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CD 27 candidate María Elvira Salazar takes the lead.

South Florida

‘Monster’ much? PAC launched to bash Maria Elvira Salazar

Maria Elvira Salazar is now being bashed by a former rival in the Republican primary for Florida’s 27th Congressional District.

Former candidate Stephen Marks, who came in fourth in the nine-person contest, has launched a new website and PAC, called MiamiAmerica.

Marks’ aim appears to be hitting Salazar over her support, or lack thereof, of President Donald Trump. He also criticizes her conservative bona fides.

The website aims to push voters toward third-party candidate Mayra Joli, who has made her support of Trump a pillar of her campaign.

Two videos are featured on the website, one in English and one in Spanish. And Marks says TV ads will be coming as well.

Among the claims made in those videos are that Salazar once called Trump a “monster,” that she does not see abortion as immoral, and that she proposed banning semi-automatic weapons.

While Salazar’s “monster” comments are heavily edited in the MiamiAmerica clip, a review of her fuller remarks by Florida Politics shows that she was discussing the matchup between Jeb Bush and Trump in the Republican primary.

Of that campaign, Salazar says Jeb was forced to “confront the monster.” It’s not clear whether she is simply saying that as a figure of speech or actually labeling Trump a monster.

A request for comment from the Salazar campaign was not returned.

Salazar did say she doesn’t think having an abortion is necessarily “morally wrong,” though she does say she opposes abortion in most cases. And on guns, Salazar has appeared open to banning assault weapons.

Marks clearly feels Joli would be stronger on these issues. And his war with Salazar isn’t new to the general election.

Marks made waves during the primary with an ad attacking Salazar over a 1995 interview with Fidel Castro. The ad featured excerpts of Salazar warmly addressing Castro, combined with 2016 comments where Salazar called Barack Obama‘s easing of relations with Cuba “noble.”

Salazar’s campaign deemed the ad defamatory and threatened to force Marks to pull it off the air.

Marks’ opposition to Salazar was so strong, he actually endorsed Democratic candidate Donna Shalala in the race. However, in comments to Florida Politics, Marks says he has now shifted support to Joli.

Whether his efforts will make a dent in the race remains to be seen. A Mason-Dixon poll of the contest had Joli polling at just 1 percent. A DCCC poll released Tuesday had her at 6 percent support.

Marks is known for his role as a “political hitman” in Republican circles. That’s not a knock on Marks. Rather, it’s part of the title of his own book, “Confessions of a Political Hitman.”

Written By

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to

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