Collier Newspaper Endorses Diaz-Balart, but Suggests He Take a Page Out of Garcia's Book

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Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart's district covers most of the geographic area of Collier County. Much of that is swamp land, and he only represents about 24% of the County's electorate, and the Collier voters represent less than 8% of the District 25's total population. So the endorsement of the County's main newspaper, The Naples Daily News, is of little consequence. And it's of little surprise that the right leaning paper in the right leaning county would choose to endorse the Republican incumbent.

The News says Diaz-Balart made good on his promise to fairly represent the Collier portion of the gerrymandered district. Though, they compliment Joe Garcia for being "credible and committed to public service" and even suggest Diaz-Blart should "[take] a page from Garcia’s platform, which seeks ways to help people stay in their homes."

What is surprising is that in the same editorial the paper chose to endorse the Democratic challenger, Bob Neeld, for the House seat that represents most of Collier's population, in a district that leans heavily Republican.

That incumbent is Connie Mack IV, son of Florida's former Senator Connie Mack III. What makes the endorsement even more shocking is that Neeld has little chance of winning. CQ Politics forecasts the race as 'Safe Republican', and other organizations aren't even bothering to track it. The Daily News' main point of contention is that Mack has falling out of touch with the district, and primarily lives with his wife, California Congresswoman Mary Bono in Virginia.

This is a sharp contrast to the way The Herald has issued their congressional "recommendations" this season. In all but one case they've lined up behind the incumbent, carefully noting the perceived political leanings of the district.

--Kyle Munzenrieder

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