Do you know where any of the candidates for governor stand on the big issues?
It is important to have your voice heard. The primary election early voting starts in Lee County on Aug. 18 . Voting in person at your local precinct starts on Aug. 28.
Constituents can be forgiven for not knowing where the republican and democrat candidates stand on the most important issues. For many SWFL residents, their only awareness of how the candidates will govern is based upon brief television ads that run when they are relaxing, watching their favorite shows.
Hello SWFL looked at five issues — water quality, gun control, education, immigration and health care — that SWFL residences have increasingly expressed concern. We went through the candidates’ websites and their debate answers to see where they stand on these five points.
We’ll start with the two Republican candidates, Ron DeSantis and Adam Putnam.
Both DeSantis and Putnam agree that the issues with Lake Okeechobee are a crisis.
Here’s where they differ: DeSantis, 39, is a strong supporter of the Southern Reservoir and said septic tanks are not the problem.
Putnam, 44, says we need water storage north of Lake Okeechobee. The federal government bears some major responsibility because it’s behind on its share of the bill for Everglades restoration.
Gun control has taken center stage, with issues such as laws in Florida concerning the purchase and transfer of firearms .
Both men say they support the Second Amendment. DeSantis said in a debate that Parkland was a failure of law enforcement, not our gun laws. He opposes banning assault weapons in Florida.
Putnam also opposes banning assault weapons. He’s against raising the age to buy a gun to 21-years-old.
When it comes to schools, they both support charter schools and local control. DeSantis supports tax credits for private schools while Putnam has emphasize on career academies and technical schools.
On to immigration. DeSantis fully supports strengthening immigration enforcement and wants to implement federal e-verify systems in the workplace.
Putnam also wants to stop illegal immigration with his “Secure Florida First” agenda. He wants to prevent local governments from creating sanctuary policies that “undermine the government from protecting its citizens.”
But when it comes to health care reform, neither of these candidates have stated or published a strong policy stance so far.
So, those are the Republican candidates. You should know that one has the support of the White House, which had a tremendous effect on a candidate’s polling numbers. President Trump has endorsed and campaigned for Ron DeSantis.
Additional reporting by Jalyn Henderson