|Rep. Greg Steube|
In 2010, Bob McCann vied for the Republican nomination for one of Manatee County's state house seats, along with political first-timer Greg Steube. Steube easily won the primary before moving on to win in the general election. This cycle, McCann is challenging Steube in the general as an independent candidate. McCann has attacked Steube for being lock-step with the Republican political machine and says he would represent the people of the district, rather than party bosses.
McCann has had difficulty, however, in clearly articulating exactly what he'd do differently. In the only televised debate between the two (click here to watch), McCann fumbled through explanations of his positions on education and charter funding, as well as Citizens property insurance, expressing a position that was similar in principle, if vaguely different in application, than his opponent's.
In contrast, Steube was specific and poised in his articulation and demonstrated a good command of major issues, seeming to have absorbed much in his two years on the job. The one-term representative voted mostly the party line in his first two sessions, though he did show a willingness to buck the status quo on issues that were important to his district, most notably in opposing an effort to reduce funding for a criminal diversion program.
Steube voted with his party on most major issues, including the property insurance bill, teacher merit pay and FRS pension reform. His signature legislation was a law he sponsored that makes it much harder for divorced parents to falsely allege sexual abuse to restrict visitation.
He also sponsored a bill which passed and was signed by Governor Scott that removes a provision in Florida law that would have allowed local governments to force shopping centers to pay to install security cameras on their property, as well as the Wounded Warrior Act, opening certain parts of state parks for disabled veterans. Stuebe hopes to be able to continue to work toward solutions in home foreclosures.
McCann says that he wants to focus on expanding services to veterans, which he says are lacking in the state. McCann and Steube both favor expanded use of vouchers and charter schools, though they differ on their preferred approach, with McCann saying spending in that area needs to be from separate funding, rather than taken from public school funds. Both agree that privatization of state services can be a boon, though both were wary of prison privatization, a hallmark of the state Republican party.
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