cost of housing, Huff stated he supports growing inexpensive housing for low-income staff though he believes “we have to focus on conservation.”
Huff stated service workers have been hit the hardest by the rising cost of rents.
“Inflation has actually taken maintain,” he said.