Sept. 24, 2020 by David Silverberg
With 40 days until the election, a crucial debate coming up and voting about to begin, Democratic congressional candidate Cindy Banyai appears to be in the strongest position of any Democratic candidate since creation of Florida’s 19th Congressional District in 2010.
“I’ve proudly changed the game by being authentic, putting my principles first and putting my status as a mom up front,” she told The Paradise Progressive. “I think this kind of truthfulness in an era of deceit will ultimately be the compelling factor that elects a Democrat in this district.”
The 19th Congressional District of Florida covers the coastal area from Cape Coral to Marco Island in Lee and Collier counties.
On Wednesday, Sept. 23, Banyai (pronounced Ban-YAY, with a hard “a”) released an active schedule of debates with her opponent, Republican Byron Donalds. (See end of article for full schedule.)
“I want everyone in Southwest Florida to learn about my experience and readiness to fight for the people,” she said. “I know that once people in our region see that a mom like me wants to be their voice in Congress they’ll be excited to get out and vote.”
The fullest and most widely broadcast debate is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 28 at 8 pm. It is being broadcast by WGCU, the public television station on the campus of Florida Gulf Coast University. Banyai and Donalds will debate for one hour, questioned by Amy Bennett Williams, reporter for the Fort Myers News-Press, and John Davis of WGCU. Julie Glenn, news director of WGCU, will moderate. In addition to being broadcast it will appear on all of WGCU’s media platforms including radio, live streams and social media.
Since winning her primary on Aug. 18, Banyai has picked up numerous new endorsements: Andrew Ellison, Democratic candidate for Congress in the 17th Congressional District, just north of the 19th; Jacquelyn McMiller, Democratic candidate for mayor of Fort Myers; Sara McFadden, Democratic candidate for Florida House District 106; and Fort Myers Councilman Johnny Streets. Banyai has endorsed the candidates in turn. These join the numerous institutional endorsements she has received.
“On paper this district looks Republican, but it’s not necessarily Trumpian,” Banyai pointed out. “We’re reaching moderates and Bush Republicans through our message of family, service, and good governance. Our path to victory is clear and we have polling data that shows once people know there’s an option in me, we win.”
The day after the Banyai-Donalds debate, Tuesday, Sept. 29, Democratic former Vice President Joe Biden will debate Republican President Donald Trump at Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio. It will be nationally broadcast.
Upcoming debates and candidate forums:
- Sept. 24, 5:00pm – Florida Citizens Alliance Debate – First 150 people can join in person at 7100 Airport-Pulling Rd N, Naples, FL 34109 or view on the FCA website and Facebook page
- Sept. 26, 7:00pm – Kappa Alpha Psi Candidate Forum – View on Youtube
- Sept. 28, 8:00pm – News-Press/WGCU Debate – View on WGCU, News-Press website
- Oct. 3, 6:00pm – Dunbar Community Candidate Forum – Join in person at Quality of Life Center, 3210 Dr Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Fort Myers, FL 33916, view on Fox 4
- Oct. 7, 12:00pm – Tiger Bay Candidate Forum, $10 to join by Zoom, Register here
- Oct. 7, 6:00pm – Estero Bay Republicans Debate – Elks’ Club – 3231 Coconut Rd, Bonita Springs, FL 34134
- Oct. 26, 5:00pm – Collier Freedom Debate – Zoom, contact organization for details on joining
Liberty lives in light
© 2020 by David Silverberg