My name is Danny Glidewell and I am announcing my candidacy for the Republican nomination for the District 5 seat in the Florida House of Representatives. District 5 encompasses all of Walton, Holmes, Washington, Jackson and northern Bay counties.
I share the view of many in our area that the state government in Tallahassee has drifted off course and needs to return to its core principles: the ideals of limited government, the notion of fairness and freedom for all, personal liberty and the rule of law. I have always believed that government service was a public trust and was an honor bestowed on those servants by our citizens, not a birthright for anyone.
Our economy continues to be stagnant and many of our citizens cannot find a job that pays a living wage. The people are not responsible for the decline in our economy; government is. It has overspent, overtaxed, and over-regulated. It has failed to deliver basic services within a fair and reasonable budget. At the same time, our leaders have cynically forced our loyal public servants; our teachers, firefighters and policemen, to pay a de facto 3% income tax and told our people this contribution will in some way "solve" the problem and allow the average taxpayer to pay less. Is spending so out of control and our political will to make difficult choices so weak that we must balance our budget by taking money from our loyal employees who have not had a meaningful raise in years? How can we look those long-term employees in the face when we turn around and give high ranking bureaucrats and political cronies large pay increases at the same time? These ill-conceived policies must be repealed immediately.
Our state, like our local and federal governments, needs to cut the waste out of our budgets. This does not mean sacrificing essential services but simply cutting out duplication and removing the state from interfering with our local governments. Our legislature continues to pass laws that allow bureaucrats in Tallahassee to have more control over how our teachers are paid and even how their job performance is evaluated than our elected local school board. They have passed laws that allow those same bureaucrats more say in whether our children are promoted from one grade to the next than our local teachers, administrators and Superintendent. I will work to repeal these laws and return the authority over our schools to our parents and local officials.
Those same elected officials who have placed a stranglehold on local education are simultaneously attempting to privatize one of the most basic of government services: the care, custody and control of those who break the law. They do this in a callous attempt to jettison state workers and force those who guard our safety to work for private companies at poverty wages. What we need is for the state government to acknowledge its responsibility as far as prisons and release control of education back where it belongs: the local school board.
All these things are possible; none of them will be easy. But the choice is clear. We can elect a clear voice fighting for our principles or an echo of the Tallahassee power-brokers.
I hope in the coming weeks to get a chance to talk to each of you and ask you for your vote and support.