Now I shall blog about the House of Representatives election in my district, Florida’s 10th. It’s not a terribly exciting race as the GOP incumbent, who won 69% of the vote in 2004, is very popular and favored to win.
But we’re purple down here in Pinellas County, Florida — in 2004, 51% of us voted for President Bush and 48% for John Kerry. And since the current political climate seems increasingly hostile toward Republican incumbents, we don’t really know how many of us are planning to vote for “The Other Guy” (even if he’s a “gal”) who doesn’t have an “R” beside his name.
Samm Simpson a political newcomer who has never sought public office before has set her ambitions very high for her first campaign: she’s running for 10th U.S. House District Congressman C.W. Bill Young’s seat.
Like many Democratic candidates who are challenging Republican incumbents in the upcoming midterm election, Ms. Simpson, a 52-year-old grandmother from Dunedin, is hoping that public disappointment in President Bush and the Republican-led Congress will develop into votes for her.
The latest campaign finance reports show Ms. Simpson has raised $9,189 in contributions, with $1,992 cash on hand. Rep. Young’s reports show that his campaign has $475,823 cash on hand.
But that rather wide financial gap doesn’t matter to Ms. Simpson because she is running a grass-roots campaign. “I kind of expand the definition of winning,” she said. “Winning is also helping people to understand the truth. That is winning in addition to winning a seat and being able to change course in America.”
Ms. Simpson, rather than pay what she called a “reprehensible” entry fee of $9,276, was able to qualify for the November 7 ballot, with the help of volunteers who gathered 4,088 petition signatures.
“People need to know there is choice in this election,” she said.
Born in Iowa, Ms. Simpson moved to Florida in 1982 to work in television. She has managed radio and television programs for Pinellas County government and was a marketing executive for Raymond James & Associates, Inc., from 1984 to 2001.
Ms. Simpson, who said she decided to run for Congress after hearing the president’s state of the union speech in January, currently hosts a monthly television program, “Media is Propaganda,” on Pinellas county’s public access channel.
Citing issues such as the war in Iraq, global warming, America’s dependence on fossil fuels, the lack of affordable health care for seniors, veterans and the working poor, and the widening gap between rich and poor, Ms. Simpson said, “Our country is in such dire straits, I had to do something to help save my country.”