(WASHINGTON, April 8) – Independent Women’s Voice Chairman and CEO Heather R. Higgins today congratulated Curt Clawson, a candidate for the GOP nomination for Congress in the special election in Florida’s 19th Congressional District, for being the only candidate in the contest to date to sign IWV’s ObamaCare Repeal Pledge.


“The presence or absence of ovaries does not, in and of itself, prove a candidate’s bona fides as someone who understands or cares about the real world effects of policy on women in our society today,” said Ms. Higgins. “Curt Clawson’s signature on IWV’s Repeal Pledge shows he understands what the other candidates for the GOP nomination apparently do not – that one of the chief manifestations of the real ‘War on Women’ is government-controlled health care in the form of ObamaCare.”


Clawson is competing with three other candidates for the GOP nomination for Congress in the special election necessitated by the resignation of former U.S. Rep. Trey Radel. The primary election will be held on April 22, with the general election scheduled for June 24.


“We reached out to each of the candidates, and asked them to show the depth of their opposition to – and seriousness about their determination to repeal – ObamaCare by signing our Repeal Pledge, which candidates have used since 2010 to prove their commitment on this crucial issue,” continued Mrs. Higgins. “None of the other candidates to date has chosen to sign the Repeal Pledge. At this point, with two weeks to go before the primary election – and particularly as a trumped-up issue now threatens to divert attention from the important issues, such as who has signed or not signed the Repeal Pledge – we believe the time is right to let voters in Florida’s 19th district know that when it comes to repealing ObamaCare, only one candidate has chosen to put pen to paper and sign the Repeal Pledge.


“Further,” said Ms. Higgins, “It’s our understanding that tomorrow, the other three candidates will be holding a smear-fest posing as a press conference to criticize Mr. Clawson for nothing which passes any smell test: Apparently, it is now a political crime to have rented a property to someone you barely know,(the husband of your realtor) who years earlier committed a crime utterly unrelated to you or the rental of the property, and about which you reasonably and credibly knew nothing since the wife/realtor said nothing adverse! I hope that any candidate who is serious about representing the people of southwest Florida with any dignity or humanity will avoid participating in such a contemptible exercise.


“I’ve seen a statement from Annie Borst, the ex-wife of the offender, and the mother of the girl who was victimized, and I sympathize with her.


“As a woman, I am personally outraged by the willingness of the other campaigns and the media to turn upside down the lives of this woman and her daughter – who are unrelated to the candidate and whose personal tragedy was lived out years before the candidate ever retained the mother professionally — all in pursuit of political benefit and ratings. This so-called ‘issue’ – introduced into the campaign, most likely, by the opposition research team for one of the other candidates, and certainly fueled by trailing candidates desperate to latch onto anything other than the issues that matter – has no place in this campaign. 


The mother is right when she calls it ‘disturbing and disgusting’ that politicians would invade her and her daughter’s lives when they’re still trying to recover from such a family tragedy. It’s absolutely shameful that some politicians and a ratings-driven media would seek to benefit from her family’s challenges, at the cost of her family’s peace of mind.


If the media really wants a story that is relevant because it reflects on the character of one or more candidates, then they should act like journalists and, if it did come from one of the campaigns or their hirelings, then expose where this malicious story came from.  That would be a public service and germane.


“It’s time to get back to real issues, and not give other candidates the cover of some irrelevant, unrelated, trumped-up personal smear. The people of southwest Florida are smart enough to know the difference, and deserve better than this.”


For more information on The Repeal Pledge, including a complete list of signers, please visit TheRepealPledge.com.  For interviews with Heather Higgins or others spokeswomen of Independent Women's Voice, please contact Victoria Coley at [email protected].

Independent Women’s Voice is a 501 (c) (4) nonpartisan, nonprofit organization for mainstream women, men and families.  IWV is an affiliate organization of the Independent Women’s Forum.