Bob Hackworth speaks about his bid for the democratic nomination in the district 10 congressional race

07/22/08 Arielle Stevenson
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**On August 26th three democratic candidates will compete for the District 10 congressional nomination. One of those candidates is Bob Hackworth, and if elected he will face 38 year GOP congressional veteran Bill Young. Hackworth has been Dunedin’s mayor since 2006, after only two terms as a city councilman. He was a lifelong republican but decided earlier this year to become a democrat in order to vote for Senator Obama. Hackworth supports ending the war in Iraq and has been outspoken in his opposition of offshore drilling. WMNF’s Arielle Stevenson spoke with Mayor Hackworth in his Dunedin campaign office today about the campaign.** 

So why was it important to you to run this time? Well you know I’ve spent an awful amount of time trying to build a great community here in Dunedin, and I feel like we have made great progress. But I feel like that great community is threatened greatly by the failed Republican policy of the last 8 years. That includes the president that includes congressman Young, which includes representatives and governors in Tallahassee. And I felt compelled to speak out and try to offer a different vision of what our future needs to be.

Congressman Young has been there for 38 years, that’s a long time for someone to be in place. How are you planning to tackle taking on someone who has been in place that long? Well you know I honor and respect his contribution as a congressman to Pinellas county for the last 38 years, but I really feel that this election more than any in recent memory is more about the future than the past. I very much feel that he runs on the past and what he has done. I just think that this is a time when voters are going to be concerned about the future and I think my vision of the future and the democratic platform is much more valid than what he offers as far as protecting and defending the past. * You have several other people that are also running against you, Samm Simpson and Max Linn. What you think makes you stand out against both of them as candidates? I think the most important thing people should consider in the democratic primary is who can actually beat bill young in the fall. I think the credibility I bring as a elected official, as mayor, as governing in a situation where we have a proven track record of success is going to be very important in the general election. I don’t think Samm or max bring that, and therefore I don’t think they compete very well in the general election. I think I do compete very well with him, because I can bring that credibility I have and the success that I have. And then again it can be an election of the past versus the future, not an election of Bill Young versus personality. We have quite a few republicans in this area what do you think some of the major issues that they may find it difficult for you to relate on? Well again that with the credibility I bring and talking about the future that I don’t have any issue reaching out to republicans and independents. I think that some of these issues are not partisan; the war is not a partisan issue, the economy is not a partisan issue, the environment is not a partisan issue. Solutions to those problems are what people are seeking and that’s what I am able to offer. Can you talk a little bit about how we can handle as Floridians the issue of offshore drilling being a possibility? Well I was just completely offended by the suggestion by republicans that this was their solution to the problem with gas. Because certainly anyone who has taken the time to understand the economics, understands that offshore drilling isn’t going to reduce the price at the pump anytime soon if ever. And yet we do have in Dunedin the number one beach in America and it is critically important to our economy and environment that it be protected. So I just thought it was pandering for votes to say that in four months you would be able to reduce the price of gas at the pump is ridiculous. The real solution is to try to look for alternative sources of energy, that’s what the democrats are offering and I’m sure that’s where we will go if we’re elected to the presidency. If you do get elected in the fall, what are some of the first things you want to do and what are the first things you want to change? Well I certainly will be supportive of the democratic administration to end the war as quickly as possible, as responsibly as possible. I think with the ending of the war and the tremendous financial burden that it places on our country, that we will be able to reinvest some desperately needed money back into our economy. And so there are some economic stimulus packages that the government can offer the people of Pinellas county that will create jobs and get the country growing again and eliminate some of this tremendous financial burden people are under.* And that was WMNF’s Arielle Stevenson speaking with Mayor of Dunedin and Democratic Congressional candidate for district 10, Bob Hackworth.

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