The primary election to choose a Republican candidate to represent our area in the U.S. House of Representatives is heating up, with the entry into the race by 35-year-old Trey Radel.
He’s the conservative former radio talk show host and TV news anchor here, who officially launched his campaign at a reception Thursday at Vergina Restaurant in Naples.
Marco Islanders mingled with 125 or so other interested potential voters from around Southwest Florida. Some of them had met Radel before. Others went to check him out in person for the first time.
Radel told the gathering he’s a conservative first and a Republican second and he emphasized the need to make the federal government fiscally responsible.
Most of the Marco Islanders who attended the event seemed to agree. Here’s a sampling of their answers to our question, “What do you want most in your member of Congress?”
Earle Messere: “I would like somebody who is at least as good as our current representative, Connie Mack. I pretty much agree with his policies, especially on fiscal matters.”
Susie Walsh: “I want someone who is trustworthy with fiscal responsibility. Down to earth. Not flamboyant. Someone who does what he says he’s going to do. Someone with good family and moral values.”
Carol Rosasco: “I’m looking for a representative who will actually represent the true will of the people and not be part of the old boy network. I’m also looking for a fiscal conservative.”
Maryann Fithian: “I want someone who is going to balance the government’s budget as much as I balance my personal budget. I want someone who is going to stand up for the government of this country and be proud to be a U.S. citizen, not someone who apologizes for the U.S. stands for abroad.”
Phyllis Gentile: “I want someone who is bright. Someone who is honest, sincere, and compassionate, someone who’s an independent thinker and I really don’t like the name-calling. I think they should be a little bit classier than that.”
Kara Grifoni: “I want someone who stands strongly by our constitution and what our founding fathers truly meant by it.”
Radel has a Marco visit on his schedule early next month. We assume other candidates in the congressional primary contest will campaign on the island as well and we’ll keep you posted.
A breakfast for the birds (and humans who love them)
If you love wildlife, especially the shore birds with which we share Marco’s great beaches, you may want to join other bird lovers at Tigertail beach Jan. 28.
It’s a free program to give islanders a chance to get their feet wet, literally if you wish, as you learn about the wintering shore birds at Tigertail lagoon.
“People who join us probably will get to see lots of different birds, including plovers, blue herons, white ibis, great white herons and more,” says Debbie Roddy, president of Friends of Tigertail.
“It’s the first time we’ve done this and we expect a good crowd.”
If you go, Debbie suggests you take your own coffee, doughnuts or whatever else you enjoy for a breakfast al fresco. Also, binoculars and cameras would be smart accessories for your birding adventure. Debbie recommends wading shoes too.
You don’t need to register; just show up at 9 a.m. at the picnic tables by the Tigertail kiosk at 400 Hernando Drive.
Good news continues to come in bundles
In case you missed the news, the excellent Bedtime Bundles organization is not closing after all.
Islander Dennis Pidherny has stepped up and will be the group’s volunteer executive director and his offer pretty much saved the charity that Karen Saeks founded several years ago.
Bedtime Bundles help address the most basic needs of many migrant children in the form of pillowcases filled with such items as pajamas, underwear, toiletries, blankets and more.
The materials are needed for kids from infancy to about age 15. Last year the organization collected 2500 bundles for the children of migrant families.
Chris Curle is a former news anchor for CNN and for ABC-TV stations in Washington, D.C., Atlanta and Houston. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don is a former ABC News correspondent and bureau chief and a former news anchor for CNN and ABC-TV in Atlanta. His Farmer File column appears Fridays in the Naples Daily News. E-mail: email@example.com.