I don't believe as an elected official that I should get involved in primary challenges within a party. It creates tension within a party. I must break from my personal policy this time.

Serving as chairman of the Polk Soil and Water Conservation District has been a tough fight for funding and to establish a solid foundation for a great organization that was almost dissolved by the state because of no involvement.

Rep. Darren Soto, D-Kissimmee, has supported the district from the very start. Leaders in agriculture and other politicians tell me that Congressman Soto is the best friend to agriculture in Polk County. Congressman Soto is also a member of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee in Congress.

Alan Grayson has announced a challenge to Congressman Soto. I'm a big fan of Alan Grayson, but he picked the wrong seat to try and run for Congress. Mr. Grayson is well-liked because he likes to stir things up. Congressman Soto realizes it is better to work with all sides.

Congressman Soto has been a steward of good policy bringing back money to the district that includes Polk. For these reasons and many more, I endorse the re-election bid of Congressman Darren Soto.

Brett Upthagrove, Lakeland