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Political Debate in Marianna for House District 7 Seat
One of the first political debates of the year took place Monday night in Marianna between District 7
State Representative Marti Coley and her opponent, David Pleat.

Posted: 8:20 AM Feb 16, 2010
Reporter: Vanessa Nguyen


One of the first political debates of the year took place tonight between District 7 State Representative Marti Coley
and her opponent, David Pleat.

It was close to a full house inside the Jackson County Agricultural Center Monday night.
Destin attorney David Pleat who is a Democrat, is running against State Representative Marti Coley, a Republican
for the District 7 seat.

Pleat described himself as a moderate, independent thinker who's eager to share his knowledge and skills in
Tallahassee.

"In private business, if you don't solve problems, you either go out of business or you get fired if you're in a
management position and you're supposed to solve problems. Well government needs to do the same thing."
Representative Coley, who has served the area for almost 5 years, emphasized how each of the 9-counties matter.
"My rural counties are just as important as my coastal counties. I often look at it that if somebody doesn't fight for
those counties, if I don't fight for those counties, I'm not sure that anybody will."

The crowd listened eagerly as the two tackled a wide variety of issues, including the allegations of a lack of security
and medical attention at the Dozier School for Boys.

"If there are problems with Dozier, let's work to correct them, let's don't just shut it down, because those students,
those boys, are going to be served somewhere in this state, we need to serve them here."

"I'm disturbed by what I've read and understand it is an issue for this district. If there's not already a review panel in
place to review those complaints to decide what is the best future for Dozier, then there needs to be."
Both shared similar views regarding the tri-state water crisis and Florida's litter problem.

But when it came to abortion, Coley did not hesitate to say she was opposed to it while Pleat said it depends on the
circumstances.

"Ultimately, I am for the right of a person to make that decision amongst their loved ones, amongst their trusted
friends, family."

The issue of healthcare costs sparked interest from a few people in the audience, particularly regarding tort reform
and malpractice lawsuits.

"If he knows it's just stress headache, but he's gonna order 5-thousand dollars worth of testing, playing defense
medicine to keep himself out of a lawsuit."

But all in all, the debate was a mild one with both agreeing to return for round 2 in the future.

Members of the Jackson County Tea Party hosted tonight's debate.