October 3, 2018 In The News, Media


Democrats believe they have in Sarasota attorney David Shapiro their best chance to unseat the Republican incumbent, six-term U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan. Shapiro’s moderate platform and broader feel for the three-county district make him the better choice.

Shapiro, 59, a civil attorney in Sarasota, offers an agenda that mixes traditional Democratic positions with greater attention to local concerns. He would focus on protecting Social Security and Medicare, and veterans services. Shapiro unequivocally opposes offshore oil drilling and supports legislation to protect the so-called Dreamers, younger undocumented immigrants brought to this country as children, even if that requires a comprehensive deal with Republicans on border security. He supports the Affordable Care Act but acknowledges some areas of the law need improving.

Buchanan, 67, is a Sarasota businessman who voted against the Affordable Care Act and for the Republican tax bill last year that will drive up the federal deficit. He is more moderate than his party on some issues. He opposes any expansion of oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, and he has been strong on veterans affairs. Still, his environmental record is lagging; the League of Conservation Voters gave his voting record a score of 9 percent last year.

Shapiro better understands the diverse needs of the district, which includes all of Manatee County, parts of Sarasota and the south Hillsborough communities of FishHawk, Ruskin, Apollo Beach and Sun City Center. His support for improved access to health care and diversifying the jobs base would well serve everyone from working families and veterans to younger professionals. Shapiro also wants new infrastructure spending to safeguard against rising sea levels and other threats from climate change, which pose a danger along the west coast to people, property and incomes.

For U.S. House District 16, the Tampa Bay Times recommends David Shapiro.