9th District candidates Soto, Liebnitzky differ on priorities, focus

By Stephanie Bechara, Reporter
Last Updated: Tuesday, October 11, 2016, 9:41 AM EDT

With a little over a month left before Election Day, News 13 is hosting a town hall meeting today with Democrat Darren Soto and Republican Wayne Liebnitzky. The town hall will air tonight at 7 with Soto and at 8 with Liebnitzky. Tune into News 13 or watch on our BHTV app.  

We recently sat down with the two candidates running in Florida's 9th U.S. Congressional District seat to learn more about them and their platforms.

  • Democratic candidate: Lawyer and current State Senator Darren Soto in town hall at 7 p.m.
  • Republican candidate: U.S. Navy veteran, businessman Wayne Liebnitzky in town hall at 8 p.m.
  • Need more election info? Check out our Florida Decides Voting Guide

In November, voters will choose between Democrat Darren Soto and Republican Wayne Liebnitzky. Soto is a former attorney who has previously served in the Florida House of Representatives and more recently in the Florida Senate.

Liebnitzky is an engineer, a U.S. Navy veteran and a businessman.

The two candidates have very different priorities they wish to pursue should they win the race for the seat vacated by Alan Grayson.

“Fighting for immigrants, fighting to protect our environment and, of course, fighting for higher paying jobs, which is key as well as healthcare, and access to high quality education,” said Soto.

Liebnitzky, on the other hand, said he wants to focus on veterans and seniors.

“We have people that have defended our country,” said Liebnitzky, “and we have people that have built our country, and we treat them like second-class citizens. That's not how I plan to represent this country.”

Soto said what drives him is the satisfaction of helping people. He’s been a public servant for the past decade, and wants to continue serving his community.

“I believe that my experience and my hard work over the last 10 years would distinguish me for voters in this race,” Soto added.

Liebnitzky, who won the Republican nomination back in August with more than 60 percent of the vote, calls himself a veteran with a voice, and asks voters to jump on board.

“I am not going to be able to fix all the problems," said Liebnitzky. "If anyone says they can fix all these problems, stay away from them -- they’re a liar. But I am going to go up there and do the best I can.”