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Politics

Darren Soto Takes to the National Stage

January 18, 2017 - 8:30am
Darren Soto
Darren Soto

Only two weeks into his first term in Congress, U.S. Rep. Darren Soto, D-Fla., is already starting to command a little of the national spotlight. 

Soto garnered some national attention this week as he announced that he would not attend President-elect Donald Trump’s inaugural on Friday in protest over his comments about U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga. That’s not the only time Soto won national attention. During his first days on Capitol Hill, Soto also received notice for his proposal to let Puerto Rico take part in presidential elections. 

There are signs that Soto’s fellow Democrats are starting to notice him. At the end of last week, U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-MD., the Democrats’ whip in the House, tapped Soto to be part of the leadership as an assistant whip. 

"I'm excited to announce Congressman Darren Soto is joining my whip team as an assistant whip for the 115th Congress,” Hoyer said. “He is already hard at work representing Floridians in Congress. He will bring an important perspective to the whip operation as a new member.  He is a rising star in Florida, and I look forward to working with him to support job creation and ensure that the diverse voices and viewpoints of the people living in Central Florida get the full attention they deserve in the next Congress." 

 Soto noted his experience in Tallahassee would help him in his new post. 

"As Democratic deputy whip in the Florida state Senate, I learned firsthand how to work with my colleagues to get things done for the people of Florida and defend our party’s values,” Soto said. “Now, I am honored by the opportunity to work with Whip Hoyer to use these skills in Washington for the greater good of our country."

During his time in Tallahassee, Soto would often pull in the support of the business community, including in 2012 when he successfully made the jump from the state House to the state Senate. But, in his first speech in Congress, Soto went to bat for President Barack Obama’s federal health-care law. 

“I oppose repealing Obamacare without replacement,” Soto said on the House floor. “First, this law protects all Americans with pre-existing conditions, second, it keeps all young adults on their parents’ insurance until age 26, and third, it protects all Americans from bankruptcy if they get sick. Before the act, millions of Americans were simply kicked off their insurance if these problems arose. We Democrats support keeping these protections for all Americans and the Republicans want to repeal them. We support improving the act and the Republicans want to eliminate it. And while many have stoked fear and spread false information for political gain, it's clear that repeal without replacement equals disaster. It will eliminate these protections for all Americans, create chaos for working families, and send our country into another recession. It's clear we need to improve the act rather than repeal it. It's time to do the right thing for Floridians and all Americans.”

In the meantime, Florida Politics reported Republican Wayne Liebnitzky is firing away at Soto for missing the inaugural and has launched a second bid for Congress. Liebnitzky took 42.5 percent of the vote back in November while Soto won with 57.5 percent. 

Still, Soto’s main threat in his Central Florida district will be from the left. Soto defeated Susannah Randolph and Dena Grayson in a close primary back in August. Grayson’s husband--former U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., held the seat before Soto and has already filed to run again in 2018. While he’s currently running against U.S. Rep. Dan Webster, R-Fla., who beat him in 2010, it’s certainly possible the former congressman could try to claim his old congressional seat. 

 

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Comments

There are elected officials who take their responsibiity for leadership seriously, well aware that there will be good days and bad. Others will moan, groan and pout. Even Hillary Clinton attended the inauguration. At minimum, she deserved your support in addition to your constituents. They put you in Washington. You should have been there.

As one of the many Florida voters electing Donald Trump I am so proud of my state. This morning seeing a Florida Congressman on the list of elected officials boycotting the presidential inauguration saddened me. Voters like myself will remember the name of Darren Soto and we will make sure that such a person will never get reelected.

While Congreesman Soto is not my representative in congress, I do support his decision to not attend the ceremony welcoming the most ill prepared, self serving, Russian pupit individual to occupy the office of POTUS. This narsassitic individual was placed in this post by a minority of voters. He is demonstrating he has no ideology worth supporting and has not kept one single promise he made to get elected. Some one stated they would rather vote for the devil instead of Hillary Clinton. I have news for you folks... YOU DID! When your sons and daughters, when your grandchildren are sent to wars triggered by the stupidity of this individual count on me to tell you all straight out, I TOLD YOU SO! No, this deplorable individual IS NOT MY PRESIDENT and he should not be celebrated. END OF STORY!

You are the most ridiculous load mouth "know nothing" EVER!!!! Lol...suck it up dippy doo, we put up with Obama's shit for 8 long years and we tolerated it so now you must also!! TRUMP IS THE BEST THING TO SET FOOT IN DC SINCE REAGAN!!!!

I won't be attending (I wasn't invited). So, I am pleased that a Floridian has the courage to be the only elected Florida representative to decline to participate in this farce. For those who disagree with me, take a page from your [insert name here] repub's playbook. JUST GET OVER IT and JUST MOVE ON! I can only hope that this administration won't be the train wreck that I think it will be.

He's a loser scumbag POS!

And SO ARE YOU!!!! Lol

Excuse me, did someone drop a quarter in you for your worthless opinion? My hope is it is a train wreck for you and the idiot Soto

Soto will be gone a long time before our man TRUMP!!!

Amazingly, another member of the "People's Party" or better yet, a member in good standing of the wussies azz, Socialist Democratic Party aka the party of "divisiveness" who not only plied his trade making money as an attorney in civil rights cases but I see that he never served in the Military! My my another chicken shix member of Congress just what we need! Soto, what a self-righteous azz who has chosen rather than taking the high road but is joining the Lewis ranks which to no surprise are some of the most ineffective members of Congress! Heck, some are members of the Congressional Black Caucus in good standing who, much like Soto enjoy fanning the flame of Divisiveness Racism, such a shame!

Right on Gregory! Soto was elected by "New Puerto Rico" which used to be central Florida. Puerto Rico is bankrupt and their people are fleeing the island and coming to Florida instead of trying to help Puerto Rico survive. Lets hope these new arrivals from PR work and pay taxes and don't depend on a Florida welfare free ride. Soto is their Bernie Sanders .

You are right on Gregory!!

I am so disappointed that a new Congressman from Florida has chosen to shirk his responsibility to represent the people of our great state by not attending the inaugural events scheduled for Friday in our U S Capitol. You are a new Congressman and You, sir, are off to a backwards start. If you continue this type of bad behavior I, for one, will do everything in my power to support whoever runs against you. Have you even stopped to think that you will need support from the Republicans if you even TRY to help your district. Shame on you

As a female conservative veteran, I voted for Trump, because there was no way in hell I could vote for Hillary. I would vote for Satan first. Thank you for telling me that my voice, and most of Florida's voice, doesn't matter to you. It is disgraceful not to have Florida fully represented at the inauguration. You are granstanding as a freshman senator and acting like a high school freshman. The hispanic vote went 29 percent to Trump... I guess they dont matter either. Very disappointed.

What a disappointment to the citizens of Florida that he puts self interest in front of representing his state at the inaugural events. Good way to start your new job.

Don't you think it's time to put away the hate and begin doing for the people you represent. And as far Mr. Trump's comments on Congressman Lewis, even if I also agree was unwarranted, I feel Mr. Lewis also needs to swallow his personal feelings and keep working for the people who elected him to serve them. And both of you need to jump on board and begin positive thinking and stop this negativity. He Is our President like it or not. Whether he knows it or not he needs all the help he can get. One more thing, you and Mr Lewis are what is wrong in D. C, TODAY AND a good reason to have term limits. CO'MON AMERICA GROW UP AND SUPPORT Our COUNTRY.

Darren Soto is currently basking in the sunlight but let's wait and measure his true performance while in Washington. He was voted into office by Osceola County's Hispanic majority (of voters) and, so far, he's biting off more than most can chew. I really hope he's successful but I have my doubts.

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