The biggest politico issue affecting residents in Florida’s 18th congressional district is the preservation of the Indian River Lagoon and the St. Lucie River.Run-off from farmland is largely to blame for the pollution that has ravaged the local waterways in Martin and St. Lucie Counties, prompting both 2016 Republican and Democratic congressional candidates to try to get in front of the issue affected the two county’s local economy.
While all of the candidates seem to favor having local, state, and federal government working together to clean up the lagoon and river, two Republican candidates seem to be at odds over just how much federal dollars need to be allocated to the clean up.
During a Republican congressional forum at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida, combat veteran Brian Mast emphatically stated that he would go to Washington, D.C. and make sure every federal dollar possible is used to address the water problem.
Attorney Rick Kozell doesn’t believe that more federal spending will fix the problem.
In reality, the job of a congressman representing a particular district is to federally address any and all problems affecting his or her constituents.
“I don’t think the solution here is to find more money from Washington. I don’t think a congressman’s job is to argue for more funds.”-Rick Kozell
Kozell does drive home the point that states should have more control over the clean up, but for the time being, federal dollars are needed to assist in the ongoing efforts to restore the cleanliness of the local waterways.
Democratic congressional candidate Randy Perkins is also supportive of a “collaborative effort local, state, and federal governments” to eventually clean up Lake Okeechobee, as well as the lagoon and river.
“We must finally treat Lake Okeechobee and the resulting discharges like the major disaster that it is.”-Randy Perkins
Watch Mast and Kozell make their cases of how to clean up the Indian River Lagoon and the St. Lucie River: