If Congressman Ron DeSantis chooses not to run for re-election, Fred Costello has announced he will enter the race.
Former Ormond Beach Mayor Fred Costello has announced he will run for Congress to represent District 6, but only if current Congressman Ron DeSantis sticks to his decision run for governor in the 2018 election.
“If [DeSantis] chooses to run for anything other than Congress, I feel like I’m the best candidate,” Costello said. “I’m passionate about it. I’m prepared. I’m ready to do it and I look forward to the opportunity to represent the sixth district.”
Costello said he has encouraged DeSantis to stay in Congress, and that if he changed his mind about running for governor or any other race, he would support him as long as he makes the decision well ahead of the upcoming election. However, at this point in time, Costello believes DeSantis will not run for re-election for Congressional District 6, which spans from southern Jacksonville to the St. Johns River, with Flagler and Volusia County comprising the majority of it.
“We need someone that knows Congressional District 6,” Costello said. “We don’t need someone to come in from Washington or come in from Timbuktu and buy the election and that’s what people will try and do in an open seat.”
Costello said at this time, he is the only one in the race that is a veteran, small business owner and has experience in both local and state government. He is also willing to make tough choices if needed, especially in some controversial political issues.
For example, Costello said the age of eligibility for Medicare and Social Security should be raised for people currently under the age of 45. As a Republican, he also believes strongly in states’ rights, and that the federal government should let the individual states handle education, energy, environmental protection and urban development.
As someone who has been serving the Ormond Beach community since 1999—as a city commissioner, mayor, and member of the Florida House of Representatives—Costello wants to see someone represent Congressional District 6 who knows the area as well as he and DeSantis do.
“We need someone that knows Congressional District 6. We don’t need someone to come in from Washington or come in from Timbuktu and buy the election, and that’s what people will try and do in an open seat.”
Fred Costello, former Ormond Beach mayor
Costello mentioned that usually, when there’s an open seat in Congress, someone from outside the district will try to “buy a seat,” promising to move to the district if they win or saying they know the area because they’ve lived there for a short while.
Costello said the district has an opportunity to elect a local, whose sole interest is the area he’s serving, rather than using the seat in Congress as a stepping-stone to go on to international politics later on.
He hopes people will turn to their local leaders and neighbors who are active in the community to find out who they’re supporting and why for the 2018 election. He said political races shouldn’t be about who raises the most money, can put up the most signs or spam people’s mailbox.
“If I lose to one of us, I’m not gonna feel so bad,” Costello said. “If I lose to somebody from outside the district that just bought the election, I’m gonna be disappointed for us.”