On Tuesday, June 11, Pensacola, Gulf Breeze and southwest Escambia County will vote for who will replace the late Clay Ford as the state representative for District 2.
Walter Bryan Hill was the surprisingly strong winner of the Republican primary, thanks to outside help from the insurance industry and a series of statewide electioneering communication committees that funded a vicious slander campaign against former Gulf Breeze Mayor Ed Gray, III. There was even one mailer that somehow tied the conservative Gray with Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama.
It didn’t matter that Walter doesn’t live in District 2. No, Walter lives in Marcus Point, where Clay Ingram is the state representative.
It didn’t matter that Walter changed his name to Mike in 1994 after he was hit with a federal tax lien.
It didn’t matter that Walter doesn’t have any members in his Tea Party of Northwest Florida, which he founded and serves as its president.
Walter won the Republican primary for State House District 2.
This paper isn’t endorsing Walter. We despise double-talk. How can Walter claim to be an outsider when he is clearly tied to some of the biggest insiders in Tallahassee?
But, alas, that has always been the problem with the Tea Party. The truth never matches its rhetoric. The facts never quite add up. And when all else fails, blame Nancy Pelosi.
Sorry, Walter. The Independent News is endorsing Jeremy Lau, the Democratic candidate in this special election. Like Walter, Lau is a veteran. He got his college degree in history from the University of West Florida and taught in the Santa Rosa County school system.
Walter is an agent for State Farm Insurance, the company that canceled in 2010 the policies of nearly a fifth of its 714,000 customers. At the time, the company said it was the direct result of its failure to win a 47.1 percent rate increase from state regulators.
Walter will look after State Farm and help them with their next rate increases. Jeremy Lau will worry more about the ratepayers.
Today, Lau is an aircraft mechanic with L-3 Vortex on NAS Pensacola and the president of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, Local 2777. He works with his hands, understands the difficulties of taking care of his family in these tough economic times and has shown that he cares more about people than corporations.
Vote for Jeremy Lau on June 11.