Candidate Name: Donna Deegan
What office are you running for?
Florida Congressional District 4
With which party are you running for office?
Primary: August 18, 2020; General: November 3, 2020
Why are you running for office?
I’m running for office because as a former journalist and three time breast cancer survivor, I’m passionate about affordable healthcare for everyone. I have a charitable foundation for underserved breast cancer patients, and I’m frankly fed up with watching people die or go bankrupt because of lack of access. I also believe we have to get our arms around the climate crisis. In a state surrounded by water, we can’t afford politicians who still call this threat a hoax. I can’t stop thinking about the country we’re leaving to our children. As young adults, I don’t want them to believe our current political discourse is remotely normal or acceptable.
What is the biggest issue facing your community and how do you propose helping?
People in my community are suffering because of lack of access to healthcare. In Jacksonville alone our uninsured rate is 13 percent. That’s five percent higher than the national average. Our state is one of only 14 that haven’t expanded Medicaid. That leaves almost a million of our most medically needy with no safety net. I recently met a women who found a lump three years ago but didn’t want to put her family in financial peril. She didn’t seek medical attention and now is facing stage four cancer. The GOP has continued to weaken the Affordable Care Act, and is backing a court case that would lead to an end to protections for pre-existing conditions, put back lifetime caps on coverage and make it impossible for our kids to stay on our insurance until they’re 26. I am committed to finding a path to universal health care. No one should go bankrupt or lose their life because they get sick.
How do we fix the partisan divide in our country and start working together again?
As a legislative issue, we have to hold entities like Facebook accountable for allowing false information to flood our social media feeds. Beyond that, as uncomfortable and it may be, we have to start talking to each other again. Seeing each other as more than a letter next to a name. We have to get back to being agreeable in our disagreement and realize that working together is the only way to achieve lasting change. Bottom line, we have to put the humanity back into our political discussions and do some listening.
Who is your hero?
Hard to choose one, but I’ll pick Martin Luther King Jr. If he can choose love over fear and hate, certainly I can.
What are your hobbies?
Running and reading. I founded a marathon that raises money for breast cancer patients and research and I run it each year along with people from every state and about 20 countries. Running helps me think. I also love to read and usually have a couple books going at the same time.
What is the most recent book you read?
The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells
Do you have any kids/pets/talking houseplants?
I have a husband, Tim. My children are Danielle, 27 and Drew 25. My dog, a white Maltese, is Augie.
How can our readers get involved in your campaign?
Go to DonnaDeeganforCongress.com and make a donation to help us get our story out there. My opponent is funded primarily by big Corporate PAC money. We’re building a grassroots army of small dollar donors. Everything helps! We also love volunteers!
What question do you wish we’d asked, and what is your answer?
Do you have a philosophy that frames your positions?
The answer is Love over fear. Whether we’re talking about facing cancer, or political dysfunction, fear will never get us where we want to go. We need to flip the lens and start seeing through different eyes. Compassion is our path forward.
Post created from answers submitted by candidate to our Meet the Candidate survey.
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