U.S. Rep. Greg Steube will defend his 17th Congressional District seat against challenger Allen Ellison in the Nov. 3 general election.

Steube, a Republican, is a native Floridian who represents Charlotte, DeSoto and parts of Sarasota County in Washington, D.C. A U.S. Army veteran, he is a strong advocate of Second Amendment rights who served during his first term on the House Judiciary, Oversight and Reform, and Veterans’ Affairs committees.

The Sun reached out to Rep. Steube through half-a-dozen phone calls, and an email requesting an interview. We talked three times with aides and requested either a virtual or in-person meeting. No one ever responded.

He has been a strong supporter of President Trump and spoke out against what he called “editorializing” by Twitter and other social media that he was were threats to the First Amendment and a danger to free and fair elections. His website carries a report where Steube was quoted saying “...Big Tech is overwhelming and these companies need to be held accountable for their clear ideological discrimination against conservatives.”

He also joined Brian Mast (R-Fla.) in criticism of using dangerous chemicals to control invasive species in Lake Okeechobee and said he favored alternatives such as mechanical harvesting. Steube said protecting Florida’s waterways were important to our future generations.

He blamed Democrats in Congress for problems passing legislation that would lower drug costs. And, he was able to pass a bill to waive special-use permit fees for veterans’ demonstrations and special events at war memorials administered by the National Park Service in the District of Columbia.

Ellison is a native of Highlands County and an example of an up-by-the-bootstraps success story. His wife of 18 years is a physician in Highlands County and he owns a salon and spa in Sebring.

He took an American government class in college that sparked his interest in politics and his belief that people in power can make a difference in lives.

“My Dad always told me everyone has a gift and my gift is helping others,” he told the Sun’s editorial board.

He worked for five years in Washington, D.C. before moving back home to Florida. He was a candidate against Steube in 2018 but entered the race only 30 days before the election after the untimely death of Democrat candidate April Freeman. This time Ellison said he has had time to prepare for a tough race.

“I think when you send someone to D.C. they should represent all the people,” Ellison said. “Rep. Steube is not representing his constituents.

“He twice voted against hurricane relief funds for Floridians. We need someone in Washington who will give us support. Not someone who won’t help you pick up the pieces (after a disaster).”

Ellison said Steube also voted against the stimulus bill that would provide financial relief to businesses nearly destroyed by the pandemic.

He said he would take no money from big businesses like Mosaic — which he claims dumps waste into the water system. Steube, he said, gets much of his campaign war chest from Big Sugar, Mosaic and other big spenders.

“In 2018 I debated Rep. Steube and asked him about the pollution in Lake Okeechobee and the blue-green algae and he said there was nothing he could do about it,” Ellison said.

“That’s not true. He can hold the polluters accountable.”

Ellison said everyone should have access to Medicare and if Obamacare is killed, there will be 50,000 people in this district without insurance. He is against offshore drilling and is not confident Trump, if re-elected, will keep his promise to protect Florida’s shores.

He said Social Security is a contract with Americans and Democrats and Republicans must do all they can to protect and expand it.

Ellison believes Americans have a right to protest but he said those who would riot are keeping America from moving forward “We need law and order but it should not be an excuse to run people over.”

He said he is against defunding police. Instead, he said, police need money for more training to learn to deal with situations when they encounter autistic people and other similar situations.

Ellison is smart and open to working with all members of Congress to help his constituents in Florida.

We like his approach and are disappointed that Steube did not interview with the Sun.

We recommend Democrat Allen Ellison for U.S. Congress, District 17.


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