On My STEM Background and Election Prospects: Seeking the 314 Action PAC’s Endorsement

I am seeking an endorsement from the 314 Action PAC which seeks to elect scientists to political offices at all levels. Here, I lay out my strong STEM background and discuss my election prospects and why 314 Action should endorse and support me.

About my science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) background:

I teach EME 2040: Introduction to Technology for Educators at University of Central Florida. I have a PhD in Education from UCF in the Instructional Design & Technology track where I researched the financial literacy of preservice teachers for my dissertation. I also completed an advanced graduate statistics certificate.

I have a refereed academic journal article (as 4th author) on a digital engineering and computer science testing and remediation center at UCF, an SSRN article on climate change, and I have co-edited an academic anthology published by IGI Global on K–12 online and blended learning. My dissertation has been published as an e-book by The International Society for Technology, Education and Science (ISTES), and I am co-chairing two virtual academic conferences for ISTES in July 2020. I am a co-author on another refereed article on high-stakes 7th grade civics testing in Florida and a co-editor on another forthcoming book from ISTES on parents’ involvement with their middle schoolers’ mathematics homework and e-learning.

About my general election opponent, my prospects as a candidate, and the 2020 race for Florida’s 6th Congressional district:

The incumbent Congressman is Lt. Col. Michael Waltz and he is running for his 2nd term. The prior Congressman for this district was Ron DeSantis who won his gubernatorial race in 2018.

Waltz is a Green Beret and former never-Trumper who now fervently supports Trump and appears frequently with him. He has served in Afghanistan, worked closely with Dick Cheney, and ran companies selling weapons systems in Libya when the 2012 Benghazi attack happened.

I think Waltz is more vulnerable than people think. Donald Trump co-opted the Republican party and radicalized the American people. The GOP looks especially bad now with their rampant corruption and disastrous mishandling of the coronavirus crisis.

I’ve talked with Ambassador Nancy Soderberg and Dr. Stephen Sevigny already. They are not interested in running again. Soderberg was well-connected and a tremendous fundraising powerhouse but lost this race by 13 percentage points in 2018, despite thinking it was a toss-up.

However, I think in 2020, a fresh candidate like myself has a chance of winning, even with a scrappy campaign. My positions are considered very liberal (universal healthcare, universal basic income, Green New Deal), which conventional wisdom says will not work in a district like this. I disagree. I think people are getting quite sick (literally) from the status quo, and the Republicans won’t be able to run on a strong economy when coronavirus has kicked off an economic depression of unprecedented ferocity, as well as a public health crisis that may claim 250,000 American lives.

Another advantage is I was born in Daytona Beach and have lived in the district my whole life, unlike past and present candidates and representatives. We also have felon re-enfranchisement for the first time ever, and the Florida Democratic party and local Democrats are doing a fantastic job of getting Democrats registered to vote, including vote-by-mail. The wind is at our back.

Why the 314 Action PAC should endorse me:

I started campaigning on January 2, 2020 as a political neophyte. Up until 3/12/2020 when coronavirus took hold, I attended 31 meetings / events including festivals, Daytona State College events, parades, canvassing, Democratic galas and meetings, and met all of the Democratic leadership in Volusia, Flagler, Lake, and St. Johns counties. I have been warmly received and learned a lot quite quickly. An endorsement from 314 Action would be a great boost to my campaign, and with my background, experience, and expertise, I believe I am an ideal candidate and potential spokesperson for your political action committee.

Thank you for reading. Please donate to my campaign. Even if you live outside Florida’s 6th Congressional district, this is a race you can make a real difference in.

Please also check and update your voter registration and get registered to vote-by-mail. You can do it all online. If you are a registered independent who votes Democratic, please switch your registration to the Democratic party. Think of this like the Census—more registered Democrats means a “safely” Republican district becomes less safe, which opens the floodgates for support and funding to get Democrats elected, not just to Congress but also to our state legislature, city and county governments, and school boards.

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