The race for Florida’s District 2 seat is growing increasingly heated in the final weeks leading up to the November election. Republican Steve Southerland, a funeral homeowner, and Panama City native is challenging Democratic incumbent Allen Boyd to act as a representative of a district that encompasses Tallahassee, which sits in the overall liberal county of Leon.
Though self-proclaimed “Blue Dog Democrat” Boyd has his liberal status to lean on, Southerland has the ever-popular “political outsider” status that has led to primary victories for political newcomers like Delaware’s Christine O’Donnell.
In recent weeks, a rash of negative campaign ads has led to a war of words between Southerland and Boyd. The National Republican Congressional Committee unveiled an ad in September linking Boyd to Nancy Pelosi. The ad claims that Boyd “sides with Nancy Pelosi and he is killing our jobs.” During an August campaign tour in support of GOP candidates, NRCC Deputy Chairman Greg Walden said, “I know I speak for Chairman Pete Sessions, the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, when I tell you from the NRCC’s standpoint, we are all in — all in to win this seat back.”
Boyd fired back at Southerland in an ad released on Shame on Steve, a site run by the Florida Democratic Party. The ad shows a young Iraqi War veteran expressing his distrust for Southerland based on a short clip in which he says, “You will cease to exist. It should be gruesome.” In a Tuesday press release, Southerland denounced Boyd for “pulling quotes out of context … in an effort to mislead Second District voters about Southerland’s steadfast support for our brave men and women in uniform.”
From the release:
I have grown accustomed to Allen Boyd lying about me and my values, but I am ashamed that he would use our brave troops as pawns in his political attacks…As Republicans and Democrats, we all want to ensure the safe return of the young men and women fighting to protect our freedoms overseas. Twisting my support for our military represents the lowest form of political smears.
It is time to rise above politics and find solutions to the challenges facing North and Northwest Florida. Mr. Boyd has proven, both through his liberal voting record and his nasty campaign tactics, that he can’t be trusted. The Second District deserves better, and I am prepared to lead where Allen Boyd has failed.