During the Republican Party of Florida’s Sunshine Summit in Orlando, leading Republicans and conservatives from across Florida spoke to Sunshine State News on Radio Row. Here are some of the highlights:
State Rep. Blaise Ingoglia, R-Spring Hill, chairman of the Republican Party of Florida. Asked what bill he is looking to champion in the upcoming session, Ingoglia pointed to efforts to expand Uber service. He predicted the Democrats will come out against this bill due to union influence. “Uber is good for competition. It makes things better and Uber encapsulates free markets,” said Ingoglia. Ingoglia was also asked what he would he like to see the presidential candidates focus on. “I would like to see more talk more about the national debt,” he answered.
Incoming House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Trinity. Corcoran told Sunshine State News he’s really looking forward to tackling ethics reform in the next legislative session. “We need it,” he said. “Not allowing people to be employed by the special interests, not allowing people to pad their back pockets and get a high pension … We need to protect the public interest, we need to continue to have checks and balances here in Florida.” He also insisted he would take on crony capitalism. “With the current culture in the House of Representatives, we are going to fight for the free markets.”
State Rep. Mike Hill, R-Pensacola. The Pensacola Republican told Sunshine State News he plans to bring out a bill called “Andy’s Law.” The bill would allow a victim of a terrorist attack to bring civil charges against the perpetrator and those who financed him/her.
U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla. The North Florida Republican told Sunshine State News one of the reasons he ran for Congress was to bring change to Washington. “There were things we wanted to accomplish,” Yoho said before turning to his effort to oust then-U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. “One of those was to change the leadership in the House and it took us three years and it was a good thing.” Yoho also said the American people gave Republicans the majority in the House and Senate “not because we (the Republicans) have done a great job, but because the Obama administration has done a terrible job.”
U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla. The Republican Senate hopeful told Sunshine State News one of the proudest things he did in Washington was to oppose a pay increase for members of Congress. Looking ahead, DeSantis would love to see congressional term limits enacted. DeSantis said Republicans should back him for the Senate because he’s independent and the establishment doesn’t control him. “The voters know my track record,” DeSantis said. “I campaigned on conservative ideas and then, when I went to Washington, they knew I followed through on my promises.”
Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera. Senate hopeful Lopez Cantera said one of the reasons why his campaigns in the past have been successful is “because the Republicans in Florida have elected people who have made a difference.” Lopez-Cantera also said GOP voters were impressed with their leaders’ efforts in Tallagassee. “The leaders they elect have a list of accomplishments when it comes to job creation and economic opportunity,” Lopez Cantera added. Lopez-Cantera insisted that voters will like his record of low taxes and fiscal responsibility.
Businessman and veteran Todd Wilcox. This Senate candidate told Sunshine State News that voters are more concerned with the war on terror due to the terrorist attack in Paris last weekend. “Florida voters are concerned with terrorism and the failed policies of the current administration,” Wilcox said. “ If they are looking for someone who has been on the battlefield and fought the war on terror, I am the one who has more experience than other candidates in this race.”
Indian River County Tax Collector Carole Jean Jordan, former chairwoman of the Republican Party of Florida. In her current post as legislative chair for the Tax Collectors Association, Jordan was instrumental in letting concealed weapons permit applications be processed at local tax collector offices. “It benefits folks as one-stop shopping so it would be convenient, no mailing, no long hours working on it, just come into the tax collector’s office for a simpler process,” Jordan told Sunshine State News. In the presidential race, Jordan backs former Gov. Jeb Bush, R-Fla. She told Sunshine State News there’s plenty of time for Bush to get back in the race. Asked if she would support DonaldTrump if he became the Republican nominee, she was dismissive. “In my opinion, Mr. Trump will not become the nominee,” Jordan said.
Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry, former chairman of the Republican Party of Florida. Curry told Sunshine State News that if his city dosen’t get a grasp on its pension liabilities, there will be not enough money for basic services. “Police, public safety, in fact, infrastructure have already suffered because of the pension problem,” Curry said. “If we don’t get a handle on this issue, the city will not survive.”
Broward County Commissioner Chip LaMarca. LaMarca, the lone elected Republican on the Broward County Commission often jokes about his county, referring to it as “the people’s republic of Broward County.” Even as the numbers of registered Democrats are rising in Broward, LaMarca insisted his support of free market principles have appealed to voters. LaMarca said, when counties have surpluses, they should be given back to the local taxpayer. “It’s their money. I got involved in government because I didn’t trust them with the taxpayers’ dollar,” he said.
Republican strategist Roger Stone. Stone told Sunshine State News that every one of the presidential candidates needs to read his new book, “The Clintons’ War On Women.” “Whoever the nominee is, my book already provides the opposition research already done on Hilary Clinton,” Stone said. “Her latest lies on her claims how she tried to enlist into the Marine Corps or being under sniper fire in Bosnia … this lady is incapable of telling the truth.”
Conservative leader Dan Bongino. A former cop and Secret Service agent, Bongino moved to Florida after running for the U.S. Senate in Maryland in 2012 and the U.S. House there in 2014. Bongino has been mentioned as a possible U.S. Senate candidate in 2016 now that he’s moved to Florida. Asked about the presidential race, Bongino said he’s not a Bush supporter but praised Bush’s record in Tallahassee. “Jeb’s position on Common Core is an electoral death sentence,” Bongino told Sunshine State News.
Ed Dean, a senior editor with Sunshine State News whose talk show can be heard on radio stations in Jacksonville, Tampa Bay, Daytona Beach, Orlando, the Space Coast, the Treasure Coast and South Florida from West Palm Beach to Miami. It can also be heard in parts of Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @eddeanradio.
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