Debate roster causes disputes ahead of Florida GOP’s Sunshine Summit

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Several Republican candidates from Florida’s 4th, 7th, 13th and 15th Congressional Districts will take the stage next week to debate leading issues in the GOP Primary.

Republican congressional candidate Christine Quinn is calling on Joe Gruters, Chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, to reconsider including her in the upcoming debates at the 2022 Sunshine Summit.

Republican candidates from Florida’s 4th, 7th, 13th and 15th Congressional Districts will take the stage next week to debate leading issues in the GOP Primary.

Quinn, who is running in the GOP Primary for Florida’s 13th Congressional District, hasn’t received an invite. Why? She hasn’t met the criteria for the debate.

Gov. Ron DeSantis and the RPOF announced the criteria that debate candidates must have to take the stage — the candidate must have polled at least 5% in the RPOF poll of each respective Primary or raised and publicly reported at least $100,000 in monetary contributions by last Wednesday.

But Quinn is calling foul.

In a press release sent Friday, she called the poll that required a 5% pull  “questionable.” The poll surveyed 400 individuals, with a margin of error given at +/-4.89%.

To combat the exclusion by party leadership, Quinn and her supporters have been calling and emailing Gruters and DeSantis’ office to request reconsideration to include all Republican candidates, “so that Pinellas County voters can decide in the August Primary, rather than being herded to predetermined candidates.” Quinn supporters are also calling for details on the RPOF poll.

Quinn is the only GOP Primary candidate who was not invited to the debate. Former prosecutor Kevin HayslettAir Force veteran Anna Paulina Luna, and Republican strategist Amanda Makki are all on the debate roster.

Another candidate, Erick Aguilar who is running in Florida’s 4th Congressional District, is also facing scrutiny over attendance. Aguilar faces state Sen. Aaron Bean in the CD 4 debate.

Evan Power, RPOF Chair of Chairs and Chairman of the Leon County Republican Party, wrote a letter to Gruters urging him to rescind the RPOF’s invitation to Aguilar. Power cited recent reports of Aguilar “deceiving seniors by impersonating former President Donald Trump and Governor DeSantis in fundraising emails” without mentioning his name.

“If we sit idly by and allow a candidate using the Republican Party’s platform and stage to commit fraud against seniors in the name of former President Trump and Governor Ron DeSantis our party would be no better,” Power wrote in the letter. “Aguilar has obviously committed the fraud, the federal election commission records and contributions prove it. It is only a question for how many hundreds of thousands of dollars has he stolen from seniors who thought they were donating to Governor DeSantis, former President Trump, and other national Republicans? We cannot reward this thievery with a platform and stage at our Sunshine Summit.”

Candidates in Florida’s 10th Congressional District are also asking for a spot at the summit. In a letter to the RPOF, the Tuan Le campaign asks for CD 10 to be included in the debate roster. The district is an open seat with five Republican candidates running in the GOP Primary.

“CD-10 is a primary democrat area, but our internal polling indicates two variables that are very promising to flip this seat back to red,” the letter states. “We feel this is an opportune time to take advantage of the justified disappointment Democrats have with their own party and take back control of this seat, giving us control back overall of the House.”

Candidates in the CD 10 field are vying to replace incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. Val Demings. The Orange County-based CD 10 is likely to remain a strongly Democratic district regardless of what happens with litigation over reapportionment.

Florida’s Primary Election is set for Aug. 23.

In addition to the debates, the Sunshine Summit will host guest speakers, panel discussions and other programming featuring top Florida Republican officials and the nation’s leading conservative voices.

Kelly Hayes

Kelly Hayes studied journalism and political science at the University of Florida. Kelly was born and raised in Tampa Bay. A recent graduate, she enjoys government and legal reporting. She has experience covering the Florida Legislature as well as local government, and is a proud Alligator alum. You can reach Kelly at [email protected]


11 comments

  • Mark S Blum

    July 16, 2022 at 6:06 pm

    For District 13 I believe there is another Republican candidate who didn’t get an invitation, in addition to Quinn – Moneer Kheireddine.

  • PeterH

    July 16, 2022 at 6:57 pm

    Please …. PLEASE!

    No fighting will be tolerated on the Republican Primary Clown Bus!

    • Impeach Biden

      July 17, 2022 at 8:15 am

      The clown show is lead by your party and the two top comedians are Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

  • Joe Corsin

    July 16, 2022 at 9:04 pm

    Vote RED for domestic terrorists shilling for grifters and the rich

    Vote RED for neo nazi propaganda and horrible far right culture

    Vote RED for neo slavery and wealth and income inequality the likes of which the world has never seen

    • Impeach Biden

      July 17, 2022 at 8:14 am

      Vote “Blue” if you like high energy prices.
      Vote “Blue” if you are okay with 40yr inflation.
      Vote “Blue” if you need a biologist to determine your sex.
      Vote “Blue” if you enjoy high crime.
      Vote 9 Blue” if you want to defund the police.
      Vote “Blue” if you favor open borders.

      • Joe Corsin

        July 17, 2022 at 9:11 am

        Vote RED for paying the rich for votes on the backs of workers while brainwashing the poor with abominable far right propaganda.

        Vote RED for blaming the opposition party for acts of sabotage and obstruction of government that perpetuate an unstable economy.

        Vote RED for, “I had it hard so I suppose the rest of the world should suffer the same fate.”

        Vote RED for empty suit, televangelist politicians that merely exist to entertain stupid people and the rich.

        • Impeach Biden

          July 17, 2022 at 10:01 am

          Vote “Blue” if you thing Pelosi is stable.
          Vote “Blue” if you think Biden is stable.
          Vote “ Blue” If you think Kamala is smart.
          Vote “ Blue” if you support the squad.
          Vote “ Blue” if high taxes are your goal.
          Vote “ Blue” if you want to wear a mask.

        • johnathan roberts

          July 23, 2022 at 8:56 am

          Basically vote Blue if you want a dementia patient for president, Love communism, advocate for the criminal and punish the victim, turning every city into L.A San Fran, Baltimore, etc…Ya vote blue and make your life worse. Oh yeah vote blue if you 10.00 a gallon gas. I tell you you commies are mental.

  • Gregory

    July 17, 2022 at 9:54 pm

    In Florida’s 15th McGovern has no business being on stage. He only collected a little over $16,000.00 which is the bottom of the donation ladder. The fact he tried to buy a seat by loaning his campaign $470,000.00 should make no difference.

    • Maggie

      July 20, 2022 at 8:09 am

      Because someone is so entirely committed to fixing this mess in D.C. they use their own money, you believe that is a bad thing? He is the only candidate in the race who is a non-politician and has had tremendous success in D.C. working for the people, not big money proponents such as yourself. Are you related to George Soros?

  • CAMaven

    July 18, 2022 at 10:52 pm

    Any specifics on Aguilar?

Comments are closed.


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