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Pendergrass fitting replacement for Clawson

By Staff | May 25, 2016

To the editor:

Before I begin, I just want to take a moment to thank Congressman Curt Clawson (R-FL) for his service to Southwest Florida. Congressman Clawson served with honor and distinction, defending our constitutional values, and never once straying from the Principles of Liberty. Despite your opinions on his politics, it is undeniable he was an honorable man.

Now, with Congressman Clawson retiring from office, we as Republicans need to seek out someone who will continue his legacy. Our constitutional values are too great to sacrifice with an establishment pick. We need a Congressman who will truly represent ALL of Southwest Florida, who will stand for Liberty, and who will uphold the Constitution just as vehemently as Congressman Clawson has.

Upon thoughtful consideration, I have realized that there is only one man who can give US the command and rise up to fill what I can only assume are Congressman Clawson’s Size 13 basketball shoes… and that man is Commissioner Cecil Pendergrass.

Commissioner Pendergrass has been valiantly serving the public good for the past four years as a Lee County Commissioner. But even before that, he served the public as a law enforcement officer, dealing with everything from crime to mental illness (the latter of which we have discussed profusely on several occasions). Commissioner Pendergrass has always had a servant’s heart, a heart that compelled him to run for the County Commission, and a heart that has made him one of the most respected man in Lee County politics, on a bipartisan basis.

Since being in the County Commission, and dare I say through his guidance and leadership, Lee County has grown exponentially in business, bringing in businesses like Hertz, Zaxby’s, Wawa’s, and PDQ, with the latter being my current employer -so there’s at least one job the Commissioner helped build.

Commissioner Pendergrass has led on issues of limited government, lowering taxes and fees for everyone in the county, seeking out free market alternatives to government services, and cutting spending and red tape.

What must be Commissioner Pendergrass’s proudest achievement was his work in finally implementing term limits to the County Commission. With the help of his colleague, Commissioner Brian Hamman, the County Commission is limited to three terms. Both Commissioners Pendergrass and Hamman, and not to mention Commissioner Larry Kiker, understand that politics is not a career, it’s a service.

Commissioner Pendergrass knows he represents everyone in Lee County. Not just Republicans, but Democrats, Libertarians, and Independents. That’s why the Commissioner has an open door policy. He will always listen to you, even if he disagrees with you. Does this mean he will implement your platform? No. Commissioner Pendergrass works to limit the size and scope of government, but he will always listen to those who deter and try to work to come up with SOLUTIONS to the issues, instead of whining about them.

Commissioner Pendergrass has earned the respect of Republicans, Democrats, Independents, and Libertarians alike. He is there in the community every day, going to virtually every civic event and engagement. Even those not engaged in the political process knows Commissioner Pendergrass. Even my mother Kathryn, who is utterly baffled by the whole political process, knows Commissioner Pendergrass.

This is a man who I feel, if we send to Washington, will not be corrupted by Washington politics. He will always remember WHO he represents, and WHO is bosses are… and that is US.

I had pledged earlier this year not to endorse any candidate for local offices. I am breaking that pledge, because I feel that strongly that Commissioner Cecil Pendergrass should be Congressman Cecil Pendergrass.

I hope you all will join me in strongly urging Cecil to run and serve the People of Southwest Florida as their next Representative. You can call him at 239-533-2227 or email him at dist2@leegov.com

Sean Hartman

Fort Myers