A Democrat who has dubbed himself the "practical liberal" is
planning to challenge U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Longboat Key, for
re-election to Congress.
Bradenton resident Mitch Mallett, who for nearly 8 years has been
the host of a liberal AM radio talk show, said he plans to file to
run for the 16th Congressional District, which includes all of
Sarasota and most of Manatee County.
"I've been involved in politics for a long time," said Mallett,
who has been involved with the Manatee Democratic Party since 2000.
"I think I would be a good congressman."
Mallett, 57, said he has a good grasp of the issues and is
convinced he can win voters over if he can get his message out.
One of his top issues Mallett said will be fighting for a higher
minimum wage, which he said would reduce the need for working people
to need food stamp programs to feed their families.
Mallett said he has filed his papers to run for the office, but
the Federal Election Commission had not posted a statement of
candidacy from Mallett as of Friday morning. A statement of
candidacy and an official campaign account are required to run for
Mallett has never run for office before and will have a tough
battle if he qualifies to run. Buchanan is a four-term incumbent who
spent $2.6 million to win his re-election in 2012 against Sarasota
Democrat Keith Fitzgerald.
The district Mallett is hoping to win is considered a Republican-
leaning district because registered Republicans outnumber registered
Democrats. The 16th District has about 210,000 registered
Republicans compared to about 155,000 Democrats. Another 100,000 are
registered to vote with neither of the two major parties.
Mallett's "It's Your Gavel" radio show ran on Bradenton-based
WWPR 1490 AM for years. Mallett now runs the show on the Web only at
Buchanan on budget negotiations
When a special committee of House and Senate officials begin
meeting to hammer out a budget compromise, U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan
is hoping they will all be open to public scrutiny.
Already, the first meeting scheduled for this week is set to be
open to the media, but with no assurances other meetings will be,
Buchanan is going public with his efforts to make sure the public
gets a full airing of the negotiations.
"The critical decisions made by the budget conference committee
should be conducted under the watchful eye of the American people,"
Buchanan said last week. "They deserve to know the severity of
Washington's spending addiction."
In all, 28 House and Senate members were appointed to the special
committee to hash out the budget deal. …