Following special election victories by Democrats across the country, many pundits are hypothesizing a “blue wave” in 2018. We’ll see if that’s the case come Nov. 6, but one thing we do know is that Democrats are contesting more elections in previously Republican-held districts, including some right here on the Treasure Coast.
Nicole Haagenson is one such candidate for a seat that went uncontested in 2016, House District 54, which encompasses Indian River County and parts of Northern St. Lucie County.
An Air Force veteran, she is running on local issues like the sustainability of Indian River Lagoon and Treasure Coast beaches, Medicaid expansion to close the uninsured gap in the district, and increased funding for public schools in a state where our teachers are paid $9,000 below the national average.
When elections are contested, it gives residents the opportunity to confront the issues. It gives candidates the opportunity to connect with the district.
For example, in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District the opioid epidemic and labor unions took center stage when they had been absent in the past.
Contested elections make party leaders take a district seriously.
House District 54 residents could use this, especially after the the Republican-powered state Legislature wrapped up without thoughtfully addressing beach erosion, the health of our intracoastal waterways like the Indian River Lagoon, or the Brightline trains.
Hats off to Haagenson for doing what no Democrat would do in 2016.
By putting her campaign motto, “Service Before Self,” in action, she is making the 2018 election serve the people of Indian River and St. Lucie Counties and the issues they care about, which is why I urge everyone to consider voting for her when November comes. Learn more at nicolehaagenson.com
Evan MacKay, Vero Beach