To the editor:
If you have been concerned about the tone of the current political atmosphere, you should be encouraged. Last Saturday the SW Florida Citizens Alliance sponsored a candidates' forum, inviting all the congressional candidates. The Cape Coral First Baptist Church generously provided their sleek, modern sanctuary to the audience of approximately 155.
Four candidates showed up for their "job interview:"
Paige Kreegel, M. D., Curt Clawson, Michael Dreikorn, Ph.D., and Ray Netherwood. The Democrat candidate, April Freeman and Lizbeth Benacquisto did not choose to attend.
The moderator, Jim Watkins posed tough, thoughtful and salient questions ranging from U.S. involvement in the Ukraine to the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
Each candidate was given two minutes to respond to each question.
And the responses were measured, civil and thoughtful. There was no heckling from the audience. There was no disrespect on the stage. The audience respected the candidates and the candidates respected each other. (Big surprise, if you've watched TV, or opened your mail box!)
All four are extremely intelligent. They bring a lifetime of business and/or administrative experience. All four are imbued with traditional American values and common sense.
They all risk a lot to stand for office.
Naturally, some answers resonated with me more than others. I personally prefer the family man with the consistent conservative eight-year track record of representing Southwest Florida. But, that aside, we left that forum feeling that if any of these gentlemen represented District 19, we would be well served.
There are more forums. Come out to meet your candidates. Make your own decision. Don't allow your vote to be purchased by expensive ad campaigns. I think you will make an educated choice, and you will feel better about politics in general.