Rep. Holly Raschein has been a champion for her Monroe County constituents and for those in need statewide. The Republican lawmaker has bucked her party to work across the aisle to support Medicaid expansion and pushed through the Florida Keys Stewardship Act to invest as much as $25 million a year to the Florida Keys for water-quality and land-conservation projects.
The Act creates a 10-year funding strategy that appropriates up to $25 million annually for the acquisition of conservation land and water-quality projects, such as storm and wastewater projects and canal-restoration projects.
This is game-changing stewardship on her part. She clearly recognizes just how valuable the Keys are environmentally and economically.
And, in a move that, unfortunately, could have come at great cost, Ms. Raschein voted to accept federal funds that would have provided healthcare to about 13,000 people in her district alone. She should be commended for putting principle — and people — before party.
She opposes drilling off Florida’s coasts, preferring investment in renewable energy; and supported the state buying Big Sugar’s land south of Lake Okeechobee to enhance water quality and the Everglades.
Her Democratic opponent, Dan Horton, is a political newcomer. A graduate of Florida International University’s law school, Mr. Horton rightly says that the district lacks affordable housing — another challenge the incumbent is working to alleviate — and that protecting the environment is among the most pressing issues there. At 31, he is a smart and earnest candidate who should better familiarize himself with the issues. Right now, he is no match for Rep. Raschein, who’s ability to get things done has been a boon for the district. For State Representative, District 120, the Herald recommends HOLLY RASCHEIN.