Upsets don’t just happen.
If you look at House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s recent primary loss upset, there were a lot of factors that came together, ranging from Cantor’s detachment and focus on Washington politics to the Tea Party’s use of Cantor’s prominence as a symbol for the very thing they were asking voters to reject.
In 2012, the same thing happened to former Congressman Allen West. Then candidate Patrick Murphy, despite being outspent four-to-one, masterfully defeated West by running a perfect campaign that contrasted his balanced views and down-to-earth demeanor against West’s outrageous bomb-throwing rhetoric.
Both of these incumbents lost because they didn’t truly know their district, spend time with the people they were supposed to be representing, and were too focused on themselves and not the issues that mattered to their constituents.
I am focused on serving my community and making sure that they and all Americans have the opportunities necessary to succeed and provide for their families. My office isn’t rooted in DC; it’s rooted in the Florida communities I have been privileged to serve over the years. I know so many of you because we’ve met, not in DC, but in the churches, synagogues, local businesses, schools, and community centers throughout South Florida and the Glades.
That’s what representation should be, and that’s why if this election is about picking the candidate with a proven track record of service to resident’s of Florida’s 20th Congressional district, then I’m going to win.
Still, we can’t take anything for granted. We can’t assume, as Cantor and West did, that this is a given victory. It is a simple truth that fewer voters turn out for the mid-term elections, and that is what our opponents are counting on.
I have multiple challengers, but I’m the only one who knows that this race isn’t won by asking for support. It’s won by earning it.