Wasserman Schultz faces 2 high profile challengers for District 23 congressional seat

(WSVN) - The battle for a South Florida congressional seat is not just between a Democrat and a Republican this time around. 7’s Craig Stevens breaks down the three-way-race for District 23.

Democrat Debbie Wasserman Schultz vs. Republican Joe Kaufman vs. Independent Tim Canova.

These three candidates are vying for one spot in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz: “People want to have a representative who’s going to stand up for what matters to them.”

Joe Kaufman: “It’s my dream to serve in U.S. Congress, and I really believe that I need to be there.”

Tim Canova: “I am reaching out to Republicans as well as Democrats and Independents.”

Florida’s 23rd Congressional District includes parts of coastal Miami-Dade and a large part of Broward County.

Incumbent Wasserman Schultz has served in Congress since 2005.

Nova Southeastern University law professor Tim Canova ran against her and lost in the 2016 Democratic primary.

Now he’s back trying to unseat the longtime congresswoman.

Tim Canova: “If I’m elected, I’ll be the only independent in the house of representatives. I mean, that’s incredible when you think about it.”

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz: “I’ve never focused on my opponents in my elections. I focus on the people that I’d like to continue to represent.”

Joe Kaufman’s background is in counter-terrorism research.

The Republican has also run and lost against Wasserman Schultz in the past.

But Kaufman says this time his campaign will benefit from the three-way race.

Joe Kaufman: “We believe they are going to split the Democrat vote, and I’m going to be serving as U.S. Representative come January.”

The candidates have plenty to say on issues that are key to winning support here.

Wasserman Schultz and Canova have called for tougher gun control, including a ban on assault rifles in the wake of the Parkland shooting.

Kaufman — a strong Second Amendment supporter — says the focus should be on school security.

Joe Kaufman: “I don’t think we should politicize that issue. I think what we need to do is actually have safety measures in place, like armed guards, like metal detectors, like proper fencing. Those things are very important.”

On healthcare, Kaufman favors more insurance company competition to try to drive down costs.

Both Canova and Wasserman Schultz support Obamacare and expanding health coverage to more people.

And they agree on many traditional Democratic issues like addressing climate change.

Tim Canova: “The projections of how much of our communities, our homes, are going to be underwater in 25 years and in 100 years should be alarming.”

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz: “Fighting to make sure that we can protect our environment, particularly from the onslaught that has come from Donald Trump since he’s been president and Republicans in Congress. Those are the kinds of priorities that are important to my constituents.”

There is a fourth candidate in the race.

Independent Don Endriss is running in what he calls the “Tech Party.”

If you want to learn more about this race, the others or those amendments that appear on the ballot, visit wsvn.com.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Broward Sample Ballot
https://www.browardsoe.org/Voter-Information/Sample-Ballot

Miami-Dade Sample Ballot
https://www8.miamidade.gov/global/service.page?Mduid_service=ser1511964640434245

Website for Debbie Wasserman Schultz:
https://www.debbiewassermanschultz.com/

Website for Joe Kaufman:
https://kaufmanforcongress.com/

Website for Tim Canova:
https://timcanova.com/

Website for Don Endriss:
http://www.donendriss.com/

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