Central Florida needs representation in Congress that puts local needs first. Real needs, like housing, health care and good jobs — not paranoid fantasies of stolen elections and COVID conspiracies. In two local races, that should make voters’ decisions easy.
U.S. House District 8 also offers a clear choice for people who are sick of extremism that teeters on the brink of dishonesty. Democrat Joanne Terry is a satellite systems engineer who started her career at a time when women faced an uphill battle in the aerospace industry, and is fully aware that she’s in another tough fight. Brevard County, where most of this district lies, has long been a breeding ground of right-wing excess, and according to George Washington University’s Program on Extremism, seven defendants in the Jan. 6 Capitol invasion were from Brevard.
We believe, however, that the vast majority of Brevard County voters have had enough —particularly since the incumbent in this area has veered so sharply toward the radical edge himself.
Bill Posey has abandoned the principled conservatism that marked his service in the Florida Legislature — which have earned him our endorsement in the past. Terry’s pragmatic, moderate stances are a far better fit for voters who care about the real issues facing most Floridians.
She understands the challenges of preparing this long, coastal county for the challenges climate change is already wreaking. She has smart ideas to ease the struggle of young space-industry employees to find affordable housing. And she is quietly adamant on the need to stop the insistent intrusions on Floridians’ personal lives, including attacks on reproductive rights.
She would be an appealing candidate in any matchup. Against Posey, any rational voter should find her to be a slam dunk.
Because Posey hasn’t just thrown in his lot with the current, reality-divergent GOP. He helped create it. He was one of the leading Congressional voices in the so-called “birther” movement that cast silly aspersions on former President Barack Obama’s qualifications to be president. And even before COVID, Posey had embraced cockamamie, anti-science positions, again leading the charge against vaccines known to be safe and effective. He’s flunked a critical math test as well: He voted against certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election despite clear evidence that Biden’s win was solid.
It’s time for him to go. It’s time for Brevard County to be represented by someone who values rationality over attention-grabbing rhetoric, and puts the needs of the majority of her constituents above the wild-eyed edicts of the small band of angry extremists who have gone from dangerous rhetoric to insurrection.
Joanne Terry is that candidate.