All four candidates vying for the Republican nomination for Congressional District 2, currently held by Democrat Gwen Graham, were in Tallahassee today seeking the endorsement of RPAC, the political arm of the Florida Realtors Association. Sixteen realtors, eight from Bay and eight from Leon County, held court as the candidates stopped in one-by-one, trying to impress them.
Questions ranged from where the candidates stood on tax policy, including estate and capital gains taxes, to each candidate’s plan to win the Republican nomination for Congress.
“I may not have given them all the answers they wanted to hear,” said Jeff Moran, a first-time candidate. “But as long as they came away knowing that I’m a big believer in the free market, and that I’m not an establishment lawyer or insider lobbyist, then they got the message.”
Moran, a retired police officer and founder of a custom car shop, said that while he’ll take all the support he can get from groups like RPAC, he doesn’t think voters care all that much about endorsements.
“Do I think endorsements will help? Maybe. But this is the year of the outsider. Endorsements didn’t work for guys like Jeb Bush, so I’m not putting a lot of stock in the idea that it’ll help a guy like me. What people are looking for is someone with a totally different way of looking at things, not the usual cast of establishment lawyers and insider lobbyists.”
Moran’s opponents in the race are Neal Dunn, a registered lobbyist from Bay County, Mary Thomas, a government lawyer who worked for Governor Charlie Crist and helped push his environmental agenda, and Ken Sukhia, an attorney who also counts Charlie Crist among his roster of well known political clients.
The Republican primary is set for August 30. There are currently no Democrat candidates in the race.