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Elections 2016

Congressional District Two Candidates Disagree On Terrorism, Work For Compromise

Florida Supreme Court
The approved Congressional districts for the 2016 election

A Republican candidate for Congressional District Two is focused on taking down terrorism, while a Democratic candidate wants to work across the aisle. The new Congressional District Two runs from Bay County down to Levy. It includes the southeast to central part of Leon County.

  A Republican candidate, Ken Sukhia, wants to beef up troops in the Middle East in order to fight the so-called Islamic State.

“When ISIS was chopping people’s heads off, and they were burning children alive, and they were burying people alive, that was the time in my view that our president should have acted with all force," Sukhia says in studio during WFSU's Political Perspectives on Wednesday. "Men on the ground. Boots on the ground, to stomp them out then.” 

And the former U.S. Attorney says he’s the one to crack down on terrorism.

“Who better to tackle this than someone who’s actually fought the terrorist," he says, "than someone who’s actually put them behind bars? Who’s looked them in the eye and prosecuted them? Neither of the other opponents on the Republican side can say that they’ve done any such thing.” 

However, Democratic Candidate Walter Dartland argues more troops on the ground is not the answer.

“The military industrial complex: we received a warning about that from Eisenhower," Dartland says on the show via phone from New York. "The military has grown. I mean it’s huge.”

Instead, he thinks the country should reevaluate its place in global conflicts.

“The question is should we be the policeman for all the world?" Dartland says. "Is this our responsibility? Do we not remember what happened to the English Empire when they expanded beyond where they could capably handle it?

"Do we want to continually use our funds to support military actions as opposed to supporting social programs that are critical such as education, such as free junior college for everybody, such as better medical care, such as taking care of our own citizens?”

Dartland says if elected, he wants to focus on issues where Republicans and Democrats can find a compromise. Sukhia says he would be open to compromising on some issues, but on many he draws a hard line.

“Free college education," Sukhia replies. "I would have a hard time quote ‘compromising’ on that, because I don’t think that’s the proper Constitutionally-authorized purpose of the government … When you say free ... how is it free? How is anything like that free unless administrators are willing to work without pay, and teachers are willing to work without pay, and students don’t have to buy books. Somebody has to pay for it.”

Political Perspectives has been interviewing candidates for local elections throughout the month of July. Later this week, WFSU's Tom Flanigan will sit down with the candidates for Congressional District Five and Second Judicial Circuit State Attorney.

Listen to Wednesday's full the podcast here.