ORLANDO, Fla. – U.S. Rep Val Demings is leaving her congressional district to run for U.S. Senate. That means U.S. House District 10 is an open seat this year.
The district originally encompassed much of western Orange County, but it was redrawn by the Florida Legislature this year. The district now stretches through the center of the county, from the Pine Hills area across downtown and Winter Park to Bithlo.
The district historically has been majority Black and heavily Democratic. Critics of the redistricting map pushed by Gov. DeSantis and approved by the Florida Legislature say the new boundaries slightly dilute the Black vote. Indeed, the district now encompasses a more mixed minority in the county.
Running for the open seat are Republican Calvin Wimbish, Democrat Maxwell Frost, and two no-party-affiliate candidates, Jason Holic and Usha Jain.
Let’s take a closer look at the candidates.
Calvin Wimbish is a U.S. Army green beret, NJROTC instructor and Christian conservative activist.
Wimbish is running on a platform that includes shrinking the size of the federal government and paying down the debt, a varied energy portfolio (oil, wind, solar, nuclear), restoring pipeline production and school choice. He also advocates closing the borders, is anti-abortion and pro-gun rights and believes in championing “peace through strength.”
Maxwell Frost is a national organizing director for March For Our Lives and also has worked with the ACLU.
Frost advocates for progressive issues, including Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, tightening gun laws, increasing funding for biomedical research, legalizing recreational marijuana, abolishing the death penalty and instituting national protections for tenants and curbing real estate speculation to deal with housing affordability.
If elected, he would be one of the first Generation Z lawmakers in Congress at 25 years old.
Jason Holic is an executive with Experience Kissimmee and a UCF graduate who occasionally teaches at the school. He said he’s been a member of both major parties, but more often he’s not been affiliated with any party. Holic believes Florida needs more politicians without party affiliation.
Holic said he supports campaign finance reform, paid family leave, reforming adoption rules, improving and supporting public education, improving infrastructure, restoring the Everglades and curbing carbon emissions.
Usha Jain is a doctor in Orange County, specializing in emergency medicine and regenerative medicine. Jain said she is running because government should be more transparent and taxpayer dollars should be used more constructively.
She said she is for choice in health care and reducing red tape in government. She is anti-abortion and pro-school choice. An immigrant from India, she also believes in strict immigration enforcement and support for the police.
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