We are all familiar with incumbent Florida Senator Marco Rubio (R) and I’ve done a lot of research on him when he ran for Senate in 2010. I’m sure I’ll be posting more about Senator Rubio as we get closer to the November General Election.
There will be a future post on the Democratic Primary candidates Patrick Murphy, Alan Grayson and the rest (Rocky De La Fuente, Pam Keith and Reginald Luster) next week.
You may be aware that Rubio does have some “competition” in the August 30th Republican Primary. There was some shake-up as Rubio had been running for president and announced that he would not be seeking reelection to the U.S. Senate. After dropping out of the presidential race, he was strongly encouraged to enter the Senate race.
We will briefly examine the three remaining Republican challengers to Marco Rubio in August; Home builder Carlos Beruff, businessman Ernie Rivera and sheriff deputy Dwight Mark Anthony Young.
According to Beruff’s website, he was born in Miami to Cuban refugees and now lives in Manatee County. His business experience is in building homes (he is the owner of Medallion Home) and he proudly states that “he’s the only candidate in Florida’s U.S. Senate race who has the skills needed to reform Washington and undo the damage of Obama’s presidency.”
Interestingly, he doesn’t mention the failures of Congress, which would include his incumbent challenger, Marco Rubio.
His issues page is a dog whistle for the right wing Conservatives:
- Obamacare has been a disaster
- Jobs and Economy: The Obama Administration has done nothing but hurt businesses and slow job creation
- Life: No principle is as important as the sanctity of life
- 2nd Amendment: Our founding fathers gave all Americans the right to bear arms
- Immigration: A country without borders is not a country at all
- National Security and Terrorism: The threats to our national security are growing by the day.
The Tampa Bay News printed that Beruff avoided paying $235,000 in 2015 taxes by claiming that 1,884 acres bought by his companies for future development but were listed as agricultural land because the property is currently leased to cattle companies or have pine trees and crops on the land.
Beruff’s company defends their actions by citing the 1959 “Greenbelt Law” which protected farmers from rising property values in Florida and increasing tax bills.
When Rubio withdrew from the presidential primary … was told he should run by party leaders … decided to run for re-election, key challengers to the seat withdrew. Beruff was the strongest challenger to remain in the race. In other words, Rubio should coast to victory in August.
Currently, St. Pete Polls show Rubio leading Beruff 55% to 21.7%.
In a Beruff ad, he seems to be taking a lot of Donald Trump’s positions and mocks the TelePrompTer, criticizes President Obama and interestingly, never mentions Marco Rubio.
Link to Senate campaign site.
Businessman Ernie Rivera was born in Tallahassee and is of Puerto Rican heritage. On his candidate’s site, the issues he supports state that it is an “adaptation based on the Republican Platform” – (i.e.: The US Constitution, Restoring the American Dream and America’s Natural Resources)
So, if you want to see where Rivera stands on the issues, look no further than the 2016 Republican Party Platform. He calls himself the “Real Life Candidate.” I guess one can read that two ways, especially if you are a Pro-Life Christian. (Dog whistle)
Rivera’s first political ad debuted yesterday taking on Marco Rubio and his lack of response to the toxic algae blooms that is currently destroying the environment. The ad can be seen here.
Link to Rivera’s Senate campaign site.
Dwight Mark Anthony Young
Dwight Young is a Pinellas County Sheriff deputy.
You have to love a candidate who immediately blows the dog whistle on his about page. It begins: “I would like to start by thanking my Lord my God through Jesus Christ, who is the author and finisher of my faith …”
Born in Jamaica and moved to New York, Young served in the U.S New York Army National Guard while attending college.
His position on the issues starts with “De-fund any program that subsidizes abortion with tax dollars.” This is his top issue! He then goes after entitlements, the EPA and common-core. He dislikes common core so vehemently that it is his fourth and fifth most important issue.
Young has some libertarian positions, like reducing the budget for the EPA and Department of Education and legalizing medical marijuana.
He is in favor of investing in alternative sources of energy (solar, wind and nuclear) and believes that Obamacare must remain until an improvement can be presented. (Source: WJCT Candidate Q&A)
There isn’t much more information on Young beyond his campaign site and the WJCT Q&A.
Link to Young’s Senate campaign site.
Campaign dollars raised and spent
|Candidate||Raised||Spent||Cash on Hand||Debt||Last Report|
|Carlos Beruff||$ 4,533,761||$4,408,550||$ 125,209||$4,103,850||30-Jun|
|Ernesto J. Rivera||$ 13,631||$ 13,283||$ 297||$ –||31-Mar|
|Dwight Young||$ –||$ –||$ –||$ –||—|
Sources: fec.gov and opensecrets.org