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Conservative Picks for the Florida Primary

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Conservative Picks for the Florida Primary

Florida definitely stands apart from other states in the South. It actually sends Conservatives to DC, to the House that is. The Republican Party is gaining a lot of strength in Florida, similar to Wisconsin. The GOP knows how to win elections in this traditional swing state. Now the predicament becomes: who will win the battle for the GOP’s soul? Conservatives are poised to make gains this primary season. Leftists are poised for setbacks to their blue wave. A successful campaign in 2018 could empower Florida to be a red state in presidential elections to come. For this reason, some tradeoffs were allowed for Conservative Picks. Rick Scott betrayed the party, but in 2016, the Floridians forgave Marco Rubio for his professional shortcomings. Perhaps, in order to remove Nelson, the Florida Conservatives need to forgive Rick Scott. There is a larger battle that Conservatives can win, among the House races that can change the state’s politics for the next decade. Florida is poised to gain at least one or two Congressional seats in the next Census. It would be beneficial, if Conservatives are accustomed to winning by this time.

Best Picks: Greg Steube, Matt Gaetz, Ross Spano
Worst Picks: Greg Buck, Brian Mast, Carlos Curbelo
Best Races: District 7, District 15, District 17
Worst Races: District 18

US Senate

A likable candidate can end Bill Nelson’s long tenure in the DC swamp. It sucks to admit it but that candidate is Governor Rick Scott. In 2016, the Republicans rationalized that Marco Rubio was the best chance to maintain the Florida Senate seat, particularly in an election they did not think they would fare as well. Nevertheless, the GOP won this race in Florida, by over 700000 votes, in a higher turnout election than Nelson’s last win in 2012. 2012 was a bad election for Republicans, losing this race by double digits. 10 points is a hefty task. Rick Scott has viability, in that he outperformed the polls in his narrow victory in 2014. This was a lower turnout election, which is worrisome, but he is an organized candidate. The biggest downside to Rick Scott is that he is not a strong Conservative. On guns, he flopped. Still, ousting a three term Senator with a Liberty Score of 0 needs to be done. If Rick Scott can do that, the Senate will be better off.

Conservative Pick: Rick Scott

District 1

Matt Gaetz is in his first term and he seems like a new addition to the Conservative movement. He has opponents, but Gaetz deserves a second term.

Conservative Pick: Matt Gaetz

District 2

Neal Dunn is a first term RINO. He is unopposed.

District 3

Ted Yoho is a somewhat decent Congressman. He has blemishes on his record but is not a RINO. He has no serious opponent.

Conservative Pick: Ted Yoho

District 4

After 1 term, John Rutherford has shown to be a RINO. He has no opponent.

District 5

Virginia Fuller is the only Republican running in this race.

District 6

Now this is an interesting race. Three challengers vie for the nomination. Fred Costello is a former state rep with a lot of local endorsements. He also appears to be the weakest candidate. John Ward comes off strong as a Conservative with an emphasis on repealing Obamacare and balancing the budget. Michael Waltz is the other strong candidate in this race. His platform also self describes him as a Constitutional Conservative, but states replacing Obamacare as a priority and nothing about reducing debt. Ward is more Conservative, but doesn’t come off as strong or likable. Democrats already have a million dollar candidate, so this race can’t be screwed up. There isn’t enough evidence to suggest that Ward would blow this seat.

Conservative Pick: John Ward

District 7

State Rep. Mike Miller and businessman Scott Sturgill face off in this primary. Mike Miller has a decent record in the Florida House. He did not cave on his protection of the 2nd Amendment when Rick Scott did. Strugill is running on a seemingly hardline fiscal platform, but there appears to be no other signs of Conservatism than that. Miller has a track record of standing up in tough times, and that can’t be ignored.

Conservative Pick: Mike Miller

District 8

Bill Posey is a solid Conservative in the House. He is unopposed.

District 9

Wayne Liebnitzki is the only Republican on the ballot.

District 10

There are no Republicans running

District 11

Daniel Webster is not quite a RINO. He is unopposed.

District 12

Gus Bilirakus is an unchallenged RINO.

District 13

Brad Sostack comes off as more of a Trump populist on his twitter. His opponent Greg Buck seemed fine until he embraced an endorsement from the Tamba Bay Times, the leftist propaganda arm repsonsible for Polifact‘s fake fact checking. Embracing Florida’s leftist rag’s approval makes Brad Sostack the pick. Their article endorsing Buck describes him as:

Brad Sostack, 36, of St. Petersburg is a first-time candidate who describes himself as a pro-Trump, fiscally conservative Republican. He is a military veteran who supports the Second Amendment, tax cuts and restrictions on abortion.

This came after they stated that Buck was soft on DACA.

Conservative Pick: Brad Sostack

District 14

There are no Republicans running in this race.

District 15

This race is wide, but the strongest candidates come down to Neil Combee and Ross Spano. Immediately Spano comes off as the more Conservative pick. Combee also has the endorsement of the Tampa Bay Times. They refer to him as a more practical and experienced candidate. This indicates that he will spend as he pleases. Spano on the other hand is a solid Conservative in the Florida House. In a desperate hour, he defended the 2nd Amendment when Republicans failed. He is embarrassed by the lack of Obamacare repeal and is strong on cutting spending.

Conservative Pick: Ross Spano

District 16

Vern Buchanan is an incumbent RINO. He is unchallenged.

District 17

Tim Rooney, thankfully isn’t running. This vacant red seat has attracted a field of candidates, but leading the pack are Julio Gonzales and Greg Steube. Both seem like decent Republican candidates. A huge separating factor, however, are the endorsements. The NRA, House Freedom Fund, and Republican Liberty Caucus have allgiven the thumbs up to Greg Steube. Meanwhile RINOs such as Marco Rubio and Conservatives such as Andy Harris, of the Freedom Caucus, have shown support for Julio Gonzales. Both would likely be above average, but Steube is less risky on policy than Gonzales.

Conservative Pick: Greg Steube

District 18

Brian Mast is already a RINO after one term. He has two opponents. Mark Freeman ran and lost in 2016. Dave Cummings comes off as the most Conservative candidate in this race. He’s compassionate about the environment without delving into regulations and strong on defending the 1st Amendment.

Conservative Pick: Dave Cummings

District 19

Francis Rooney is an unchallenged RINO.

District 20

There are no Republicans in this race.

District 21

There are no Republicans in this race.

District 22

The right candidate could flip this seat. Democrat Ted Deutch doesn’t have as large of a war chest as other incumbents, and the deficit to overcome for Republicans is only withing single digits. Three Republicans are running. The first one is Nicholas Kimaz. Kimaz comes off as a decent human being with a distaste for PC. But it seems doubtful he would reduce spending. The strongest candidate appears to be Javier Manjarres. He’s Rubio backed, along with many Floridian politicians. But his policies are basic, and his stance on illegal immigration is worrisome. Eddison Walters could also be a decent pick here. He seems like the most Conservative, but least serious. Javier is also most liekly of the three to flip the seat. This race should embrace the strongest, most serious candidate.

Conservative Pick: Javier Manjarres

District 23

This is Debbie Wassermann Schultz’s seat. Hoping that third time’s the charm is true is Joe Kaufman. Perhaps it might be if he can make Schultz seem as incompetent and corrupt as she is. Debbie’s corruption is a huge tenant of his campaign, and that is the only way a Republican can flip this seat. Kaufman would have 50,000 votes to gain and the plummeting reputation of his opponents, paired with his ballot recognition enables him to do that. Another challenger is Carlos Reyes. He has a rather populist style campaign. It doesn’t seem like he’s a super conservative guy. Lastly, there is Carla Spalding. She ran independent against Brian Mast. She employs populist language of an independent while touting support for Trump’s wall and a number of his policies. Her stances are common sense, but very vague. There is no indication she would reduce spending.

Conservative Pick: Joe Kaufman

District 24

There are no Republicans in this race.

District 25

Mario Diaz-Balart is a hardcore RINO. He is unopposed.

District 26

Carlos Curbelo is a serious RINO. He is opposed by Souraya Faas. She is definitely to the right of Curbelo and likely also right of Trump. This is probably the seat most likely to flip blue.

Conservative Pick: Souraya Faas

District 27

A lot of Republicans are running in the Miami-Dade district. This is a vacated red seat that offers a chance to upgrade. This seat is also possible for a blue flip considering Hillary won the District. However the right candidate can hold the seat. That candidate might be Maria Elvira Salazar. Her protect prosper and strengthen campaign themes feature a weak opposition to abortion as well as an emphasis on improving infrastructure. She may not be a serious conservative, but she is also seeking to replace a hardcore RINO of three decades with a Liberty Score of 29. If she does no worse and keeps the seat red, then perhaps it is worth it to mitigate and block a Blue Wave.

Conservative Pick: Maria Elvira Salazar

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Culture and Religion

Does Matthew 22:29-30 indicate Jesus was referencing the Book of Enoch?

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Does Matthew 2229-30 indicate Jesus was referencing the Book of Enoch

Extra-Biblical texts such as the Book of Enoch are often frowned upon by churches. Some see 1 Enoch as fake. Others say it’s a good historical reference but not inspired. The Ethiopian Bible includes it as scripture. Should we read it?

To understand the answer to this question, we need to consider three things. First, it was referenced as holy by many of the early church fathers, but was excluded from official canon. Second, Enoch is referenced multiple times in the Bible: Genesis 4 and 5, Luke 3:37, Hebrews 11:5, and Jude 1:14. Third, Jesus makes a statement in Matthew 22:29-30 that references “scripture” but what he is saying is only found in 1 Enoch.

Many who oppose the validity of Enoch say that it was written after the Book of Jude because the it includes the quote that Jude references, but fragments of Enoch were found among the Dead Sea Scrolls, which most scholars date to before Jude was born.

The scripture in question is Matthew 22:29-30:

29 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.

30 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.

Nowhere in the 66 Books of the Bible does it say angels neither marry nor are given in marriage. What did Jesus mean when he said “Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures” in reference to the angels not marrying?

Here is 1 Enoch 15:5-7:

5. Therefore have I given them wives also that they might impregnate them, and beget children by them, that thus nothing might be wanting to them on earth. 6. But you were ⌈formerly⌉ spiritual, living the eternal life, and immortal for all generations of the world. 7. And therefore I have not appointed wives for you; for as for the spiritual ones of the heaven, in heaven is their dwelling.

Hmm.

As with anything regarding extra-Biblical texts, I must urge caution. Many who believe 1 Enoch is authentic refute the authenticity of 2 Enoch and 3 Enoch. Then, there’s the question of inspiration and protection of the text. Many Christians believe the Bible has been able to survive and flourish despite so many attempts to disrupt it is because it has been protected over the millennia. If that’s the case, why was Enoch not included the whole time?

The answer to this question, to those who believe in its authenticity, may be found in the first two verses of the manuscript.

1 The words of the blessing of Enoch, wherewith he blessed the elect and righteous, who will be 2 living in the day of tribulation, when all the wicked and godless are to be removed. And he took up his parable and said -Enoch a righteous man, whose eyes were opened by God, saw the vision of the Holy One in the heavens, which the angels showed me, and from them I heard everything, and from them I understood as I saw, but not for this generation, but for a remote one which is 3 for to come. Concerning the elect I said, and took up my parable concerning them:

If Enoch is real, it’s meant for a later generation living in the day of tribulation. If it’s a fake, then it’s intended to deceive those in the end times. Either way, it’s understandable that it would not be included in most Bibles.

I tend to believe 1 Enoch is legitimate, but not to the point that I would teach on it. Not yet. Much more prayer and study is required before I would ever risk misleading anyone.

Nevertheless, the reference in Matthew 22 is compelling.

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Democrats

Cartoon: Is that another huge immigration caravan?

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Cartoon Is that another huge immigration caravan

The 2016 GOP field seemed like a clown car routine compared to what was essentially five legitimate Democratic candidates. Whether they simply feared Hillary Clinton or didn’t want to take their shot following President Obama, many Democrats who were considered potentially serious candidates didn’t run.

That’s not the case for 2020. We may end up with more Democrats in the running than we had Republicans in 2016.

Cartoonist Michael Ramirez captured the growing group perfectly:

It’s certainly starting to look like a migrant caravan forming. Oh, wait. Those are actually American citizens.


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Immigration

No national emergency declaration: Trump’s “major announcement” will be an offer Democrats can’t refuse

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No national emergency declaration Trumps major announcement will be an offer Democrats cant refuse

This may be the best news I’ve heard all day (yes, even better than learning the Buzzfeed story was debunked, though that was pretty awesome as well). According to multiple outlets, the President will NOT be declaring a national emergency to fund the border wall and end the government shutdown. Instead he will be making Democrats an offer on live television to get the wall funded while dangling an incentive that he hopes will push Democrats to the negotiating table.

I’ll admit up front that I didn’t see this coming. I even went so far as to scold the President prematurely for declaring a national emergency, which apparently he is not. As I’ve always said, I will praise him when he does well and criticize him when he does poorly. Unless this report is wrong, I’ll happily praise him… unless his offer is too much.

What might be offered? Perhaps the DACA fix he didn’t want to do when Senator Chuck Schumer shut down the government last year. Maybe he’ll throw them a curve ball and offer some sort of boost to environmental efforts. Perhaps it’ll be adding more humanitarian aid to his border security package, greatly increasing the size and manpower of facilities that hold and process illegal immigrants and migrant seekers.

If I were a betting man, I’d put my money on a DACA fix. Then again, I would have also put my money on him declaring a national emergency, and it seems I would have lost that bet.

Whatever the offer is, it’ll need to be something that will make the Democrats look poorly to Independents and moderate Democrats if they don’t take it while not being so much that his base will feel betrayed by the offer.

Assuming this pans out as expected, I owe the President an apology for assuming the worst. Instead of the worst, this may be the best case scenario and as long as he’s not giving up too much, may also be the best move of his presidency.


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