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Tonight was the monthly casual get-together for Democrats in Pensacola.  We have some good people here who are fighting hard to make some real, positive, changes for the Florida Panhandle and the United States.

Joe Roberts is running to replace Jeff Miller (R) as the Representative from District 1 of Florida.

Liz Campbell is running to replace Holly Benson (R) as State Representative in Tallahasse.

Both of these candidates are great people that I'd like to tell you more about on the flip.

The get-together started a little slow as the local candidates for Circuit Judge spoke about that race.  I won't spend too much time on that race since it is local to this district, but there are 4 candidates running for 1 seat that may or may not be changing, depending on whether Jeb Bush signs some legislation or not.  Judicial candidates are not allowed to be partisan, so they are limited in what they can campaign on.  As a consequence all 4 gave a very nice speech, but it got a little slow.

Liz Campbell woke us right back up again with her impassioned discussion of the issues here in Northwest Florida.  Our current Republican representative is literally a rubber stamp Republican who has voted the party line even when her constituents have wanted her to vote otherwise.  Liz, on the other hand, has fire.  She just retired from the Navy after 22 years of service, and wants to continue serving her country in the Florida Legislature.  She has strong and well-formed opinions about how to improve the schools in this district, which are in need of help.  Teachers here are paid an average of $6000 less per year than their peers in the rest of the country, and we face class size problems that limit the effectiveness of the teachers we do have.  Liz also talked about the 1/3 of the homeless population in Florida that are Veterans, and how she want to make sure they get the health and disability care they need.  This is very important in our highly military district.  Link to more about Liz below.

Joe Roberts is taking on Republican Jeff Miller.  Like our state representative, Miller is as rubber stamp as they get except that he has also taken money from Jack Abramoff.  I spoke with Joe Roberts for a few minutes after the meeting and he strongly supports national health care.  He is also an advocate for renewable fuels, and has some good thoughts about Ethanol on his website.  He is a Veteran who fought in Vietnam and has served in the Air Force Reserve and Army and Air National Guard.  Again, this is very important in this district.

Joe recently returned from a trip to Washinton where he discussed funding issues with the DCCC.  Because the Panhandle of Florida is very conservative the DCCC has been hesitiant to send money here.

Joe Roberts can use some help with Jeff Miller's voting record.  If anyone here has it compiled please email it to Joe through his website.  I thought I saw something about it here the other day.

But neither Joe nor Liz had neard much about the blogosphere, and the power that this group of people here can bring to bear.  Until tonight.  Now they are both interested to hear more.  I feel that Daily Kos has been greatly enhanced by the various candidates that have blogged here, and invited both candidates to consider contributing.  I'm sending them a link to DKos and hopefully you will hear from them soon!

Speaking of contributing, because of the current lack of support from the national party, both of these cadidates can use some support from the blogosphere.  I'll be emailing them the link for ActBlue, but in the meantime here are their websites:

Liz Campbell: www.lizcampbell2006.com

Joe Roberts: www.joeroberts.us

Stop by and drop them an email to let them know you heard about them on DailyKos!  And if you have Miller's voting record compiled please send that along as well!

Originally posted to ForFreedom on Mon May 22, 2006 at 08:00 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Want to hear from more candidates on DKos? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    panicbean

    Live Free or Die-words to live by

    by ForFreedom on Mon May 22, 2006 at 07:55:21 PM PDT

  •  I live in Gulf Breeze and read an article in (0+ / 0-)

    the News Journal recently by Reginald Dorgan (sp?) regarding Joe Roberts, it was a good read, kind of cast a huge shadow in favor of Miller, of course.  I attempted to email Mr. Roberts after reading the article but my mail was returned to me!  Thanks so much for turning them on to the internet, now let's hope they run with that knowledge.

    Thanks for the diary/update.  

    "If you can't stand behind our troops, then, please, feel free to stand in front of them."

    by panicbean on Mon May 22, 2006 at 08:04:11 PM PDT

    •  Joe Roberts (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      panicbean

      seemed to be a good guy with good ideas politically, but more traditional in campaigning so far.  I, being the nerd that I am, plan to do everything I can to change that.

      Come to the next get together!  While the candidates for Circuit Judge were a bit dry-not really their fault, the law constrains what they can say when campaigning-it was informative and probably gave me what I need to decide who to vote for.  They cover the 4 western counties of the Panhandle, so you will be voting for them in September and November.

      Live Free or Die-words to live by

      by ForFreedom on Mon May 22, 2006 at 08:54:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well (0+ / 0-)

    Escambia County, FL, where Pensacola is, is heavily Republican. That being said, if both of your candidates can breach 40-45% in your runs for office, then the DCCC and whatever equivalent organization works with state legislative races might be willing to invest money in 2008. Whatever the case the focus with this and the other race has to be the long term. If you can build some grassroots Democratic strength there you might be making a difference in the long term.

    •  I see it as a two-level strategy (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dpinzow

      One is to get the netroots involved and connect these candidates to the blogosphere, since it can be a bit lonely to be a Democrat here.  If the netroots contributes to this it will demonstrate very clearly what can be done, in an even stronger way than the recent Lamont victory did.  Jeff Miller is not as strong as the Beltway thinks he is.  There are blocks here that are solidly republican, but with the right approach-in particular the way he has failed the military and veterans-it could be a much tighter race or even a Democratic win.

      The other part of the strategy as I see it is to keep the rethugs at least engaged enough to force them to spend money.  Even if it is ultimately only a flanking action it means money they cannot spend elsewhere.  So I think a relatively small amount of money can be leveraged to tie up a larger amount of Rethug money.

      But please email the candidates through their websites to let them know the blogosphere has heard about them.

      Live Free or Die-words to live by

      by ForFreedom on Mon May 22, 2006 at 09:35:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well (0+ / 0-)

        This area did elect Earl Hutto (D) from 1978 through 1994. But like the rest of the south, starting in the 1960s and progressing through the early 1990s, the GOP slowly took over. Even as late as 1992 this district did elect a Democrat. But the 1994 Republican Revolution seems to have irrevocably shifted the district to the GOP.

        That being said, if these candidates can turn in a respect showing, perhaps it could be the start of improving Democratic performance in the area. But don't expect results overnight, especially in a district this hostile.

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