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Senator
1st Congressional District

Welcome

Panhandle voters have many choices up and down the 2018 General Election ballot. This page covers the races for federal office only. Use the links above to check out state the proposed constitutional amendments and county races and issues. Your local League does not cover the Senate races in detail, but there are links below to campaign websites (where available) and other sources of candidate information.

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Senator

The Okaloosa & Walton County League does not send surveys to US Senate candidates, but we have included some links below each candidate’s name so you can find more information. You can read an overview of the race here.

2018 US Senate Candidates
Bill Nelson
Bill Nelson (D)
Ballotpedia webpage
Vote Smart webpage
Rick Scott
Rick Scott (R)
Ballotpedia webpage
Vote Smart webpage

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1st Congressional District

League was late sending out its candidate questionnaire to the qualified 1st Congressional District candidates, so we are publishing before receiving replies. We will publish candidate responses as soon as they are received, so voters can compare the candidates’ views, opinions, priorities and goals if elected or re-elected. You can click on a candidate’s name right now to be connected to the appropriate campaign website. We have also included some links below each candidate’s name where you can find more information.

WSRE’s 2018 General Election Rally will be televised on Monday, 29 October, at 7:00 pm on Cox Channel 8 and satellite channel 15. In the meantime you can watch WSRE’s 2018 Primary Rally to hear from the candidates in the 1st Congressional District race (from 40:35–1:38:45).

1st Congressional District Candidates
  Matt Gaetz
Matt Gaetz (R)
Ballotpedia webpage
Vote Smart webpage
Jennifer Zimmerman
Jennifer Zimmerman (D)
Ballotpedia webpage
Vote Smart webpage
What do you see as the top issues affecting our state and the 1st district in the next four years?

 

First, I have felt the effects of the healthcare crisis both as a provider and as a consumer. My pediatric patients rely mostly on Medicaid. Their parents are the working poor who qualify for Medicaid expansion, but Florida is one of only 17 states that have not expanded Medicaid, and it currently ranks 47th (out of 50) in the country in healthcare access. This leads to less preventive care and a sicker population, which is forced to use more expensive ER visits. My own family is reeling from increasing insurance premiums, like many other families with pre-existing conditions. Now the government wants to remove the protections offered by the ACA to people with pre-existing conditions. This administration will also end subsidies to health insurance companies—the backbone of the ACA—without which premiums will skyrocket for individuals and families like mine.

There are several other important issues in District 1. At the moment, there’s a big concern about the “Possession of Real Property Bill” (HB 631) signed by Governor Scott on 23 March. Also, as of 1 July Walton County’s local customary use ordinance became null and void as the statewide bill went into effect. This will affect major portions of the 26 miles of south Walton’s beaches. Another major concern for our region is SB 1073, the Escambia County Land Conveyance Act, which would sell off Pensacola Beach and Navarre Beach to private developers. “Save the Beaches” is a very strong rallying cry and movement in our region.

Why do you want to serve as our Congressional Representative, and why are you the best choice?

 

I decided to run for Congress because I felt the need for change: a voice of reason, decency and common sense. We cannot succeed as a nation if we do not work together. Using fear to motivate people to hate each other only leads to more chaos.

I am the best choice because I have lived and worked in this district for two decades. My children have attended the same schools and played sports in the local ball parks. The district has trusted me to care for their children, grandchildren and families. I have heard their fears, hopes and dreams on a deeply personal level. When elected, I will be the first ever female representative from this region: a woman of Asian descent, an immigrant and most of all, an American who fulfilled her dreams through prayer and hard work.

If elected, what is your top priority for your term?

 

I will work very hard with other members of Congress to support legislation that provides healthcare to all Americans. No American should die or declare bankruptcy due to inability to obtain medical care. A healthy population is more productive at work, and healthy kids can go to school and learn.

What are your qualifications for office?

 

I have been a pediatrician for 2 decades—the last 19 years here in District 1. I have lived, worked and contributed to this region all this time and served the children who needed help the most. I am a woman who established her solo pediatric practice with no help from big hospitals—a small business owner who has survived and thrived despite the odds. I am an immigrant who has navigated the often complex, expensive and confusing immigration process and has brilliant ideas to simplify matters. I am a doctor who believes that everyone can achieve their American dream if they are healthy and educated. I am an underdog in the “good old boys” club. I am an American on a mission.


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