Congressional candidates seek Democratic nomination to take on Posey

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Danelle Dodge and Joanne Terry are both first-time candidates for office, hoping for a chance to unseat longtime incumbent U.S. Representative Bill Posey.

Posey, R-Rockledge, is seeking an eighth two-year term in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Dodge, a Cape Canaveral resident, and Terry, a Satellite Beach resident, face off in the Aug. 23 Democratic primary open to registered Democratic voters in District 8. This district covers all of Brevard County and South County. ‘Indian River as well as parts of eastern Orange County.

The winner of the August primary will face Posey in the November 8 general election.

Posey has won his last two elections by roughly the same margin, securing around 60% of the vote each time.

Both Democratic candidates have presented themselves as political outsiders who can bring a fresh perspective to office.

Dodge focused his campaign on constituent services, pledging to use the representative’s office itself to provide direct assistance to residents, connecting them with needed resources.

Terry said she would work to bridge the gap between Democrats and Republicans, including moderates unhappy with the political climate created by former President Donald Trump and fostered by Posey.

While the two Democratic candidates agree on many burning issues, they also differed on their approaches and tactics to solving the district’s problems.

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Roe vs. Wade

On the issue of abortion, both Terry and Dodge cited polls that showed about 60% of Americans support access to abortion. Both said they would support passing a law that protects abortions at the federal level.

“This whole discussion about abortion isn’t about whether abortion is right or wrong. It’s about what the role of government should be in a woman’s decision to decide what to do with her own body. “Terry said.

Where Terry differed from Dodge was in her recognition that many neighborhood residents are pro-life and that she will be their representative as well. She said she hoped for a bipartisan solution to protect abortion rights.

“I would absolutely vote to codify Roe v. Wade, but I want to make sure we do it in a bipartisan way, so that after the next election it doesn’t just get overturned,” Terry said.

Dodge said emphatically that she would “absolutely” vote yes to a federal bill to protect access to abortion, citing the importance of privacy and medical autonomy.

Supreme Court Solutions

Many Democrats in recent years have toyed with the idea of ​​expanding the U.S. Supreme Court to add more justices, and have discussed other ways to modify or even reduce the judicial review powers of the court.

When asked to take such action, Dodge said she fully supports adding seats to the bench and that Republicans were the ones who unfairly packed the court with maneuvers such as blocking the president’s nominee. Barack Obama, Merrick Garland, in 2016.

“I think we need to fix the pitch,” Dodge said. “We had nine federal judicial districts when we had nine judges, and now we have 13.”

While Terry said she was “very concerned” about the Supreme Court becoming more partisan over the years, she said adding more justices would be a short-term solution to the problems facing the institution.

Revisiting lifetime terms, as well as creating more accountability and ethics mechanisms for Supreme Court justices, would be better long-term solutions to these issues, Terry said.

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Inflation

Terry said the economy needs to be made more resilient in the long term by switching to cleaner energy to prevent soaring oil prices from driving up the price of everything else. She also emphasized the treatment of the tax code and deficit reduction as measures that would have positive economic impacts.

In the short term, Terry said, more emphasis can be placed on child tax credits, school meals and housing assistance to help families cope with inflationary pressures.

Dodge said some of today’s inflationary problems are basically caused by rising prices, especially by oil companies looking to reap higher profits.

“We had a bill on the floor to address price gouging from our oil companies, and our current representative voted ‘no’ on that,” Dodge said, adding that moving transportation infrastructure away from oil will also be important to reduce costs. time.

Joanne Terry, left, and Danelle Dodge, right, vie for the Democratic nomination to take on U.S. Representative Bill Posey in this year's election.

affordable housing

Dodge said many of those struggling to afford housing right now have been ignored by elected leaders who have no idea what it’s like to worry about paying rent and bills.

“Over 40% of the people in this county earn less than it takes to afford a two-bedroom apartment,” Dodge said.

“I would work with groups … looking for grants and other federal options on how we can support things that are happening in the community to bring dollars and resources here and shine a light on what is needed. here in our county,” Dodge added.

Terry called the rate at which the cost of housing is rising ‘incredible’ and cited rent control as something that helped his family survive and enable him to go to college as a youngster. woman.

“I believe our economic growth here should be inclusive and not exclusive,” Terry said.

Indian River Lagoon

Both candidates said the dire conditions in the Indian River Lagoon were high on their list of priorities for Brevard County. If elected, both said they hope to secure federal funding and assistance to get the lagoon back on track to a healthy one again.

“We need to commit and fund the comprehensive 20-year plan to source control, cleanup and funding to do whatever is necessary,” Terry said.

She added that education is an important part of making sure people don’t put chemicals and other nutrients into the waterway and further disrupt its ecosystem.

“I think we have to do it from all angles, and it has to be complete,” Terry said.

Dodge said the health of the lagoon and its impacts on the economy and housing values ​​means there must be a federal approach and all funding must be directed to addressing the problem.

“We also need to work on infrastructure and we need to do that through federal infrastructure funding for our water treatment systems and plants across the county to make sure we don’t have water leaks. ‘sewage in the lagoon,’ Dodge said.

Campaign finance

Dodge has both passed and underspent Terry in the campaign so far, according to federal campaign finance records.

Dodge raised $65,179 and spent $40,758.

Terry raised $34,768 and spent $19,220.

This fundraising disparity stems from the fact that Dodge loaned his campaign $40,000. This compares to the $12,500 Terry loaned to her own campaign, plus $1,428 in cash she donated to the campaign.

When it comes to individual contributions from others, Dodge was slightly ahead: Dodge raised $25,179 and Terry raised $20,840.

Fundraising for both candidates has been eclipsed by the incumbent, with Posey raising $750,414 in contributions and spending $396,203 this cycle.

Dodge has won support from various Democratic advocacy groups and clubs, including Democratic American Youth for Climate Action, Florida College Dems, Florida Freedom to Read Project and Florida Young Democrats.

Terry and Dodge were both named Moms Demand Action Gunsense Distinguished Nominees and were endorsed by Families for Safe Schools.

Terry is also highlighted on ElectGoodPeople.org.

Members of Congress receive a base salary of $174,000.

Tyler Vazquez is the North Brevard Watchdog reporter at FLORIDA TODAY. Contact Vazquez at 321-917-7491 or tvazquez@floridatoday.com. Twitter: @tyler_vazquez

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