United States Senate Race
Our last few weekly newsletters have featured a highlight on tight races in local and state elections in counties that make up the Bay Area Legislative Delegation. This is part of a series we are running to inform our clients and contacts of state, local, and federal races they should keep their eyes on.
This week will be focusing on the race for Florida’s open U.S. Senate seat. In April of 2015, Senator Marco Rubio announced that he would be leaving his U.S Senate seat to run for president. After this announcement, many candidates began jumping in the race, however the race has narrowed down to about seven main candidates. For this highlight we will be focusing on the top candidates on the Democrat and Republican side of the race.
Election Day will be here sooner than you think. The Florida Primary will be held on August 30, 2016, followed by the general election which will be held on November 8, 2016. We hope you find these highlights informative and useful. If you have any questions or would like more information on particular candidates please feel free to contact us.
The republican field originally had many candidates vying for the nomination. While some still remain in the race, the top contenders are Congressman David Jolly, LT Governor Carlos Lopez-Cantera, Congressman Ron DeSantis, former Intelligence Officer Todd Wilcox, and developer Carlos Beruff.
It is worth noting that despite the fact that Todd Wilcox and Carlos Beruff are political newcomers, they have both been gaining major political traction over the past couple of weeks. It is very possible that one of them may ride the outsider wave being generated by Donald Trump and win the Republican nomination.
Congressman David Jolly (R) currently represents Florida’s 13th Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in History from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. He then studied law in the evenings to earn a Juris Doctorate cum laude from the George Mason University School of Law. Congressman Jolly is from Pinellas County, which is where he owned a business and whose residents he currently represents in the U.S. House of Representatives. As a Congressman, he has filed legislation to provide additional flood insurance relief, improve health care and education choices for veterans, extend the life of ongoing beach protection projects for Pinellas County, and provide for critical investments in transportation and infrastructure, healthcare research, and education.
Lieutenant Governor Carlos Lopez-Cantera (R) was appointed by Governor Rick Scott in January of 2014. LT Governor Lopez-Cantera is from Miami, Florida and graduated from Miami-Dade College and continued his studies at the University of Miami, where he graduated with a degree in Business Administration. He began his life in public service in the Florida House of Representatives, where he served from 2004 to 2012. In 2012 he was elected as the Property Appraiser for Miami-Dade County. He held the position until he was appointed as Lieutenant Governor on in 2014. He is the first Hispanic to hold this position in Florida.
Congressman Ron DeSantis (R) is a Florida native, who currently represents St. Augustine and Daytona in the U.S. House of Representatives. He attended Yale University, where he graduated magna cum laude and was the captain of the varsity baseball team. He also graduated with honors from Harvard Law School. Ron is an Officer in the U.S. Navy, who served in Iraq as an advisor to a U.S. Navy SEAL commander in support of the SEAL mission in Iraq. He has also served as both a federal and military prosecutor, prosecuting a wide range of cases including child exploitation, theft of sensitive military property, corruption and child abuse. Ron was elected to Congress in 2012 and has been reelected subsequently.
Todd Wilcox (R) is a veteran, intelligence officer, and business owner who is making a bid for the U.S. Senate. Todd grew up in a low income neighborhood in Tampa. He began working at the age of 13 to help provide for his siblings and mother. Todd became a commissioned Infantry Officer who led a platoon with the 101st Airborne Division, before transferring to the U.S. Army Special Forces Branch. In 1997 he resigned his commission to join the CIA where he became an important asset in the fight against terrorism. In 2006, he resigned from government service and founded Patriot Defense Group, a defense contracting company dedicated to serving those who defend America.
Carlos Beruff (R) was born in Miami to Cuban refugees, he was raised in South Florida and now lives in Manatee County. At the age of 22, Carlos started Medallion Home, which has built over 2,000 homes and developed, owned and managed dozens of other properties. In 2008, Carlos was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the State College of Florida (SCF), where he has focused on protecting taxpayer dollars by finding and eliminating government waste. He also served on the Sarasota Manatee Airport Authority Board where he led the board in a move to replace the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) security with private sector security screenings. At the Southwest Florida Water Management District, Carlos reduced the staff and the yearly operating expenses by 40% to ensure taxpayer dollars would be used to protect the environment, and were not being spent wastefully.
A Bay News 9 poll taken on March 6th recorded David Jolly with 18%, Ron DeSantis with 11%,Carlos Lopez-Cantera with 9%, Todd Wilcox with 7%, Carlos Beruff with 1%, and 50% undecided. Public Policy Polling took a poll on February 25th which recorded David Jolly with 26%, Ron DeSantis with 14%, Carlos Lopez-Cantera with 11%, and 47% undecided.
The Democratic primary began with four candidates fighting for the nomination. Currently there are two front runners; Congressman Patrick Murphy and Congressman Alan Grayson.
Congressmen Patrick Murphy (D) was born and raised in the Florida Keys. He graduated from the University of Miami with degrees in accounting and finance. Patrick went on to work as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) for Deloitte and Touche, auditing Fortune 500 companies, before establishing his own environmental cleanup business. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012, and has fought to grow the middle class, strengthen Social Security and Medicare, and to solve foreign policy issues.
Congressman Alan Grayson (D) was born in The Bronx, New York. He attended Harvard University and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts summa cum laude degree in economics. After working two years as an economist, he returned to Harvard and earned his Juris Doctor Magna Cum Laude from Harvard Law School and a Masters of Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government. Grayson founded the law firm Grayson & Kubli, which concentrated on government contract law. Grayson was elected to Congress in 2008, and served until he was defeated in 2010. He ran for congress again in 2012 and won. Grayson is now running for the U.S. Senate.
Public Policy polling took a poll on March 23rd that recorded Alan Grayson with 33%, Patrick Murphy with 32%, and 35% undecided. St. Leo University took a poll on March 17th that showedPatrick Murphy with 20%, Alan Grayson with 17%, and 63% undecided.