By Chuck Ballaro
When U.S. Rep. Connie Mack (R-14) announced his intent to run for the U.S. Senate, it was “everybody in the pool” for his congressional seat.
Six GOP candidates qualified for the August primary, including two current state reps, a grassroots contender, a native son from Sanibel, and a man who has Mack’s blessing to fill his seat.
After Aug. 14, there will be one remaining to face Democrat Jim Roach and Brandon M. Smith, no party affiliation, in the November election.
As Republicans all, the candidates’ stances on the issues are similar. They believe government is bloated and broken and that the economy needs to be fixed through job creation and lowering the nation’s debt.
They offer, however, some differing views on how to get there.
* Gary Aubuchon
Profession: real estate broker, homebuilder
City of residence: Cape Coral
Aubuchon, the current State Rep. in District 74, has served since 2006. He says it’s time to send a conservative to Washington who will cut spending, balance the budget, reduce taxes and hold government accountable.
“The path our nation is heading in is wrong. I’m concerned about the mounting deficit and the lack of willingness of Congress to address it. My leadership experience in business, the community and in the legislature makes me uniquely qualified.”
Aubuchon also advocates for term limits and eliminating congressional pensions, which he hopes will lead to breaking gridlock.
“It’s time to reform the mentality of career politicians. In advocating this, I hope to break the gridlock that has paralyzed this Congress for four years,” Aubuchon said. “We need to establish an atmosphere of respect in moving the nation forward to articulate a plan that America can believe in.”
* Joe Davidow
City of residence: Naples
Davidow, like most of the candidates, said the political system in Washington is broken.
What sets him apart are two things, courage and capability, attributes that will allow him to effect change, Davidow said.
“I got into this race not because Connie Mack got out of the race, I got into this race to challenge Connie Mack, in essence portraying the courage to challenge your own party when you believe
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