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Screenshot from "Help is On The Way For Homeless Veterans!" ad for Darren Aquino campaign.


Darren Aquino focuses on homeless vets in first video ad

The Naples Republican has been a veteran advocate for years.

Naples Republican Darren Aquino promises to help veterans living on the street in the first ad of his Congressional campaign.

“On every single day, our veterans put their life on the line to protect and defend our freedom across this country,” he said. “Why is it when they come home and they suffer from all the challenges that war leaves on them… that they are pushed to the wayside and they get no respect?”

With his first video ad hitting airwaves Memorial Day weekend, the candidate for Congress hits a familiar topic for his campaign. A candidate for Florida’s 19th Congressional District, Aquino is the founder of the Advocates for Disabled Americans, Veterans, Police, Fireman & Families.

The new ad includes footage of a veterans monument, then cuts to video of lines of tents housing the homeless. The advertisement estimates some 70,000 veterans live on the streets, a number that’s roughly the estimate of recipients of homeless services at the Veterans Affairs administration.

“In my district there are more than 1,000 homeless veterans and we have elected officials that have done nothing. I promise you this: I will tackle this homeless epidemic and I will introduce legislation to solve this problem for our veterans.”

Aquino is one of 10 Republicans running to succeed Rep. Francis Rooney. He’s reported the lowest amount in cash contributions as of the end of the first quarter.

But he hopes to make a splash and get a slice of voters in a crowded winner-takes-all primary field this August. The new video will broadcast on digital platforms, and the campaign has also purchased spots on the local Fox affiliates.

“By supporting me you support our veterans,” Aquino said in the ad. “That’s America together. And I promise you, not one veteran will be left on the streets of America ever again.”

The ad also shows Aquino with police officers and veterans he has worked with through years of advocacy. That includes some shots from New York City, where he ran in the Republican primary for Mayor.

Written By

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at

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