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Environmental award for Dana Young, Kathy Castor support for Bob Buesing in Senate District 18



With environmental issues like fracking animating the campaign in state Senate District 18, House Majority Leader Dana Young is welcoming news that the The Nature Conservancy in Florida plans to give her a legislative achievement award for 2016.

“Year after year, you continually advocate for many of our legislative priorities that further our organization’s mission to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends,” Greg Knecht, director of protection and government relations at The Nature Conservancy in Florida, wrote in a letter to Young that her campaign released.

Among other things, Knecht said Young's accomplishments include supporting and pushing for the Legacy Florida initiative, "which allocated an impressive $203.8 million for Everglades Restoration — one of our state chapter as well as global priority areas that need to be protected and preserved for not only its unique wildlife and one-of-a-kind landscapes but for the vital ecosystem benefits it provides for residents of our beautiful state and tourists from around the world.”

Nature Conservancy spokeswoman Fran Perchick said the non-profit organization does not endorse candidates for election and had intended to announce the legislative achievement awards later in November, after the election. She said a number of lawmakers will receive the awards, but would not say how many.

In a statement accompanying an announcement of the award, Young, a Republican, said "protecting Florida's unique and beautiful environment is one of my top priorities."

Kathy Castor backs Bob Buesing

Meanwhile, Young's opponent, Democrat Bob Buesing, touted the endorsement of U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa.

“I have known Bob and his wife, Karen, for many years and I am proud to endorse Bob because I know that he is head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to which candidate will put the needs of the people of Tampa first," Castor said in a statement released through the campaign. "Bob has always been a tireless advocate on behalf of children, and he’s the type of independent leader we can count on to improve our public schools, to stop environmentally dangerous practices like fracking, and to grow good-paying jobs here at home."

Senate District 18 includes most of the city of Tampa and western portions of unincorporated Hillsborough County.

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