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John Ward is facing blowback for comments about Puerto Rican evacuees in Florida.


Nancy Soderberg calls for John Ward to end Congressional campaign

Comments that John Ward, a Republican running in Florida’s 6th Congressional District, made at a forum last month require his departure from the race said yet another opponent Monday.

Ambassador Nancy Soderberg called for Ward to leave the race, in the wake of Ward saying that Puerto Ricans shouldn’t vote in Florida and would be better off voting in Puerto Rico.

“John Ward has had ample time to do the right thing and rescind his repulsive and bigoted comments about Puerto Ricans living in Florida. But instead, he has chosen to double down on them. That is an affront to the more than 10,000 active duty U.S. military personnel from Puerto Rico serving across the respective branches of our armed forces. Puerto Ricans contribute billions in taxes each year – taxes that helped pay for emergency relief after Hurricane Harvey hit Texas and Irma hit Florida. Yet John Ward seems to think that it is acceptable to deny people the right to vote simply because they don’t look or vote like him,” Soderberg said Monday.

“The right to vote is the very cornerstone of democracy, and anyone who ignores or threatens that right has no business seeking public office. Now that John Ward has shown his true colors, it’s time for him to end his campaign. Running for Congress, or any office, is a calling to serve your community, your district, your state, your country, and most importantly, to serve your constituents – all of them.”

“Not just the Republicans, or the Democrats, or the Independents, but all of your constituents. That is the most basic and fundamental expectation we should have from our elected representatives, but John Ward’s words and actions show his values run contrary to who we are as a country, as a state, as a district, and as a community. It’s time for John Ward to end his campaign,” Soderberg added.

Soderberg’s call for Ward’s withdrawal was predated by at least one Democratic opponent.

Ormond Beach Democrat John Upchurch asserted last week that Ward should leave the race.

Written By

A.G. Gancarski has been a working journalist for over two decades, with bylines in national and local publications alike on subjects ranging from pop music to national and global politics. Gancarski has been a correspondent for since 2014, and has held a column in Jacksonville, Florida's Folio Weekly for two decades. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." Gancarski is a frequent presence on Jacksonville television and radio, including fill-in slots on WJCT-FM's award-winning talk show "First Coast Connect." He can be reached at

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