SEMINOLE, Fla. – Charlie Crist and socialism were equally criticized on Friday by Republican candidates hoping to meet Crist in Florida 13thCongressional District game later this year.
Amanda Makki, Anna Paulina Luna, Sheila Griffin and Sharon Newby took part in a rare personal candidate forum at the Seminole Recreation Center. The fifth candidate, George Buck, was not present.
Candidates are calling for “dangerous socialists”, an education system
Makki said it was three members of The Squad – Congress Democrats Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, and Ilhan Omar – who inspired her to run to Congress.
“They’re scary. They are non-American and they are dangerous socialists, “said Makki, the former Capitol Hill executive, who has collected the most money in the race and received approval from leading GOP congressional leaders such as Kevin McCarthy and Steve Scalise.
Sharon Newby and her husband moved from Illinois to Pinellas County in the late 1970s to take over a business that sold home organs and pianos, a business she continues to run. She said the current state of the country has made her an “unfortunate American.”
“I am appalled at what is happening in this country as close as Coachman Park,” she said, referring to the recent protests following George Floyd’s death. “This is an indictment of our education system. Where do these people who stand for our children come from? They teach them information that is factually incorrect. Do children learn to be ashamed of our country? What are we doing?”
Do you remember “Chain Gang Charlie”?
Sheila Griffin is the president of the Pinellas Suncoast Black Republican Club and has lived in Pinellas since she was two years old. Like her GOP opponents, Griffin embraced her full support for President Trump.
“I know the President has not done what this President has done,” she said. “It has not been praised as it should be. We have been kept safer and stronger by him, and now I pay close attention to any piece of legislation that moves, because we will never become a socialist nation and Marxism will not live here. ‘
“I think our biggest threat right now in our country is to fight Marxism,” said Luna, a US Air Force veteran who is the youngest candidate in the field at the age of 31. “I am a devout antisocialist, and yes, it should be noted.”
Luna also struck the Democratic-based party for his tough anti-crime philosophy in the 1990s when he earned the name ‘Chain Gang Charlie.’ She quoted a photo of Crist standing above three black prisoners on their knees chained.
“I’ve had relatives in and out of prison, and I can tell you one thing: if that was my dad in that photo – which it could very well have been, and he was handcuffed for being arrested for a drug charge – I would be horrified because that’s my dad, and while he may have been struggling, people deserve a second chance. ‘
Luna went on to say that it took someone who had the humility – and not just the finances – to win the seat.
“We don’t do Bloomberg 2.0. We don’t do David Jolly 2.0, ”she said.
The corona virus and the economic stop came up at some point in the debate. Griffin said that there had not been an adequate “cost-benefit” analysis of company closures.
‘We watched as our whole country was held hostage as an exercise to see how it would take over and take over America, “she said, adding,” we have been taken over by a lie. ‘
Candidates’ comments on the pandemic all came before Governor Ron DeSantis announced that he would be closing down in the state because of the recent surge in COVID-19 infections.
I’m going after the leader
Newby gave her hand the impression that she thinks Makki is the forerunner and said she was’ concerned about one of the candidates on this podium. She is from a very liberal part of this country. ‘
Makki lived in Maryland, but moved to Pinellas five years ago. Newby replied that as a long-term resident in Pinellas, she had paid over $ 700,000 in property taxes over the years. “That’s worth something,” she said.
While this year’s event was the rare political forum that took place in person, attendance was scarce, with seats spaced far apart for social distance purposes. Attendees measured the temperature at the door, and everyone wore face masks – even those who were not speaking – after the staff at the Seminole Recreation Center said this.
The event was recorded by the Central Republican Pinellas Club and is broadcast on their Facebook page.
The Congress seat has only been occupied by Crist since 2016, after the neighborhood was redrawn and changed from a classic ‘swing district’ that leaned a bit Republican to a much more democratic sitting seat. The district surpassed Donald Trump by 3.2 percentage points for Hillary Clinton in 2016.