Four Republican hopefuls took to the debate stage Tuesday in the race for Florida’s 2nd Congressional District.
Attorney Mary Thomas, surgeon Neal Dunn, business owner Jeff Moran and former US attorney Ken Sukhia are all in the race to unseat Democratic Congresswoman Gwen Graham. Top issues for the candidates include the economy, national security, and conservative ideals. And as in the Republican Party at large, these candidates say anger is a driving force in Florida's GOP. Here’s Mary Thomas.
“When I travel throughout the 2nd District, the fear and the anxiety is real. People are wondering where their next job will come from, or will they even have a job? Will the president take away our guns and freedoms, and will ISIS hurt our troops, many of whom are our children, our friends, and our neighbors,” she said.
With parallels to the presidential race, for these congressional hopefuls, it is the year of the political outsider. Here’s Jeff Moran.
“So, am I a lobbyist? No, absolutely not. I am the definition of an outsider. I want to come to Washington and I want to bring those common sense values that the majority of us live. I’m not an attorney, I’m not a lobbyist, I’m just a hard-working American that wants to make a difference,” he said.
The ink is barely dry on District 2’s redrawn maps, but Republicans are confident they will take the seat in November. The new borders favor conservatives, stretching from Bay to Levy County, and splitting Leon in half. Congresswoman Graham is yet to announce a bid for re-election.