Florida voted water this week. Now we have an opportunity to make history in November. And we owe a debt of gratitude to thousands and thousands of people who cast ballots to give future generations the chance to experience this place the way it used to be. Maybe you’ll never get the thanks you deserve, but we’re grateful for every vote that pushed clean water over politics on Tuesday night.
Things are different this year. Until recently not many people noticed that sugarcane was discreetly funding candidates from both parties. And quietly controlling our water policy. This week, people noticed.
This election was supposed to be a formality for Adam Putnam–a business trip before moving into the governor’s mansion. As the only gubernatorial candidate unabashedly taking money from Florida Crystals and US Sugar, Putnam was confident his record of sugar-friendly pollution policies wouldn’t hinder his stroll to Tallahassee. He was wrong. Instead Florida’s next top state official will be someone who openly acknowledges the sugarcane industry’s role in our water management crisis and publicly refuses to be bought off.
Chris King won’t be our next governor, but his political courage changed the race and pushed both parties’ uncomfortable relationship with sugarcane out of the shadows. No one spoke louder about the influence wielded by two billionaire families over politics and water in Florida. King provided a rare counterweight to the industry’s power, and until we can go toe-to-toe with unlimited money and compromised officials at every level, leadership like his is our best answer. Candidates like Chris will always have our support.
Watch the video below for a reminder of the guts and compassion Chris King showed, taking on sugarcane burning–an issue that neither Republicans nor his fellow Democrats have found the integrity to take on.
Voters will have Bullsugar-supported choices from both parties on the November ballots, thanks largely to you. But we haven’t really won anything yet. From coast to coast toxic blooms are getting worse, killing off our fisheries, choking our economy, and posing a major human health threat that too many lawmakers are unwilling to confront. We have work to do.
But this week you and Bullsugar supporters around Florida put us all in position to make 2019 a turning point in the fight for clean water.