One is a former deputy chief of staff for the governor. The other is a former drug councilor turned stay-at-home mom.
Despite their differences, both believe they should go to Tallahassee to represent Cape Coral in the 77th District of the State House of Representatives.
Dane Eagle, winner of the GOP primary in August, will face Democrat Arvella S. Clare on Nov. 6 to fill the seat Gary Aubuchon vacated to run for U.S. Congress.
* Dane Eagle
Residence: Cape Coral
Occupation: Real Estate
Despite not having reached his 30th birthday, Dane Eagle has accomplished much, having worked in Cape Coral in real estate and in Tallahassee in the governor's private circle. He believes he knows the ins and outs of state politics enough to be the perfect representative in District 77.
"I'm tired of seeing my friends and neighbors lose jobs. I have a passion for Cape Coral," Eagle said. "I've worked here and as a deputy chief of staff for Gov. Charlie Crist. I will work 110 percent every day for the constituents."
Eagle's platform consists of the four "Es," economy, education, environment and ethics.
"Ethics is most important. You need to do things honestly. I've seen the good, bad and ugly in Tallahassee," Eagle said. "We need to support existing businesses and help the private sector create jobs by standardizing regulations. We also need more education dollars in the classroom and not in Tallahassee."
After becoming deputy chief-of-staff at age 24, the youngest in state history, Eagle returned home after the economy went sour to help run the family real estate business. He said it's that commitment to work that puts him a cut above the rest.
"I bring to the table a work ethic. I can hit the floor running on day one," Eagle said. "I know Tallahassee and can develop great relationships. I have big shoes to fill to replace Gary Aubuchon, but I bring great experience to Tallahassee."
* Arvella S. Clare
Residence: Cape Coral
Arvella S. Clare believes government today doesn't address the needs of the working class in Lee County, and that the focus needs to return them and not the well-to-do.
"We need to participate in government and shift it back to the majority of people and make laws that address the needs of Lee County," Clare said. "If we want to change, we need to change or values and focus."
The top priority of Clare's campaign is education, because she believes that's the only way to get the economy back on track.
"My focus is on public education and get funding so teachers have the resources and training so kids can compete in the future," Clare said. "We need to increase the skills of workers to enhance business in the area."
She said she would also advocate for workers rights.
"They want to dismantle unions and undercut collective bargaining," Clare said. "Workers are under siege and they need an advocate to look at their needs."
With two daughters and a husband who works for the city, and with her previous career as a drug councilor, Clare said she has the life experience needed to better govern.
"I'm a fourth-generation Floridian. My goal was to live independently and prove to my parents their investment in me was worth it," Clare said. "I offer a unique insight with the middle class. My life is here I'm capable of bringing a voice of the middle class to Tallahassee."