Friday, January 10th, 2020 marked the beginning of the Florida Python Challenge™ 2020 Python Bowl. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), and the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) are teaming up with the Miami Super Bowl Host Committee and other partners to support the Committee’s Ocean to Everglades (O2E) initiative, which features the Python Bowl.
The purpose of the bowl is to remove invasive Burmese pythons from Florida’s Everglades. These snakes are native to Southeast Asia and negatively affect many of the state’s native species and food chains. Florida Governor DeSantis has asked FWC and the SFWMD to bring back the Python Challenge.
SFWMD, FWC and several other partners have already removed 9,700 pythons from Florida. They are hoping to add to that number in a big way this year.
The Florida Python Challenge 2020 is to bring continued awareness to invasive species and their threat to the Everglades Ecosystem in South Florida and to engage the public in participating in Everglades conservation through the removal of invasive species. Burmese pythons are found primarily in the Everglades, Burmese pythons’ prey on native Florida species of mammals, birds, and reptiles, as well as other nonnative species.
Ford O’Connell, Congressional Candidate for District 19, was happy to participate in the 2020 Python Bowl to highlight the threat invasive species pose to the delicate ecosystem of the Everglades. According to O’Connell, “Removing these harmful snakes and completing the projects outlined in the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) are necessary to regain balance in Florida’s national treasure.
“If I am elected, I will fight to preserve the Everglades, and to protect our water quality. We must eliminate invasive species in Florida… and in DC,” he added. “Governor Ron DeSantis, SFWMD, FWC and Congressman Rooney have truly been leaders on this issue, and I thank them for their commitment to this important cause.”
U.S. Representative Francis Rooney, R-Florida has announced that he will not be seeking re-election to Florida District 19. According to Rooney, “I’ve done the things I’ve said I would do and it is time for me to move on and for someone else to pick up the ball and move forward.” Rooney has been known as the champion of the Everglades and an opponent to offshore drilling. According to Rooney, the environment is his political legacy.
Ford is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law (Juris Doctor), graduated from Swarthmore College with a B.A. in Political Science and Religion. Ford also obtained an MPP from Duke University, and an M.S. in Journalism from Northwestern University. He is a former Heritage Foundation intern, has been actively supporting conservative candidates and campaigns since 2007.
Ford is a businessman, lawyer and conservative media advocate from Naples. He is a frequent guest on Fox News, Fox Business and other broadcast media including locally on 92.5 Fox News Radio with Drew Steele and Trey Radel.
To learn more about Ford O’Connell, Congressional Candidate for Florida District 19, visit fordoconnell.com.