The two Democratic congressional candidates hoping to face off against Republican incumbent Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Longboat Key, or his challenger, James Satcher, in the Nov. 8 general election took their opportunity on stage Tuesday to oppose Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
Candidates Brent King and Jan Schneider never once countered one another’s positions in a Florida 16th Congressional District debate at University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee’s Selby Auditorium. They opted to attack Republicans and in the case of Schneider: “Do everything in my power to oppose Donald Trump and support Hillary Clinton.”
Schneider said she was in the same Yale law school class as Clinton and has known her for more than 40 years.
“This election is about issues, values and policies more than it has been a very long time,” she said while accusing Buchanan of being “against women” because he voted to defund Planned Parenthood following the organization’s abortion-for-profit scandal.
Donald Trump is a racist, sexist demagogue.
Democratic candidate Jan Schneider, 16th Congressional District
Mostly, Schneider said, “I sure disagree with his support of Donald Trump,” referring to Buchanan’s endorsement.
Schneider said: “Donald Trump is a racist, sexist demagogue.”
King was more low key in his attacks, but said he is running because he believes the “citizens need someone that will represent the average person,” and doesn’t believe the Trump campaign is sending that message.
Both candidates took a hard anti-gun stance. King said he isn’t likely to get an “A” rating from the National Rifle Association, and both said they would like to reinstitute the ban on assault rifles.
Schneider took it one step further, saying she would add rifles such as the AR-15, “which can be easily converted into an assault rifle.”
Though Schneider said she was “more liberal” when it came to how she viewed police departments in relation to recent controversies over police shootings, “That changed when I was shot at once. That changes your view dramatically.”
Schneider said postings of Blue Lives Matter against Black Lives Matter has to stop.
King, on the other hand, said he’s not heard “Black Lives Matter rather than Black Lives Matter, too. A lot of people on the Republican side think that it’s just Black Lives Matter.”
To make sure they accidentally don’t shoot someone that doesn’t need to be shot.
Democratic candidate Brent King, 16th Congressional District
King said more training for police officers is needed: “To make sure they accidentally don’t shoot someone that doesn’t need to be shot.”
Both candidates agree social programs should be paid for by taxing the upper echelon.
Schneider said she favors “maintaining or lowering taxes on the middle class” and both candidates opposed a constitutional amendment to require the government to balance its budget. Both agree, however, spending is out of control.
On immigration, Schneider said Trump’s proposal to build a wall on the southern border “is absurd.” Schneider said he supports a “virtual wall” that calls for better screening practices of illegal aliens.
King said illegal immigrants are the ones being victimized because they are too afraid to come forward to report crimes committed against them because of their status.
“We are hurting these people’s human rights,” he said.