On last Thursday’s “First Coast Connects” (a radio program on Jacksonville’s NPR affiliate), independent congressional candidate Troy Stanly told host Melissa Ross that his decision to run against five-term incumbent Rep. Ander Crenshaw, R-Jacksonville, was an easy one: “If they don’t get [the TARP plan] right, I’m not just going to not vote for them, I’m going to run against them.”

He also again called out Crenshaw for his ties to industries suspected of polluting the St. Johns River. Listen to the interview after the jump:

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Ross pointed out that, in addition to the hurdle of running against well-known Crenshaw, Stanley is faced with the challenge of running as an independent. Though he is a registered Republican who identifies himself as conservative, Stanley knew that, had he entered the race as a Republican, the decision would have been made up by the party and not the people: “I decided to run as a no-party affiliate … to open up the race to a broad cross-section — everybody — so that they’d have a chance to vote.”

Reiterating what he told The Florida Independent regarding Crenshaw’s involvement in an amendment rider that would block funding to the EPA, Stanley told Ross, “It’s 2010, why are we polluting the river? … There are some big polluters … and there should be standards set. I don’t think that we can go to zero pollution today, but there should be standards set.”

Stanley alluded to Crenshaw’s claims that “better science” is needed before nutrient standards can be implemented in Florida waters. “I believe if we wait on perfect science, we’ll never get anything done,” he said. “There’s good science, there’s good common-sense logic out there that says to stop polluting and go towards zero pollution to restore the river to its natural state.”

Stanley, a Navy veteran and hot-dog vending company owner, said that long-term politicians like Crenshaw are often guilty of “losing touch with the common person” and that “people feel disconnected from who’s representing them.”

Only a few hours after Thursday’s show aired, Stanley made an appearance at Jacksonville’s River Roundtable, a forum addressing issues of pollution in the St. Johns. After the initial discussion, Jacksonville City Council President Jack Webb opened the dialogue to the public, and Stanley took full advantage. After questioning the Department of Environmental Protection’s lack of point-source limits, Stanley told an agency rep he “didn’t want to politicize, but the issue is political.”

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