At Thursday night’s Seminole Hob Nob, locals came out to vote in a straw poll and then meet and dine with the candidates who may represent them come November.
Several big wins came out of the straw poll: John Mica won an 89 percent victory over contender Mark Busch‘s 10 percent in the 7th Congressional District and Scott Plakon won 82 percent to Fred Marra‘s 17 percent in Senate District 29. Bob Cortes won in House District 30 with 84 percent, with challenger Ryan Neal Yadav only getting 15 percent.
Patrick Murphy won the Democratic State Senator primary with 40 percent of the vote and Marco Rubio won with ease with 75 percent of the vote on the Republican side.
Bob Dallari and Brenda Carey won huge victories for Seminole County Commission districts 1 and 5 respectively. Michael McLean won for clerk of the courts.
Event chair Alice Weinberg said the primary’s numbers are “usually 90 percent dead-on what the results are in the primary.” She said the results should inspire candidates who don’t do well to work harder and get out and campaign more.
Mica and Cortes left the event early to attend to other events happening on a busy Thursday evening. Busch spoke about his ideas on what needs to change in the legislative branch – which are why he is running for Congress.
He said there need to be term limits implemented – that way, it will cut out some of the political in-fighting and, maybe, candidates will actually get things done if they don’t have 30 years to sit in office, Busch said.
“We haven’t passed a balanced budget,” he said. “We’ve gone to the moon, but we can’t get a balanced budget. We’re going to deal with it down the road. It’s my generation’s turn to step up.”
Some candidates, either those running unopposed like Republican House District 28 incumbent Jason Brodeur or those like U.S. Senate candidate Tony Khoury who is not affiliated with any party, showed up at the Hob Nob anyway to meet with the voters, shake hands and get their views out there.
Brodeur touted a plan to offer more choices – both in school choice for parents and students as well as in the energy one chooses to use on his or her property.
“People should be able to educate their kids in a way most convenient for them,” he said. “It’s different for some families.”
He said Florida was “the end of the road” so far as energy went – nobody is running a pipeline through the state to get to somewhere else from here. So, he said, it should be left up to the people to decide which energy provider they want to get energy from, or if they want to pursue solar energy.
“We should create an environment of choice between traditional and solar, without disincentivizing the ability to do that,” he said.
Khoury spoke rapidly about a host of issues he found important – addressing the Okechoebee algae crisis, fighting for background checks and better education, and helping students with their loans. He said he wanted to get student loans from six or eight percent down to three percent and help students and graduates.
His campaign manager Jennifer Cusato likened the campaign to a “sleeping giant,” in the way that there was no primary, so they’re just coasting until the November election – of which she thinks they have a good chance of winning.