Tea Party Favorite, Food Stamp Foe Rep. Steve Southerland Loses Re-Election in Florida

Miguel Juarez/Zuma Press

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It’s going to be a bad night for Democrats, but they’re getting a bit of good news out of Florida’s Second District: Republican Rep. Steve Southerland has lost his re-election bid to Democrat Gwen Graham. Southerland, a former mortician, was elected to Congress in the 2010 tea party wave, and quickly made a name for himself with his advocacy of major cuts to food stamp programs. He was thought to be a lock for re-election in this Florida Panhandle district, but Graham—a former school official and daughter of former Florida Gov. Bob Graham—proved a formidable challenger.

Southerland was almost singularly devoted to the cause of slashing food assistance, calling it the “defining moral issue of our time” and “what I’m about.” In last year’s controversial farm bill, Southerland proposed a staggering $39 billion in cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. His controversial reform plan was widely seen as a factor that stalled the bill in Congress last year. 

 

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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