In the heart of central Florida lies the state’s Twelfth Congressional District. Following the announcement that the current Congressman, Adam Putnam, would run for Florida Agriculture Commissioner, Democrats immediately set their sights on this seat. Over the past year, the DCCC, the NRCC’s Democrat counterpart, has been working hard to shore up their preferred candidate, Lori Edwards, in her fight against Republican Dennis Ross.
Beginning East of Tampa, this district includes all or part of Polk, Hillsborough and Osceloa Counties and has seen nearly a 20% growth in population over the past decade. Since the 12th District of Florida was created in 1963, it has been held by Republicans for all but eight years. With a Cook PVI rating of R+6, both John McCain and George W. Bush carried the seat during their presidential elections.
Hoping to expand their gains in Florida, the DCCC quickly named Polk County Supervisor of Elections Lori Edwards to their “Red to Blue” program - which the Democrats’ main offensive program for House races. Since she announced her candidacy, Edwards has proven that she will try to make every effort to please her leash holders in Washington while at the same time attempting to make her stance on the issues acceptable to Florida voters. After an endorsement from the House Blue Dog Coalition, which is supposedly made up of “Conservative Democrats”, Edwards claimed that such a move proved she isn’t a liberal. But in the same piece announcing the endorsement and her ideological distinction, Edwards indicated that she would have supported the government takeover of healthcare. That kind of double standard doesn’t add up to being conservative in any way.
Former State Representative Dennis Ross has a track record of success. Since his election in 2000, Dennis has voted the free market and conservative principles that have guided through life, standing up to members of both parties when asked to compromise his values. Over the past 15 months, Dennis has worked hard to earn the endorsements of local and state leaders, Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, and the NRCC.
Although Dennis is a strong candidate and the district has favored Republicans in the past, we cannot take any seat for granted. These midterm elections require that we give our utmost attention to every race if we’re going to retire Nancy Pelosi.