Editor’s note: The Bradenton Herald allows candidates who did not receive the Editorial Board’s recommendation the opportunity to respond.
James T. Golden, Florida House, District 73
Apparently you endorsed Joe Gruters for House District 73 because he is more conservative than I am. This is a slap in the face to voters who value substance and competence over labels.
As Sarasota GOP chair, he led efforts to honor Donald Trump as “Statesman of the Year” twice. Trump is described by Steve Schmidt, a respected Republican strategist, as “manifestly unprepared for the duties of the office of the President of the United States, who has no idea what he is talking about from a policy perspective, who lacks the requisite dignity required of someone who wishes to be the head of state of the government of the United States, and someone who lacks the capacity to be the commander in chief of the most powerful military and the world’s most potent nuclear arsenal.” Further, Schmidt described Trump’s candidacy as a “disgrace to the country” which exposes the “intellectual rot in the Republican Party.”
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Mr. Gruters lacks the requisite judgment to represent all of us because he has said that he looks forward to a third “Statesmen of the Year” honor for Trump should he become president.
Mr. Gruters’ belief in the policies of Donald Trump should set off alarms for voters. As presidential nominee, Trump has gone from conservative outlier to divisive and demeaning demagogue, and, if elected, is bound to cause lasting damage to the fabric of this nation.
As a candidate for House District 73, I have a vision for unity, which is desperately needed. I will work across party lines on issues of rebuilding infrastructure, economic development, gun safety, providing a livable wage, and protecting a woman’s privacy rights. It’s troubling that Mr. Gruters fails to recognize the destructiveness of Trump and dangerous that he provides him with unwavering support, even now, as Trump’s Florida campaign co-chair.