April Freeman to Vie for US House Dist. 17

Wed, Jan 6, 2016

Election 2016

Democratic congressional candidate April Freeman will run for Congress in District 17, which includes southern parts of Polk, as well as north and east Lee County, Charlotte, DeSoto and other mostly rural inland counties, and is now held by Rep. Tom Rooney, a Republican from Okeechobee.

“I want to go to Washington to make a difference, and I think a candidate like myself has a better chance of doing that in District 17,” Freeman said Thursday.

District 17’s boundaries changed under a new congressional district map the courts approved earlier this week. The redrawing was ordered after courts ruled months ago that the last redistricting violated gerrymandering rules.

While the district remains favorable for Republicans, the changes made it somewhat less so than before. The last Democrat who challenged Rooney in the former district got about 42 percent of the vote with virtually no money and a low profile race, and Freeman said she’s proven she can raise more funds and wage a credible active, campaign.

“I’d been thinking about this for a while,” Freeman said. “Then the new map was approved, and while it’s not a huge change, it does make some differences.”

She is not legally required to live in the district. Freeman, a Cape Coral resident, said she now lives near the line, but she may end up moving deeper inside the district because of family matters.

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Tags: District 17, US House, Freeman

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