Florida Republicans contending for office in Congressional districts 4, 7, 13, and 15 are being given the opportunity to publicly debate during the 2022 Sunshine Summit in Hollywood, Florida in order to give voters a better understanding of candidate platforms and agendas.
The debates are open to all Republican candidates within the districts that are able to garner 5 percent of support or more in the July Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) primary polls or by raising and publicly declaring more than $100,000 in monetary contributions by July 13.
The debates will help provide perspective on which candidates are the most viable to win their respective elections in November. All 4 districts lean right in terms of voter registration, with RPOF expecting election outcomes to match.
Gov. Ron DeSantis during a Monday morning press conference offered praise for the event, anticipating that the event will draw eyes to races given fewer national media appearances than those involving individuals like Rep. Matt Gaetz or Sen. Marco Rubio.
“It just gives an opportunity for the credible candidates,” said DeSantis. “This will be a great option for the candidates to go and talk about their visions and to contrast with their competitors.”
CD4 offers Sen. Aaron Bean, who recently received a litany of endorsements from Duval County leaders and politicians.
The Fernandina Beach Republican picked up nine endorsements last week including that of former Congressman Ander Crenshaw, Former FSU President and Florida House Speaker John Thrasher, Former Lieutenant Governor Jennifer Carroll, Former May John Peyton, Former Mayor John Delaney, Baldwin Mayor Sean Lynch, Atlantic Beach Mayor Ellen Glasser, Neptune Beach Mayor Elaine Brown, and Jacksonville Beach Mayor Chris Hoffman.
CD7 remains open following the surprise announcement that Democrat Rep. Stephanie Murphy will not seek reelection.
“I’ve decided not to seek another term in Congress. Serving Central Florida has been the honor of my life, but it’s also been incredibly challenging for my family and me.” said Murphy on Twitter during her announcement. “This was not an easy decision, but it is the right decision. Thank you for everything.”
The Republican primary field for the district includes Erika Benfield, Joe Cavagna, Brady Duke, Jeremy Liggett, Cory Mills, and Rep. Anthony Sabatini.
Duke leads the GOP field in fundraising, with $1.6 million raised as of March 31, according to campaign finance reports.
CD13, open due to Rep. Charlie Crist’s bid for governor, offers such names as the Trump-endorsed Anna Paulina Luna, Kevin Hayslett, 25-year-old Moneer Kheireddine, GOP strategist Amanda Makki, and Christine Quinn.
Finally, CD15 offers the biggest consortium of name-brand politicians, including several current state lawmakers like Sen. Kelli Stargel and Rep. Jackie Toledo, as well as former Secretary of State Laurel Lee. Kevin McGovern and Demetries Grimes round out the ticket.
Stargel received endorsement from Senate President Wilton Simpson, while Lee picked up a nod from Attorney General Ashley Moody.