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DNC Chair Tom Perez, Lt. Governor Candidate Chris King Hold Rural Tour Stop in Haines City

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"One county at a time we are taking this country back"

Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez, Lt. Governor Nominee Chris King, and Congressman Darren Soto joined FDP Chair Terrie Rizzo Thursday for a stop on the Florida Democratic Party's Rural Tour.

Over a hundred community members attended the event where local community leaders and elected officials talked about the issues facing the Haines City community ranging from healthcare accessibility, to a lack of affordable housing, low wages, and a lack of public school funding.

"There is a crisis happening all across Florida," said Lt. Governor Nominee Chris King. "There isn't a county I visit that doesn't suffer from a lack of safe, affordable and clean housing. For veterans, teachers, seniors, it's one of the biggest problems they are facing, but Mayor Gillum and I have plans to fix it."

Haines City has a poverty rate of nearly 30%, two times the national average, and like many parts of the state is suffering from a teacher shortage.

"Many of the problems here in Haines City were created by 20-years of Republican Rule, and to change that we need to send new leaders to Tallahassee," said State Senate District 22 Candidate Bob Doyel.

FDP launched its rural tour in May to shine a light on the way rural communities have been left behind after nearly 20 years of Republican rule in Tallahassee. 36 of Florida's 67 counties are worse off today, than they were 10 years ago.

"Every county, every zip-code matters,"said Chair Perez. "Today we are in Polk County, tomorrow somewhere else, one county at a time we are taking our country back."

"We are so excited and honored to have Chair Perez in Florida today, to talk about the important issues effecting all of our communities, from investing in our public schools, to expanding access to health care, our candidates are offering solutions to fix the problems caused by Rick Scott, and Tallahassee Republican," said FDP Chair Terrie Rizzo.

We can jump start development in communities that have been neglected by Washington and Tallahassee Republicans for far too long," said Congressman Darren Soto. "We do this by investing in our infrastructure and our people, by funding research to fight agricultural challenges like citrus greening, and by strengthening other industries to help diversify our rural economy."

After the Rural tour stop, Chair Perez joined Congressman Soto and Chair Rizzo at the Lechonera El Jibarito to meet with Puerto Rican community members.