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Freeman, Steube cruise in District 17 primaries

September 5, 2018
By CHUCK BALLARO ( , Lehigh Acres Citizen

The race for the U.S. Representative District 17 seat produced two primaries for the first time in years.

Democrat April Freeman and Republican Greg Steube both won their primaries easily, sending them on a collision course in the Nov. 6 General Election to fill the seat being vacated by Tom Rooney, who chose not to seek re-election.

Freeman, who was the Democratic choice to run against Rooney two years ago and who ran in 2014 in D-19, got an unexpected primary challenge from Bill Pollard. She still won by a more than 3-to-1 margin, taking 76.94 percent of the vote (32,683) to Pollard's 23.06 percent (9,798).

"It's truly an honor and privilege to have earned the votes from so many Democrats throughout this vast nine-county district. This didn't come easy, this is the result of hard work years in the making. Now, the real hard work starts as we begin to change this longtime Republican district to give it the overdue Democratic representation it deserves in November," Freeman said in a statement.

Steube, currently a state senator in the 23rd District who fought a rather brutal campaign against Julio Gonzalez and Bill Akins, was an easy winner in taking 62.21 percent (47,349), more than triple of Akins' 19.33 percent (14,711) and Gonzalez, who took up the rear at 18.46 percent (14,048).

U.S Congressional District 17 encompasses northern Lee County - including North Fort Myers, Babcock Ranch, Alva and parts of Lehigh Acres and Buckingham - as well as parts of Polk, Highlands, Hardee, Hillsborough, DeSoto, Okeechobee, Charlotte, Manatee, and Glades counties, making it one of the largest districts in the state in terms of geography.

Steube supports the agenda of President Trump. He supports the Second Amendment, supports an immigration policy that does away with chain migration, backs the effort to build a border wall and seeks to end the visa lottery system.

Freeman has a more progressive agenda, with her focus on the environment, education, tax reform and getting dark money out of politics.



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