Attacks Flying in Steve Southerland-Gwen Graham Congressional Race
Around the State
The attacks are starting to fly in North Florida in what promises to be one of the most heated congressional races in the nation in 2014.
On Wednesday, the Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) turned up the heat on Democratic congressional hopeful Gwen Graham who is challenging U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland, R-Fla.
Curry also looked to draw out if Graham will vote for U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., to be House speaker. So far Graham has refused to say if she will back Pelosi.
“Dean-Kerry Democrat Gwen Graham has been endorsed by the liberal wing of the Democratic Party and supported by her Washington buddies,” Curry said on Wednesday. “As she raises more money with South Florida liberals today, will she finally publicly embrace Obamacare and pledge her vote for Nancy Pelosi as speaker, even though it puts her at odds with North Florida voters?”
While Republicans bash Graham for her fundraising, which also included an event in Central Florida on Monday with U.S. House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., she is getting increased help from her party at the national level. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) continues to pound Southerland’s record in Washington, already launching five attacks on the Republican congressman this month. Most of the focus against Southerland concerns his opposition to President Barack Obama’s federal health-care law.
“Congressman Southerland’s reckless plan to repeal the entire Affordable Care Act would mean 614,200 consumers in Florida would be left without health insurance rebates, after receiving an average rebate of $132 last year,” said Emily Bittner, a spokeswoman for the DCCC, on Monday. “Instead, Congressman Southerland would send us back to the days when insurance companies could spend premiums however they want, whether it’s red tape or big executive bonuses. The people of Florida are saving money because the ACA is reining in insurance companies, and they cannot afford for Congressman Southerland to send us back to an old, broken system.”
In the meantime, Democrats continue to rally behind Graham who is increasingly facing an easier path to her party’s nomination. Former Florida Senate Democratic Leader Al Lawson announced this week he would not seek the party’s nomination. Lawson challenged then-U.S. Rep. Allen Boyd, D-Fla., in the Democratic primaries in 2010 and won the nomination to challenge Southerland in 2012. Despite his two previous defeats, Lawson left the door open to a third congressional bid.
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org.