12 of 14 Central Florida GOP congressional candidates say they believe Donald Trump won in 2020

CD 10 candidates
12 of 14 Republican candidates in a forum said they believe Joe Biden did not win.

There is no shortage of Republican congressional candidates in Central Florida who still believe that former President Donald Trump won the 2020 election and the real winner, President Joe Biden, did not.

At a candidate’s forum held in Orlando, all candidates who appeared in two panels, running in Florida’s 7th, 9th and 10th Congressional Districts, were asked if they think Biden really won.

Twelve of 14 Republicans taking part said no, they do not believe Biden won.

The only two Republican candidates who said they believed Biden was the rightful winner were CD 7 candidates Ted Edwards and Rusty Roberts.

Edwards is a former Orange County Commissioner with a long record as a staunch conservative, who is nonetheless breaking with the Republican Party line on a couple of key points in his 2022 campaign. He said, “Yes,” he believes Biden won.

Roberts was right-hand-man to the last Republican to represent most of CD 7, former U.S. Rep. John Mica. Roberts, most recently an executive with Brightline, had been Mica’s Chief of Staff for many years, and ran many of his 12 election campaigns. He also said yes.

Those who said no were Republican CD 7 candidates Erica Benfield, Al Santos and Scott Sturgill; Republican CD 9 candidates Jose Castillo, Scotty Moore, Adianis Morales and Sergio Ortiz; and Republican CD 10 candidates Lateresa Jones, Tuan Le, Thuy Lowe, Peter Weed and Calvin Wimbish.

So did independent CD 10 candidate Usha Jain.

The revelations came from a “yes” or “no” question posed during two candidate forums hosted Thursday night in Orlando by the Orlando Sentinel, Spectrum News 13 and AARP. The questions were posed by the moderators, Sentinel columnist Scott Maxwell and News 13 anchor Ybeth Bruzual.

The forums, which gathered 14 candidates for CD 10 in one discussion, then 13 candidates combined for CD 7 and CD 9 in the other, was not fully attended. Many of the leading candidates, including CD 9 incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. Darren Soto, CD 10 Democratic candidate state Sen. Randolph Bracy, and CD 7 Republican candidates Brady Duke, Cory Mills and state Rep. Anthony Sabatini, were conspicuous by their absences.

CD 7 covers Seminole County and southern Volusia County. CD 9 covers Osceola County and parts of southern Orange County. CD 10 spans much of northern Orange County.

The overwhelming majority of Republicans who did attend the forum said they believe Biden did not really win the 2020 Presidential Election.

That came even after scores of investigations and audits in key swing states, most led by state Republicans, found no evidence of significant voter fraud, and even after scores of court challenges by Trump found the same.

The Republican candidates in Central Florida said so even after the U.S. House Select Committee to Investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol held a series of nationally televised hearings this summer that included interview of top lawyers, including former Attorney General William Barr, and key staff members within the White House who all said there was no evidence to support Trump’s claim that the 2020 Presidential Election was “stolen” from him.

All of the Democrats said they believe Biden was the real winner of the 2020 Presidential Election.

They included CD 7 Democrats Tatiana Fernandez, Al Krulick and Allek Pastrana; and CD 10 Democrats Jeff Boone, former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, Maxwell Alejandro Frost, Terence Gray, former U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, Natalie Jackson and Khalid Muneer.

They were joined by independent candidates Jason Holic in CD 10 and write-in candidate Cardon Pompey of CD 7 who said Biden won.

“Oh my God, yes,” Grayson said.

“Absolutely,” Frost said.

“Absolutely, yes,” Gray agreed.

“Absolutely, no,” Jain contended.

“Absolutely yes,” Muneer said.

“President Trump won,” Santos declared.

“And that’s the problem, folks,” Krulick added.

Earlier, in a question on bipartisan cooperation, Krulick ranted about why he thought that bipartisan work would be difficult in a Congress that included people who stayed with Trump’s widely disproven claim that the 2020 election was stolen.

“This republic cannot exist on a steady diet of lies, deceit and disinformation. Democracies die when the people can no longer trust that their elected leaders will tell the truth. Until we put a stake in the heart of Trumpism, and we reject the big lie, I don’t think bipartisanship is going to be possible,” Krulick said.

Other no-shows at the forum were Democratic CD 7 candidate Karen Green, Democratic CD 10 candidate Jack Achenbach and Republican CD 10 candidate Willie Montague.

Scott Powers

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at [email protected].


  • Don’t Look Up

    July 28, 2022 at 11:55 pm

    Republicans are in opposition to sensible gun reform to protect our schools, public gathering spaces, shopping malls and grocery stores.

    Republicans are in opposition to taxing people who make over $400,000.or more annually to pay for medicine for Florida’s seniors.

    Republicans think that climate change is a hoax and the USA should not prepare for America’s impending global warming.

    Republicans want to return American social policy back four decades.

    Republicans want women and their doctors to be criminally held responsible for terminating a pregnancy. If re-elected; DeSantis WILL BAN ABORTIONS IN FLORIDA the day after the midterms.

    Almost ten thousand Florida teachers have left classrooms never to return. Ask yourself if Ron DeSantis’s culture wars have anything to do with school vacancies?!?!

    Under twenty years of failed Republican leadership, Florida has become a magnet for the MAGA terrorist. It’s now a home base for Oath Keepers and Proud Boys …. Two white nationalist groups responsible for organizing the January 6th attempted coup in Washington DC.

    Florida Republicans do not believe Biden won the 2020 election…… but they can provide zero proof to back up that claim.


  • Ron Ogden

    July 29, 2022 at 6:10 am

    We’ll see next year. It’ll be fun—but not for Democrats. I wonder how many of them will jump up saying “I always thought those results were funny”? Democrats, after all.

  • Impeach Biden

    July 29, 2022 at 6:20 am

    81 million voted for Jimmy Carter2. So you are telling me that Jimmy Carter2, who hid in the basement and generated absolutely no excitement when he did show up to campaign got more votes that Obama. Obama was a rock star compared to the “incompetent one”. Definitely active voter harvesting going on. Look what Jimmy Carter2 has done in his short year and a half.

    • Jack

      July 29, 2022 at 7:49 am

      The bit you miss is that people like me, who think that trump is just a moron, would vote for anybody other than trump. I certainly didn’t want to vote for biden but given the choice between him and trump, it was an easy choice. I had no bumper stickers, posters in my front year, silly baseball caps and I didn’t discuss it with anybody – I just went out on the day and voted against trump. We’re called the silent majority and yes, we vote. Sorry to burst your conspiracy theory and trump’s big lie.

    • Elliott Offen

      July 29, 2022 at 8:08 am

      No… Trump was just that bad… that’s why he lost. He was only popular with stupid people and those who grift stupid people to a husk. People who don’t understand that are most likely in that group of stupid people. Victims of the BIG CON and the BIG LIE.

    • Ocean Joe

      July 29, 2022 at 8:22 am

      Good morning, IB. Glad to help you out.
      People were primarily voting against Trump. Nobody goes nuts over Sleepy Joe.
      Any port in a storm.
      We were in a hell of a storm.
      He failed to lead on covid, took direction from Fox talking heads. They decided it was a hoax. Masks and the vaccine became red v. blue. Pence was doing an admirable job on the covid briefings but Trump couldn’t stand missing out on all that publicity so he took over and turned them into a circus of nonsense.
      Hospitals were overcrowded. Bodies in refrigerated trucks.
      More jobs lost since the Great Depression. Food lines.
      Bare store shelves.
      The election was a change election, like your red friends are predicting for November. It’s an American tradition.
      As one of the 81 million, who voted for Trump in 2016, Biden excites no one, which is a large part of why he won.
      Move along. There is a new Trump right here in Florida, busy stamping out wokeness because you want the 1950’s back.

      • Impeach Biden

        July 29, 2022 at 8:56 am

        I wasn’t here in the 50’s and neither was DeSantis. I certainly get that Trump is a polarizing individual. The saying at my company of one of our CEO’s that ran a very successful business, “He’s an asshole but he’s our asshole”. That would fit Trump perfectly. You have to admit that things were much better under his reign. This country is in chaos right now due to Jimmy Carter2. From the Border to the economy to crime, we truly need a capable leader and DeSantis is a great choice.

        • Bill

          July 29, 2022 at 9:41 am

          Statistically, very little has changed other than perception. Even if he’d been reelected, most financial problems that we face now are global and there’s very little the WH can do to fix them regardless of who’s in or out of power . Crime is down and certainly lower that the late 80’s and early 90’s. The border is a problem, has been for years and will continue to be one for year to come. But, at least we don’t have to live through another season of celebrity apprentice of whatever organized chaos it was that he was playing at. You’re right about him being polarizing though. Hopefully he won’t run again and turn the reins over to someone younger – likewise for biden.

          • Viewer

            August 3, 2022 at 6:00 pm

            “Even if he’d been reelected, most financial problems that we face now are global and there’s very little the WH can do to fix them”

            Many of the financial problems were caused by the Biden Administration. Every chance they get, they sabotage oil production and that is the primary reason it is expensive right now. Even as Joe Biden was actively talking about increasing the oil supply, his administration was trying to shut down an older oil well that was recently restarted because it still had all of its licenses going. They refuse to give out new licenses so oil companies were forced to look at not as economical sites that still had licenses going. They Biden administration goes out of its way to make sure every oil site is missing at least one license so it can’t be used.

            There are other small decisions along the way that are always made to make it as hard as possible to get oil. One example is refusing to allow pipelines to be built.

            There are a number of economical decisions they made that slowed down the economy. Were you aware that it is illegal for most truck drivers in the US to deliver cargo in California where shipments from overseas comes in? Are you aware huge amounts of truck drivers are banned from delivering cargo between US and Canada? Are you aware that the Biden administration forced companies to fire large portions of their workforce? This is a major factor in the supply chain issue and why airlines have to cancel flights.

            Crime has more then doubled in many areas from terrible policy all around.

            The border problem is far worse then you realize. The population of people coming over is far higher then it has ever been. The facilities at the border couldn’t even handle the previous amount of people so it has become lawless at the border now. Many deadly drugs getting across the border has increase 5x-10x depending on the drug.

        • Joe Corsin

          July 29, 2022 at 9:56 am

          ^ Far right propaganda pusher and liar…

        • Dan Freeman

          July 30, 2022 at 9:10 am

          What was better under Trump? We were better at ripping children from their parents. We were better at forming treasonous conspiracies. We had better respect for white supremacists. We were better at pushing our allies away and embracing dictators. We were better at twisting the truth about the worst epidemic in a century and blowing our chance at getting it under control. We were better at pumping up the economic opportunities for the wealthy and keeping the working folks down. The list goes on and on….

          • View

            August 3, 2022 at 6:07 pm

            “We were better at pumping up the economic opportunities for the wealthy and keeping the working folks down”

            You said a lot of made up points so I thought I would respond to your only point that wasn’t blatantly made up.

            You might not like how he made economic decisions but we saw 40 year lows in unemployment. Also, you have to remember a lot of the economic problems at the end of Trump’s term were caused by Democrats wanting to make Trump look bad so they intentionally sabotaged the economy in their own area.

        • tom palmer

          July 31, 2022 at 10:39 am

          I was around in the1950s. Some of what DeSantis is advocating is eerily similiar to the Johns Committee’s antics aimed at persecruting homosexuals and anyone with differennt poltiical views. DeSantis: Keep Florida Free (from dissent)

  • Jim

    July 29, 2022 at 10:38 am

    Ignoramuses will believe anything, even The Big Lie.

  • Wanda

    July 30, 2022 at 11:00 am

    Yes I voted for Biden to get rid of Trump I have been a Republican all my life but Trump is a dictator and stupid moron

  • Beth

    July 30, 2022 at 6:37 pm

    12/14 are completely delusional and should be baker acted not running for any office. Time for intelligent rational Americans to rise up and dump these brain dead radicalized Republican members of the maga cult. They serve no purpose in a civilized society and are an embarrassment to our state and our nation.

    • Viewer

      August 3, 2022 at 6:17 pm

      It was proven with the Arizona audit, Georgia audit and Pennsylvania court case the Trump really did win those states. If you look at the electoral college map, those three state going to Trump means he would have won the election.

      It was also proven in a court case the Dominion machines were intentionally committing fraud with the counted votes. There were over 2000 people identified to be casting hundreds of thousands of fraudulent votes in just different areas spanning five states. That doesn’t even look at the other 45 states or the rest of those five states. There are thousands of other examples of fraud identified.

      One major examples is numbers. There isn’t even 81 million people in the US to cast the votes that Biden got. There was only 133 million voters during the 2020 elections. After subtracting Trump’s votes, there are not even 60 million people left to cast a vote for Biden and yet Biden somehow got 81 million votes? This is if you assume 100% of the voting population votes which we know is not true.

  • Yeah

    August 1, 2022 at 8:44 pm

    And republican people are mad they didn’t get to rip the life out of baby boomers as check’s and kill them by ripping any form of medicare Donald won because of Satan

  • tjb

    August 2, 2022 at 12:43 pm

    OK, i got it!
    If a Republican wins in the next general election, there is no fraud but if a democrat wins, there was fraud.

Comments are closed.


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