SWFL waterways key in Florida’s 19th District congressional election

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Ariel photo of Florida Everglades National Park via WINK News
Ariel photo of Florida Everglades National Park via WINK News

In Florida’s 19th District, the road to Washington runs through Southwest Florida’s waterways.

We have to address the environmental crisis,” David Holden said, a financial planner in Naples. “We think we have a very good shot of winning.”

Holden hopes to become the first Democrat to represent this part of Southwest Florida in more than three decades.

He has placed water at the forefront of his campaign platform. He said that his opponent, incumbent Republican Francis Rooney, does not have substance behind his stance on the environment.

“His record on the environment — I know it is very different than his rhetoric,” Holden said. “He says one thing, but his votes are terribly injurious to our environment.”

Rooney, however, has largely shrugged off that criticism.

“There’s only one car on the road that I have to worry about,” Rooney said, “and that’s mine.”

Rooney points to the acceleration of water quality projects during his time in congress.

We’ve gotten a billion point one for the dike and the Everglades projects in one month,” he said. “That’s more than the preceding eight years.”

But Holden insists that his opponent has not done enough to foster collaboration between the Federal government and the state.

“So what I want to do is bring people together to solve the problem,” Holden said.

Rooney said he has a relationship with the White House that Holden doesn’t, which will allow him to secure more funding allocation for water projects.

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