Allen Ellison came to a packed Charlotte County Democratic Party meeting and announced that he is again running for U.S. House of Representatives for Florida’s 17th District. Ellison impressed with a fiesty yet compressed campaign in 2018 when he replaced our beloved April Freeman, after her sudden and tragic death a month before the November election. (Read more about this.) Despite having only a few weeks to campaign, Ellison gained 40% of the vote against Republican Greg Steube. Ellison said he will defeat Steube this time.
Ellison’s campaign is focusing on representing the will of local people first with what he calls a “grassroots organic approach” to solving problems that most impact his district. Mr. Ellison stated his willingness to help our community to learn from opposing viewpoints, and build coalitions where change can be impacted. “I want to have an intimate understanding of the issues”.
A reason that there isn’t real representation in Congress “is because there is a breakdown in the understanding of what a representative is”, Ellison believes. “I think a lot of times we have individuals running for Congress with their own agendas. I want to be different than that. I want to be an example of what a representative is. That first starts with understanding first-hand the issues not only from the district or the county level but on the individual level.”
This is a huge task, considering the size of the 17th Congressional District, which is the third-largest (by size) in the country and is the largest in Florida. The district boundaries, encompassing the Peace River drainage basin, stretch north to Polk County and south to Lee County. East to west, the district goes from Lake Okeechobee to the Gulf of Mexico. It includes inland farming communities such as LaBelle and Arcadia as well as water-front cities such as Venice and Port Charlotte.
Ellison said most people don’t know who their representative is because Congress doesn’t work for the people but instead often care about helping themselves. Very little is done on issues like health care or education that can help people because there isn’t as much money to be made. “You have to follow the money”, Ellison said.
“So when you hear a Congressman say, ‘I’m tough on crime’, watch that congressman. He might have stock in jails or prisons. The more individuals they throw into prison, the (more in) dividends they get on the stocks they own.” Another example is someone saying they are strong on defense. “They may own stock in defense contractors so that they can generate revenue.”
Ellison intends to be different. He wants “to build a coalition, educate the voters and generate an awakening in this country to vote out the do-nothing politicians out of office and vote in people who care about the people and understand these issues and who have creative ideas to bring solutions to our problems.”
Ellison talked about his desire to help and care for others. “As a Christian nation, we have a moral responsibility to do something because of what we have been given. We shouldn’t be building walls. We should be building bridges and lending a helping hand.”
For more information about Allen Ellison’s congressional campaign, visit his website, http://ellisonforcongress.com/
Editor’s note: The Charlotte County Democratic Party does not endorse any candidate until after the primary election on Aug. 18, 2020.Image Credits: Jim Blue – CharlotteDems.com