Democratic candidate Oz Vazquez drops first TV ad in bid to unseat Brian Mast

Oz Vazquez
Vazquez is battling fellow Democrat Pam Keith in the primary for Florida's 18th Congressional District.

Democratic candidate Oz Vazquez is releasing his first television ad of the cycle as he competes for a chance to unseat GOP U.S. Rep. Brian Mast in November.

Vazquez is battling former Navy JAG Officer Pam Keith in the Democratic primary for Florida’s 18th Congressional District. Mast is facing a primary challenge from retired police sergeant Nick Vessio.

The new ad is set to run Tuesday.

“Raised in Port Saint Lucie, Oz was the first in his family to graduate college,” the ad’s narrator begins.

“When his dad got sick, Oz’s family relied on Social Security and Medicare to get by. In Congress, Oz will make protecting our Social Security and Medicare his top priority and work to finally bring down prescription drug costs for all Florida families.”

“Vote Oz Vazquez for Congress,” the ad concludes.

Vazquez is a lawyer with experience working as a Deputy Solicitor General in Florida. He has attempted to position himself as a Democrat who can appeal to both sides of the aisle.

Last month, Vazquez managed to nab a coveted endorsement from the Florida chapter of the AFL-CIO. The AFL-CIO is the largest federation of unions in the country. In early June, former U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy also endorsed Vazquez. Murphy previously represented CD 18 before mounting an unsuccessful U.S. Senate bid.

Still, Vazquez trails Keith in the latest fundraising numbers, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission last week. Keith raised more than $185,000 from April 1-June 30, compared to just over $108,000 for Vazquez. Keith also leads in cash on hand by a $136,000 to $90,000.

Mast held onto his seat in 2018 by a comfortable 8 percentage points despite the fact that Democratic candidate Lauren Baer was able to raise a significant amount of cash.

The 2020 party primaries will be held Aug. 18, with the winners advancing to the Nov. 3 general election.

Ryan Nicol

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 [email protected].

One comment

  • DisplacedCTYankee

    July 20, 2020 at 9:29 am

    Editorial note: He did not “drop” his first TV ad. He released it.

    “Drop” mean eliminates.

    Words used to have consequences. Now editors are just sheep. Every graph now “spikes.” All abnormal weather is “severe.” Etc.

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