Since blogging about the tabloid-style Tampa Bay Times reporting about my campaign by Mark Puente, I have finally gotten questions from Puente that are more fair and actually allow me to talk about the merits of this campaign. This interview has not been published in The Times yet, but here is a sneak preview of my answers. Let’s compare it to what The Times actually covers:
How is the campaign going?
We have refocused our campaign to address the impact of Red Tide/Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) on public health and our beachfront economy. Half of my district runs along the Gulf and my constituents are facing serious challenges. Poor air/water quality has reduced tourism and small businesses and workers are feeling the impact.
What makes you a better candidate than your opponent?
All of my donations come from people and small businesses, not special interests or polluters.
Peters has accepted donations from major polluters and has voted for state laws that threaten our water, environment and public health. I never will.
What is your strategy to reach as many voters as possible in the coming weeks?
I have worked mobilize my party to work collectively toward a Blue Wave. This is why may campaign slogan is Come Together Right Now: there is strength in unity.
What is your plan to move Pinellas County forward?
I am a green economy leader who will represent a beachfront economy that is confronting environmental challenges such as Red Tide, sea level rise and climate change. I plan to protect our natural resources and grow a strong beachfront economy.
What are your three biggest campaign priorities?
I drafted a policy plan to mitigate the impact of Red Tide/HABs that includes:
- Protecting public health with proper research, signage, and education.
- Giving grants and low-interest loans to small business to help them recover.
- Strengthening water, land and environmental management policies to reduce the impact of Red Tide/HABs now and in the future.
My full plan is on my website: https://amykedron.com/2018/10/07/amys-red-tide-plan/
How are you overcoming the lack of name recognition in a Republican district?
I lead in times of crisis and I focus on our common interests: a healthy environment, strong community and thriving economy. I have earned the respect and support of several Republican voters.
Peters raised $41,000 in the last reporting period. You raised $300. How will you overcome a well-funded opponent?
Candidates should be leaders first, not piggy-banks. As soon as Red Tide / Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) impacted my district, I stopped fundraising to help.
I held a town hall meeting, interviewed those impacted and worked with experts to draft policies to address the short and long-term impact of toxic algae on public health and the local economy.
Have you sent any mailers throughout District 6?
Is there anything I should know about your campaign?
I started my leadership career at the age of 19 overseeing a $6 million budget and managing personnel for over 50 full-time workers. Area leaders have said I have the most impressive resume they’ve ever seen.
UPDATE: I posted this interview to my blog on 10/11/18, the day I e-mailed my interview answers to Mark Puente. I did this to ensure transparency. On 10/14/18 Kathleen Peters announced on television that she was suspending her campaign to assist with Hurricane Michael relief. Only after Kathleen’s announcement did Mark Puente run parts of this interview on 10/15/18. Read it here. Read about new evidence that confirms that Kathleen Peters knew and understood the malicious intent of my campaign coverage by the Tampa Bay Times here. The Tampa Bay Times is the only major newspaper in our region and it holds itself out as the recipient of 12 Pulitzer Prizes. It has tremendous influence over political races in this area and has recently been sued for defamatory coverage of Democratic candidate Jeff Greene for $500 Million. They settled out of court for an undisclosed sum.