Why I endorse Vito Sheeley

Dear Editor:

We are truly living in troubled times, yet what some might even describe as the most promising times. I honestly can understand both thoughts depending upon the viewpoint. Some may say our political leaders have failed us, and others might say that the influx of non-traditional candidates into the political arena is promising indeed.

In our community, I see an opportunity to make great strides in every area of concern. What is needed for such times as these are candidates who understand the challenges firsthand and who are passionate about change.

Vito Sheeley is one such person. The present times dictate the need for collaboration and unity across racial, ethnic, sexual orientation, place of birth and organizational backgrounds. Vito is the person for that level of experience and political maturity.

He has shown his ability and willingness to represent all of the District 70 voices. He lives in the struggles, and I have noticed that he isn’t afraid to fight for what’s right. I stand with him because what you see is what you get. He means what he says, and he says what he means.

We have had enough of forked tongued representation that sells us out to the highest bidder and truly does not represent the people. The times demand leadership that is not for sale, but leadership that has the cares and concerns of all citizens in their hearts, in their resolve and at the core of why they run for office.

Vito Sheeley is that leader.

I stand with Vito when he stresses that education should be our number one priority. We are witnessing the dismantling of public education in our state, so investing in our children’s future is critical.

And we need leaders who understand this and are willing to go toe-to-toe with the powers that be. That is why I have also endorsed Rene Flowers for District 7 School Board member. Our children need firm and bold voices.

In every segment of our community, families are increasingly under attack for their very existence. I have watched Vito bring together nonprofits and other organizations to support and fight these concerns. This ought to be a game changer for anyone who was planning to vote any other way. Vito cares about families and not when it’s an opportunity to line his own pockets.

Recently, we have witnessed firsthand the racial overtones and undercurrents of Florida’s “stand your ground” law. I went to Clearwater on several occasions and stood with and prayed over the McGlotckton family. I stood with Rev. Al Sharpton and civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump.

Vito has said that he won’t rest until every one of his constituents has access to the American Dream. Racially-biased sentencing, laws that drag children into our justice system for non-violent youthful mistakes and practices that make it almost impossible to reintegrate into society are compounding the cycle of poverty.

We know that Vito will bring together law enforcement and the community to create a fair and just system because he shows up and he speaks at the rallies while the other candidate hides behind his rich corporate donors, people who could care less about the social and criminal injustices in our nation.

We don’t want a handout. We want jobs that we can take pride in and raise a family on. Vito has already shown that he focuses on job training, technical skills and employer recruitment so that we have access to higher wages.

As I ponder and explore my own run for political office in the near future, it is people like Vito that I know I could link up with in making our region the best that God would have us to be. That is why I most strongly endorse Vito Sheeley to be our next District 70 House of Representatives member.

Vito needs your help and VOTE to make an impactful change in our community.

Elder Dr. G. Gregg Murray, Pastor, Mt. Zion Primitive Baptist Church

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