The unfortunate instance of a drink being thrown at Rep. Matt Gaetz should not have been blamed on the Democrats. The woman that threw the drink is a Republican and ran against Gaetz in the primary before pulling out early. The Democratic Party in Okaloosa County does not encourage or condone this type of behavior.

Although Republicans have in the past harassed Democrats, including dumping fish heads at our front door, we have never retaliated, and we never will. This country is divided enough without neighbor versus neighbor in our county. We have always had a good relationship with the local Republican Party, we just disagree on some issues.

It is time for everyone to step back and remember we have common goals including better educational opportunities, better jobs that pay a living wage, more inclusive health care, and an environment that will not destroy this planet we call home.

We have a year and a half before the 2020 elections, and we need to calm the waters.

Ellen Holt, Niceville, Okaloosa Democratic State Committeewoman