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Conrad, November 13 in News
Congressman Rick Sharp (R) and Secretary Andrew Whitaker (D) File for 2019 Special Election
As the deadline for 2019 filing draws near, both Republicans and Democrats have fronted candidates for the South East Governor contest. Both candidates have given speeches announcing their candidacies.
We will take a look at Congressman Sharp who seems to be running on a low tax high wage platform. In his announcement speech, Mr Sharp said "make sure that taxes aren't increased on you, the hard working people of this state, and we're gonna keep it one of the lowest tax regions of the country" this message bodes well in the region which is slightly more conservative compared to the rest of the nation. Mr Sharp also does well to address seniors, who have a strong voter base in northern Florida. On the face of it, Mr Sharp looks to be intending to run a pretty standard conservative platform and race, which will help him turnout voters in the region.
Looking at his opponent, former Secretary of Defense Andrew Whitaker, who in his speech seems to distance himself from the national Democratic Party, which will help him attract more moderates and even some moderate Republicans to his campaign. His decision to make it an issue based campaign, assuming Mr Sharps concurrence, will mean that voters will ultimately go to the polls voting on what matters most to them. Secretary Whitaker's decision to openly fight for LGBTQ rights might note bode well for him in the slightly conservative south east but it will help to turn out progressives in the region. His strong support for the second amendment shows him in some ways to be able to come to the center and even the right if needs be.
As it stands, with no campaigning or rallies, the race will likely start neck-in-neck. Secretary Whitaker's path to victory will lie in his ability to turnout progressives while trying not to alienate some moderates and soft republicans with some of his stances. Mr Sharps path to victory will lie in his ability to run a gaffe-free campaign, while making it a delicate balancing act to keep blocs like seniors on side, deflecting Whitaker's comments on the Affordable Care Act.
Governor Candidate Focuses on Fundraising; does Whitaker have the edge?
As the governor campaigns prepares to hit the streets in the South East, both candidates have been reported by local newspapers to have been fundraising for their respective campaigns. OpenSecrets can report that Secretary Whitaker has earned $5,000,000 in fundraising while Congressman Rick Sharp has raised nothing as of yet. As campaign filings stand, Congressman Sharp has $40,000,000 on hand while Secretary Whitaker has $44,000,000.
In terms of the more general campaign, it is reported in some circles that Secretary Whitaker has a substantial advantage over his likely Republican opponent. The South East Gazette can report that Secretary Whitaker has huge advantages in terms of name recognition, experience and his ability to raise funds. These advantages come from Whitaker's experience as Secretary of Defense most likely, in which during his time there he was in national circles and built up a decent book of fundraising contacts.
White not the be all and end all for Congressman Sharp, who has returned to Washington for budget talks, he would do well to build his recognition region wide among other profiles. Given the advantages in these areas, Secretary Whitaker is expected to have an early lead in polling as we await both candidates to hit the campaign trail.
South East Governor race to see Republican Primary
Congressman Rick Sharp is to face a Republican challenger in the South East Governor race we can report. Don Moses, a Congressman from Georgia looks to be filing for the race on the Republican side.
It is likely that the introduction of Don Moses into the race will chip off some supporters of the Rick Sharp campaign. As things stand, Congressman Moses enjoys a small name recognition advantage over the Congressman from Florida, who recently helped negotiate the budget in Washington. If Mr Moses is to make any type of dangerous, lasting impact on this race then he ought to get his house in order and get on the campaign trail.
Some could say that Congressman Sharp is making a name for himself on Capitol Hill. He was invited by the President to the White House to participate in budget talks, some say it was his budget that provided the bones for what has been introduced to Congress and what will likely be signed into law. Moses will face an uphill battle to uproot much of the support that Sharp has already garnered throughout this campaign.
Sharp's newfound leverage from the budget and being able to show himself as a moderate and someone willing to come to the middle will certainly help in places like Florida and perhaps North Carolina, which of course voted for Barack Obama in 2008. As the elections now appears to be more exciting, the only Democrat in the race, Andrew Whitaker is expected to face no challenge in his filing and will likely be the Democratic nominee for the South East region.
SHARP TAKES 64% OF THE VOTE IN SOUTH EAST GOVERNOR PRIMARY
As primary voters went to their respective polling stages, results have shown that Congressman Rick Sharp (R-FL) has emerged with a resounding lead and victory over his opponent, who failed to hit the campaign trail throughout the primary calendar.
The congressman himself has been involved in major Washington dealings recently, having been the person who reported disgraced House Majority Whip Preston Moss to the FBI for federal bribery charges. "The fact that Sharp is out there, increasing his name recognition and making a name for himself in Washington, will ultimately help him become a household name for many voters in the South East region.", remarked John Kline, a republican strategist with experience on political races in the South East region.
As the primary concludes, Sharp will now likely direct his focus to the general election campaign with former Secretary of Defense Andrew Whitaker. As things stand, it's said that Sharp still faces an uphill battle thanks to the emergence of a primary challenger. As he focused on targeting different portions of voters, his opponent was doing well to shore up his bases in the South East region. Whitaker has spoken on multiple stump issues relevant to the South East region, including education and poverty.
With his stump speeches he has also faced some criticism in the more conservative states in the region, such as Arkansas and Alabama. His educational focus on sexual education does not bode well with the huge swath of conservatives in those states.
((Requested polling will be issued tomorrow, I apologize for the delay))
GOVERNOR SHARP SIGNS ORDER PROTECTING CONFEDERATE MONUMENTS
Governor Rick Sharp today has signed an order protecting monuments which relate to figures from the Confederate States of America. For the South East region, such monuments and honors range from statutes to military bases being named after CSA figures. From Fort Beauregard in Louisiana to Fort Bragg in North Carolina, the existence of confederate honors is clear.
The Governors home state is no stranger to confederate recognition either, on the ground of the former state capitol building there is a confederate monument and many believe that the Florida state flag holds some sympathies to the confederacy following its amending by Governor Francis Fleming, an avowed segregationist. The decision by Governor Sharp to protect these monuments has been taken rather strangely by pundits and citizens alike.
As one of his very first acts in office, it has left many constituents scratching their heads as to the intent and purpose of something that right now seems so 'insignificant right now' as a voter in Mobile, Alabama put it.
MIAMI-DADE EXECUTIVES APPROVE FUNDING FOR MORE "PROTECTION" AGAINST RISING SEA LEVELS
In Miami-Dade County, hurricane-force winds and evacuation orders are no longer what must accompany streets flooding and roads turning into lakes. in Miami Beach, Florida, and elsewhere on the barrier island, residents have already been forced to reckon with the impacts of climate change: plastic liners and sandbags are in place to keep garages and homes dry, while the city is raising roads and installing expensive pumps as a part of a $400m plan to try to offset rising sea levels that now frequently spill over even when the sun is out.
As the Governor election concludes, its winner, Rick Sharp, now has the responsibility to work with state and local leaders along with federal management agencies to mitigate harm in a disaster prone state like Florida and Louisiana, which is also part of the South East Region. And for a place like Miami, which is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of rising sea levels and climate change, the fate of the city’s future could be tied to the election of Rick Sharp, who is set to be in office until 2022.
If sea levels continue to rise unaddressed by costly mitigation efforts, water will creep up from nearly every direction and slowly take over one of America’s largest metropolitan areas, potentially cutting off fresh water supplies; flooding roads, electrical infrastructure and airports; and ultimately leaving behind a horribly polluted shallow marine environment once known for warm nights filled with partying and socializing.
REGIONAL LEGISLATURE PASSES BUDGET
The regional legislature has passed its budget for the next fiscal year, totaling $327,688,983,000. This budget has a total operating surplus of $328m.
A budget which has seen increases in Medicaid and Public Assistance spending, being credited with expanding access to healthcare services in the South East and other minor regional welfare programs. A small slice has came from other areas of the previous South East budget however, which could represent savings made in pension funds, CHIP and other federal-regional partnerships.
As the first budget that Governor Sharp has presented and sent to the legislature, this is a major victory. It was passed via unanimous consent by the whole legislature. As a result, many in the South East are happy to see the regional government get work done quickly, especially on a budget which usually would draw a considerable amount of negotiation and other 'string pulling' from political forces. This is something that we saw with the most recent federal budget in Washington, which Governor Sharp was instrumental in passing - he seems to be developing an ability to pass budgets that everyone likes.
Many in the South East are particularly happy that this budget didn't raise any taxes. Residents in North Carolina were particularly happy because they are already seeing hikes in their energy prices this year. And other in Louisiana and Alabama are seeing some of their household costs go up. The budget works well in tandem with an economy that is, on the national level, quite strong.
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