Florida's U.S. House Dist. 4 Republican candidates tout military ties

By Jim Piggott, General assignment reporter, jpiggott@wjxt.com
Published On: Aug 20 2014 06:38:48 PM EDT
Updated On: Aug 26 2014 07:10:06 AM EDT

A political newcomer is trying to unseat a longtime local congressman. Republican Ander Crenshaw faces a primary challenge from retired Navy captain Ryman Shoaf.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

The Republican fight for Congressional District 4 is taking on a military tone.

Sitting congressman Ander Crenshaw holds a very influential seat on the Defense Appropriations Committee in the U.S. House. Crenshaw said he has a big say on military spending.

"There are only 15 members of Congress that sit on that subcommittee,” Crenshaw said. “And we write the budget for our national security."

Crenshaw said he believes that is one of the most important things the federal government does.

Challenger Ryman Shoaf is new to politics but has an extensive career in the military. He served 27 years in the Navy.

"When you wear a uniform, you have to keep your political views to yourself,” Shoaf said. “Well, I am no longer in the Navy, and I don't have to keep my views to myself."

Shoaf said he believes the biggest issue facing the country is the national debt.

Shoaf said he gets asked often why someone should vote for him and not Crenshaw.

“I say it's true he is very well-connected, but it's called the U.S. House of Representatives,” Shoaf said. “It's not called the U.S. House of Well-Connected.”

Crenshaw believes that it is actually working out quite well for Jacksonville.

"I think people appreciate that you have some background, you have some experience,” Crenshaw said. “You just don't talk a lot. You have a record that shows you have done some things.”

Crenshaw said the fact that he sits on several important committees shows his role in Washington.

Shoaf counters that by saying it's time for some different views.

"I don't see anyone standing up with passion for those things I think are important,” Shoaf said.

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