Spaghetti, then red meat, at GOP HD 15 forum


Lawyer/lobbyist Wyman Duggan, yacht broker Mark Zeigler, and Joseph Hogan (son of elections supervisor Mike Hogan), the three Republicans looking to succeed Rep. Jay Fant in Jacksonville’s House District 15, squared off in a forum Monday night.

Consultants described this forum, held at a church deep in the Westside (“the most conservative church in Jacksonville,” per moderator Raymond Johnson) on Old Middleburg Road, as “the tip of the right wing spear.”

The intro urged voters that “if the candidates don’t have your Christian values, you know what to do.” 

You get the idea: After the spaghetti dinner, red meat was the dessert.

The candidate speeches soon began, with Duggan explaining his legal field (lobbying for private property owners), and extolling the performance of GOP governance over the last two decades. Duggan tempered the optimism by noting that Duval schools are worse than those in the bedroom communities, and that HD 15 has the highest sheriff’s office call rate in the city.

Duggan rattled off a list of endorsements, including Clerk of Courts Ronnie Fussell … and excising the very Republican Mayor Lenny Curry (a measure of the religious right thinking Curry sold them out by not vetoing an expansion of LGBT rights).

(Interestingly, that was the second diss of the Republican Mayor that evening. Earlier, Mayoral candidate Jimmy Hill got applause for saying he was running against Curry to “correct the mistake” of backing him three years prior.)

Duggan faced questions, including about Fussell voting for the inclusion of Parvez Ahmed to Jacksonville’s Human Rights Commission.

Using that as a bridge, the questioner asked if the United Nations should decide human rights for Jacksonville, Duggan asserted that “the United Nations have no place in Duval County.”

The United Nations issue did not die. A questioner taught the panelists that the United Nations is “controlling our national parks.” Duggan, still in his q&a, and the questioners stared forward impassively.

Hogan was next up. His stump speech had the virtue of brevity, leading to questions about the 2nd Amendment (he supports it, including for people under 21). He also supports school vouchers, a “good thing for Duval County.”

When asked about “national monuments being torn down,” Hogan misinterpreted the question, which was intended as one about Confederate monuments. Once he figured it out, he said “you can’t whitewash history.”

Hogan’s endorsement of Democrat Alvin Brown over Lenny Curry did not come up.

Zeigler was next up.

“I’m the only candidate in the race who lives in the district, owns a business in the district, and eats lunch in the district,” a dig at Duggan, who does his business downtown.

Zeigler also noted the transience of State Reps., noting Davis “took a six-figure job at the Chamber,” and Fant “decided to run for Attorney General.” He also swiped at Rep. Reggie Fullwood for seeing his career truncated by a wire fraud plea deal.

Zeigler punted on a question about Visit Florida and Enterprise Florida, saying he didn’t know enough about it to answer. He was, however, able to take a position against the legalization of a pill facilitating assisted suicide.

“I do not care for that,” meanwhile, was his response to a question about sanctuary cities.

From there, more questions for the candidates en masse.

On the question of the Competitive Workforce Act — a “radical LGBT rights bill” per Johnson — the candidates struggled.

“I’m not in favor of creating alternative causes of action that are duplicative or redundant,” Duggan said.

When asked if he’d vote against the bill, Duggan said he “doesn’t know anything about the bill” and wouldn’t vow to vote against a bill he knew nothing about.

Hogan vowed to vote against it “if it’s anything like the HRO bill.” And Zeigler said he wouldn’t vote for it.

“We haven’t seen the bill,” Zeigler said, but assured the crowd all three would vote against it.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • Mira Dean

    June 26, 2018 at 5:03 am

    vote this election for candidates who prioritize citizens over illegal aliens, those who oppose sanctuary cities, amnesty and taxpayer funded in state college tuition discounts for illegals. That means no Democrats and no RINO’s.

    When will politicians and people in general figure out that when you reward illegal immigration with jobs, amnesty, drivers licenses, discounts for college tuition, scholarships encourages MORE illegal entry.. Illegal immigration negativity effects our economy from employment to use public services. Just debating this in congress is costing taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars….. thank the parents. Another concern is the real “immigrants” who have waited in line? The “dreamers” don’t care about them, but we as a country should.

    People fleeing persecution? or people fleeing for freebies? they don’t stay in Mexico when they reach safety or ask for political asylum in Mexico. Why? because Mexico will give them nothing. So they make the long journey to our border.

    We have over 800,000 “dreamers” (authorized illegal aliens) and probably another 2 million non DACA illegals in our country taking jobs. These are jobs American citizens have lost or are in competition for.They are not all picking strawberries as the MSM / Democrats would like you to believe. Nor are they “children” or “kids. (another MSM / Dem deception.) America is not splitting up families, that decision is theirs. I don’t know how these dreamers can wave goodbye to their parents being deported but they do so every day. Its ALL about them. Selfish. With over 100,000 veterans homeless you would think that would be a priority Not so.…/fiscal-burden-illegal…

    Just some of the costs associated with illegal immigration, we will pass this burden on to our children and grand children as has been passed on to us.

    *The cost of educating illegal aliens children is staggering. From K-12 it costs taxpayers $122,000 for EACH illegal alien student. This does not include the billions spent on bilingual education for illegal aliens.

    *Currently city, and state officials are appropriating millions of taxpayer dollarsfor legal fees to to file law suits and in defense of illegal aliens being deported.

    *2012 illegal aliens sent home $62 BILLION in remittances back to their countries of origin. This is why Mexico is getting involved in our politics.

    *30% percent of all Federal Prison inmates are illegal aliens.Does not include local jails and State Prisons. At $21,000 per year expense per inmate in Federal Prison U do the math.

    *$3Million Dollars a DAY is spent to incarcerate illegal aliens, I repeat 3 MILLION a DAY to process Illegals in the Criminal justice system.

    *$2.2Billion dollars a year is spent on is spent on food assistance programs such as SNAP (food stamps) WIC, & free school lunches.

    • Andy

      June 26, 2018 at 9:41 am

      Those are jobs not taken by “illegal aliens” but given to “illegal aliens” by your old boss. Nothing make him happier than to know you are blaming the person who now does your old job for less money. What a dunce.

    • Jason Mcc

      June 26, 2018 at 1:30 pm

      False Christians all.
      When you deny foreingers aid in your own land you deny God.

      Job 31:32
      “The alien has not lodged outside, For I have opened my doors to the traveler.

      Matthew 25:35
      ‘For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in;

      Matthew 25:38
      ‘And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You?

      Matthew 25:44
      “Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’

      Ephesians 3:1
      For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles–

      1 Timothy 5:10
      having a reputation for good works; and if she has brought up children, if she has shown hospitality to strangers, if she has washed the saints’ feet, if she has assisted those in distress, and if she has devoted herself to every good work.

      3 John 1:5
      Beloved, you are acting faithfully in whatever you accomplish for the brethren, and especially when they are strangers;

      Deuteronomy 10:19
      “So show your love for the alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.

      Leviticus 19:34
      ‘The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt; I am the LORD your God.

      Leviticus 25:35
      ‘Now in case a countryman of yours becomes poor and his means with regard to you falter, then you are to sustain him, like a stranger or a sojourner, that he may live with you.

      Hebrews 13:2
      Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.

      Deuteronomy 14:29
      “The Levite, because he has no portion or inheritance among you, and the alien, the orphan and the widow who are in your town, shall come and eat and be satisfied, in order that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hand which you do.

      Deuteronomy 26:11
      and you and the Levite and the alien who is among you shall rejoice in all the good which the LORD your God has given you and your household.

      Leviticus 19:10
      ‘Nor shall you glean your vineyard, nor shall you gather the fallen fruit of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the needy and for the stranger. I am the LORD your God.

      Leviticus 23:22
      ‘When you reap the harvest of your land, moreover, you shall not reap to the very corners of your field nor gather the gleaning of your harvest; you are to leave them for the needy and the alien. I am the LORD your God.'”

      Deuteronomy 24:19-21
      “When you reap your harvest in your field and have forgotten a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it; it shall be for the alien, for the orphan, and for the widow, in order that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. “When you beat your olive tree, you shall not go over the boughs again; it shall be for the alien, for the orphan, and for the widow. “When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, you shall not go over it again; it shall be for the alien, for the orphan, and for the widow.

      Deuteronomy 26:12-13
      “When you have finished paying all the tithe of your increase in the third year, the year of tithing, then you shall give it to the Levite, to the stranger, to the orphan and to the widow, that they may eat in your towns and be satisfied. “You shall say before the LORD your God, ‘I have removed the sacred portion from my house, and also have given it to the Levite and the alien, the orphan and the widow, according to all Your commandments which You have commanded me; I have not transgressed or forgotten any of Your commandments.

  • John Trigueiro

    June 26, 2018 at 6:03 pm

    My wife and I went into tonight’s meeting undecided and came out still undecided. I spoke with all three candidates and they all state they are pro-life and against corporate welfare. We liked that Zeigler lives and owns a small business here in Jacksonville. The fact that Duggan worked with Emergency Pre Pregnancy Services was a bonus. Hogan comes from a great Christian family with values that are aligned to ours. I will have to do a bit more research, but, if pressed to vote today, it would be Hogan. Duggan a very close second (his almost non committal answer regarding the HRO hurt him), and Zeigler came in third (solely because we don’t know enough about him).

    Over the next two weeks we’ll get to know them, then not just vote for, but, volunteer for them as well. We’ll do our research, pray about it, then get to work.

Comments are closed.


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