Naples businessman Casey Askar released a campaign video announcing his candidacy to succeed Rep. Francis Rooney.
The video tells Askar’s personal story, from his family fleeing Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq to finding success in restaurant franchising in the U.S.
“I’ll defend America with everything I have,” Askar says in the video, “because I owe America everything I have. Our country is worth fighting for.”
Askar announced his candidacy last week. He’s one of nine Republicans in the race.
Notably, he’s picked up some of the staff who previously worked with pundit Ford O’Connell, who dropped out of the race the same week Askar jumped in. That includes Nick Carr, who previously worked on Rooney’s campaign, and Sean Kempton, who helped now-Gov. Ron DeSantis’ once-longshot gubernatorial campaign.
Askar’s two-minute video stresses his service in uniform.
“As a U.S. Marine, I have the desire to serve this great country that has given me the truest American Dream,” he says.
“At a young age my family fled oppressors in Iraq and came to America. Everyday my heart is full and grateful for the opportunities my family and I found in the United States. In Congress, I will give everything I have to give back and save our country for future generations.”
But while celebrating Askar’s immigrant story, the video still makes clear Askar supports Presiden Donald Trump’s policies for stronger borders.
He slams Democrats who “say borders don’t matter, that one country’s the same as another. They’re wrong.”
A short montage shows Democratic leaders like Speaker Nancy Pelosi, progressive Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, impeachment manager and Rep. Adam Schiff and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, ominously suggesting those figures are “selling this country out, seizing power, nationalizing businesses and taking our freedom.”
The video also shows his family, including his six children, while he narrates a commitment to maintain American freedoms so they can prosper. The video also amplifies his Christian roots, the reason his family fled persecution in Iraq.
Askar co-founded the Askar Family Office portfolio, which now operates Askar Brands, Askar Properties and Askar Management Group. He’s a major franchisee for Church’s Chicken, Dunkin’ Donuts and other national brands.