State and Congressional candidate recommendations

Florida’s Primary Election is fast approaching. Election Day is August 24th, but voters can request an absentee ballot and avoid lines and last minute excuses and vote from the comfort of home. Early voting at select polling locations begins August 9th and runs through August 21st.

See who Irrevernet View likes/doesn’t like in all of Florida’s statewide and congressional races

By Chris Ingram

Florida’s Primary Election is fast approaching. Election Day is August 24th, but voters can request an absentee ballot and avoid lines and last minute excuses and vote from the comfort of home. Early voting at select polling locations begins August 9th and runs through August 21st.

With ballots already in the mail, it’s time for a quick assessment of the candidates. You can call these recommendations if you will, as “endorsement” seems a bit haughty.

In the Democrat Primary for U.S. Senate billionaire and friend of countless disgraced celebrities like Mike Tyson, Heidi Fleiss, and Lindsey Lohan, Jeff Green is facing Congressman Kendrick Meek. Neither one of these guys deserve anything other than a swift kick in the you know what. Meek is career politician and out of touch with Main Street Floridians.  Green is just weird and he has really bad judgment (the best-man in his wedding was rapist Mike Tyson and Hollywood Madame Heidi Fleiss used to be his “houseguest” – whatever that means). My recommendation to Democrats who want to win this race…find a nice tall bridge and jump.  Charlie Crist is the only electable liberal in this race for all intents and purposes, but Democrats will have to wait until November to cast a vote for the Tan Man. 

In the Republican Primary for U.S. Senate two unknown candidates are challenging Marco Rubio (remember, Charlie “Pander Pants” Crist bolted the party). Rubio will certainly win and he deserves to be the nominee of the G.O.P. 

In the race for governor, Rick Scott could be the guy that ran over my dog – and I’d still vote for him. Bill McCollum is part of the problem, not part of the solution. I can’t tell you how many McCollum supporters and money-men of his who have said they too like Rick Scott and have long been down on Bill “Howdy Doody” McCollum who thinks he should be governor because “it’s his turn.” Sorry Bill. I think you’re going to have to start thinking about making an honest living and get off the taxpayer’s dime for the first time in your life in oh, about four weeks.

There are two qualified and competent Republican candidates running for Attorney General. One of them is not Jeff Kottkamp – Florida’s current Lt. Governor best known for flying around in state airplanes to attend rock’n’roll concerts and other dubious events – all at taxpayer expense mind you. The LG is also known for shaving his goofy mustache – which was probably the best political advice he ever took as he no longer looks like some guy your kids would run from. Where was the consultant who gave him that advice when Kottkamp was screwing the taxpayers with all his travel on state airplanes? The other two candidates are uniquely qualified and are good people. I recommend Pam Bondi who has tons of courtroom experience. Though she has made a few mistakes on the campaign trail, the fact that she’s not a polished candidate is endearing in this day full of overly polished career politicians.  The other candidate in this race is Holly Benson who is certainly capable, though her “resume” is thin with real-world courtroom experience and is a little too heavy on jobs working for the government.

In the Democratic Primary for Attorney General Dave Aronberg and Dan Gelber are running a heated campaign. Gelber probably has better experience which includes having been a prosecutor, but both of these guys are basically career politicians. Pick ‘em.

In Florida’s 3rd Congressional District, soldier/farmer/businessman Dean Black is the best “token” G.O.P. challenger to incumbent Democrat Congresswoman Corrine Brown. Unfortunately for Black, this is a solidly safe Democrat district. If he wins in November, look for pigs to fly.

In the 5th Congressional District Hernando County Sherriff Richard Nugent faces off against Jason Sager, a Tea Party Activist. Nugent faced criticism in the way he came to be a candidate when Ginny Brown-Waite decided not to run for reelection. I normally don’t like this type of trickery, but we can all thank our lucky stars it happened this way since it kept State Senator (and Charlie Crist apologist) Mike Fasano from appearing on the ballot, and thus potentially going to Washington. Sheriff Nugent is a competent man and will serve the district well, while Sager appears to be a one-trick pony.

In District 6 businessman and Navy vet Don Browning faces incumbent Cliff Stearns. Browning is a long-shot against Stearns who has the support of the party establishment. Republican voters have the chance to send a strong message to D.C. that they are tired of the same old career politicians by nominating Browning. Whoever wins the primary will likely win in November as there is only token opposition from an Independent candidate in the General Election.

In District 8 ex-state Senate Majority Leader Daniel Webster is in a crowded field to take on Democrat Alan Grayson. Webster is a solid conservative, if just a little too closely associated with the establishment of the G.O.P. But he is a decent man, a conservative, and represents the best chance to take back this Republican seat and GOP Primary voters should support him.

In District 9 Democrats Anita de Palma and Phil Hindahl are battling to face incumbent Gus Bilirakis in November. Bilirakis who is arguably the dumbest Republican member of Congress currently serving in the House of Representatives is a shoe-in for reelection. Despite his intellectual challenges, Bilirakis will more than likely be easily reelected.

In the 11th Congressional District currently held by Kathy Castor, four guys who have no chance of defeating the incumbent Democrat face off. Perennial candidate Eddie Adams has the best organization, Mike Pendergast the most financial support, Thomas Castellano the most enthusiasm, and Tony Buntyn is the nicest guy in Bay-area politics. Adams has proven he can’t win, so it comes down to the other three. Any one of them would make a great token opponent against Castor who for all intents and purposes will have the seat until she doesn’t want it because voter registration in the district is so far to the left. Castor faces a token Primary opponent in Tim Curtis who is a Tea Party activist. Bay-area Democrat voters have the opportunity to send the national party a message that they’ve had enough by voting for Curtis but I doubt that is going to happen.

In the 12th District, former State Rep. Dennis Ross faces Tea Party activist John Lindsey in the G.O.P. Primary. Ross has the connections, money, and name ID to be a formidable opponent in November and an he will be an effective Member of Congress. In the Democratic Primary it’s a toss-up between Lori Edwards and ’08 nominee Doug Tudor. Either one will end up a token nominee as this is a district that should remain in Republican hands (the district is currently represented by Adam Putnam).

In the 13th District formerly represented by Katherine Harris, incumbent Vern Buchanan faces Don Baldauf in the Primary. Baldauf is a nice guy who should be running for the state legislature. He presents little more than token opposition to Buchanan who deserves reelection. Rick Eaton and James Golden are running in the Democratic Primary and neither has a shot of beating Buchanan.

In District 17 (currently held by Democrat U.S. Senate candidate Kendrick Meek), there is a crowded field of Democrats running. The winner of the Primary will likely be the next Congressman from the district as there is no Republican and only a token Independent candidate in November.  Among the Democrats, Rudy Moise is the only candidate in the crowded field who has never previously held elective office. Moise is a physician and community activist (you know, like Obama was). On the grounds that he has a real job and isn’t a career politician, I suggest voting for Moise.

In District 20, three Republicans are seeking the nomination to challenge incumbent Democrat Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Any one of the Republicans would mount a serious challenge to Schultz who supported Obama-care and is vulnerable. I like Donna Milo who is a plumbing contractor – yes, SHE is a plumbing contractor. Any gal who is willing to get into this nearly 99% male-dominated business probably has what it takes to “take on the boys” in Washington.

In District 22, Allen West is the ONLY candidate Republican’s should consider to take on Democrat incumbent Ron Klein. West was the ’08 nominee, and is a retired Army officer and Iraq War Vet. West will not disappoint, and is exactly the type of person we need in Washington.

In District 24, five Republicans are seeking the nomination to defeat incumbent Democrat Suzanne Kosmas.  Kosmas is vulnerable for voting too frequently with Obama and the Pelosi Democrats. The crowded G.O.P. field has too many qualified candidates for me to make a judgment on without first-hand knowledge. The party should consider itself lucky that just about any one of these candidates will represent Republican voters well in November.  Pick ‘em.

In Disrict 25, David Rivera, Marili Cancio, and Paul Crespo battle for the GOP nod. This is probably a race between Crespo and Rivera, which also could be defined as the anti-establishment (Crespo), versus the establishment (Rivera). Rivera is basically a career politician – he is also Marco Rubio’s pal and co-owns a house in Tallahassee with Rubio that the two were five months late paying the mortgage on. These guys who can’t keep their own houses in order shouldn’t be expected to keep Washington’s in order. Republican’s should look to Paul Crespo for real fiscal leadership.

These recommendations are made independent of any candidate or committee.  The individual’s have not been contacted and these recommendations are without any authorization, financial consideration or consultation with any candidate. 

Chris Ingram is the president and founder of 411 Communications a corporate and political communications firm, and publisher of Ingram is a frequent pundit on Fox News and CNN, and has written opinion columns for the Washington Times, UPI, and National Review online. He currently serves as the Republican political analyst for Bay News 9 in Florida’s largest media market. E-mail him at:

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35 thoughts on “State and Congressional candidate recommendations”

  1. Pingback: Max Crabtree
  2. I worked with Holly Benson while she was at DBPR and I was serving on the Board of Professional Geologists. She was an excellent Secretary and I found her really fighting to straighten out DBPR.


  3. I disagree in District 11. I believe that the District does lean to the Left but they lean Democratic not necessarily the incumbent Kathy Castor. Research on how many votes she has won by in the past 2 elections including when the votes should have been there because of Obama.
    I think before you push your veiws you should know that calling someone a token is ridiculous; token for who? Tim Curtis believes in the Constitution and is a Democrat who was raised as a Democrat and wants to serve the people not serve himself like Kathy Castor.
    People in District 11 when speaking them say they fear Kathy Castor and don’t like her politics. Does the people in District 11 really want someon like her.


  4. Reply to the last post: Ok. You are delusional, but ok, I’m ridiculous for calling someone a “token.” See me in November and we’ll see who is ridiculous.

    Chris Ingram




  6. Uh, dumb*#s Snitker will be on the ballot in November. This whole column is about the AUGUST PRIMARY! I might even vote for him (Snitker). Why don’t you try paying attention to what is going on around you before you get all smart-allecky next time!

    As for Sager, he’s not a bad guy. He should think about running again for something that might be in reach. I’d be happy to further debate the candidates in this race with you if you’d leave your name and email address.

    Chris Ingram




  8. These races are every bit as important as the big presidential race. These are the people that make the decisions that affect all of us. GET RID OF CASTOR. Tim Curtis will not let down the folks in the 11th district. As far as Republicans go…well I have met and talked to all of them. It is true Tommy C. has the most ethusiasm. He also has integrity and guts enough to fight for what is right. He won’t cave under pressure of ANY kind. He is a man of principal and will never be bought. But why wait until November to get rid of Castor. The people of the 11th district can only benefit by a Curtis win in August. Lets show DC that money does not put a candidate in office. We the People make the choice and it should not be driven by how much money a candidate has. What does that prove? It only tells me the more money you got to run the more favors you owe once you get in to office. Castor is a Pelose lap dog. A win for Castor is a win for Nancy Pelosi and I am not about to let that happen. So folks send a message to DC. Vote for Curtis on the Dem ticket and Costellano on the Repub ticket. You will have a win not matter what happens in November.


  9. SAGAR is the man in District 5. Again another honest man that will do what is right for the people of District 5 and all Americans. You people but wake up. If you don’t start putting true patriots in office that will fight for the Constitution you can kiss your freedom, health, money and everything GOOD BYE. No matter what we need to clean house in DC of the cancer that is growing there. The only way to do that is to put everyday citizens in office. No politicians. Honest men and woman that love this country and see what is happening. People that will go to DC and stop the destruction this President is bringing our way. Think about it the government owns you. They own your health care and will make all decisions about what care you do or don’t get. Is that what you really wanted. I can’t believe it could possibly be what any American wanted. Obama now is in total control of our finances. He is taking us piece by piece and you idiots are out there letting him do it. Grow some guts and refuse to vote for any incumbent or career politician.


  10. I agree that Tim Curtis is the best pick for the Dems in the primary. Tommy Castellano is definitely the best pick for the
    Rep. primary as he is a man of the people. He also is the only man who has enough following on the dem. side to be able to defeat Castor in Nov. should she win in the primary! Tommy is the one who will NOT cave once he gets to congress and will hold fast to constitional principles!!!


  11. I agree with a lot of your picks, but I cannot believe you discount Bill McCullom in such terms. Bill, as a Congressman, was one of the House managers of the Clinton impeachment trial. This, in itself, is enough to endear him to me and a lot of Republicans. He has a distinguished record as a public servant and should not be punished simply because he has held public office for a long time. He has succeeded everywhere he has served. Rick Scott has no experience in public office and has a questionable business reputation.


  12. Jim,

    Reply to Jim:

    You kind of made my point. That is: McCollum’s “career” in office is the problem. I’m not saying he’s a bad guy, but looking to some career politician who helped create the mess we’re in as if he somehow now has the solutions to clean up the mess he helped create is preposterous.

    I’ll take the new guy who knows how to lead people and run a business and who hasn’t contributed to the problem over the career guy. Bill McCollum hasn’t had a fresh idea in 20 years. And don’t get me started on how he owes favors to every special interest group in Florida…

    Chris Ingram


  13. Chris Ingram,
    That is way out of line. You know how to win people over; do you not? Calling a reader delusional.
    Also, we are not talking November we are talking August 24th -get your facts straight. I am not saying who will win what I am saying is that you are trying to influence the vote. But of course, how much credibility can anyone give you when you work with mommy dearest, Betty Castor? To me a token is a discriminatory remark.
    God Bless the people running against the Incumbent and you!


  14. TOMMY CASTELLANO – The soul of a Saint and the Heart of a Lion. Exactly what District 11, and this Country, needs in Congress.


  15. So, I’m “the nicest guy in Bay-area politics”. I like that Chris. Thanks. I’ve been told that I am too nice for politics, and that may be true. Here are a few things to think about – I live in the district. Not all of the candidates do. I am not a life-long Democrat, which one of the candidates is. I have a successful military career and a successful civilian career. I have school-aged children attending public schools. I will not run off to Washington and forget about my district. I will represent the voters of District 11, not the special interest groups and lobbyist. We all profess to be fiscal conservatives and will stand up for the constitution. What else sets me apart? I am moderate on social issues. Republicans will not win the general election with any of the other 3 candidates. Ooo! I’m sorry guys, did I hurt your feelings? 😉 No I didn’t. They are all good and decent men and I look forward to their help after the primary.


  16. Tony,
    Like I said before God Bless you and all that are running against the political machine including the media. I think we all want the same thing…Her out! Good luck and hopefully you will be facing the person (Tim Curtis) I am cheering in November.


  17. Tony is a very nice man but nice won’t get the job done. Tony sits three rows behind Kathy Castor in church and he is not going to take her on. (his own words) Tony is a Boy Scout. He’ll just cross old ladies across the street. Active or retired military will not get the job done. Congress already has over 120 retired militay and veterans and we still can’t balance a budget and we still can’t provide national security. What the retired military is good at is taking orders and changing duty stations. Just look at the great Republican Hope Scott Brown.

    Mike Prendergast says he isn’t a politician but has made all the politically correct moves including raising the most mony. Americans are tired of BOUGHT AND PAID FOR POLITICIANS.

    Eddie Adams can’t get past 30% of the vote. Eddie thinks the Republicans stayed home last election because he only got 67,000 votes. (Sorry Eddie, it wasn’t 73,000 look up the record.) Fact is 237,000 republicans voted which says, “Anybody but Castor except Eddie Adams.”

    Tim Curtis is the Dem trying to get Castors seat. Tim was a Dem. then a rep. then a Dem. Tim started the Tampa 912 then he didn’t start the Tampa 912 then he did start the Tampa 912. Tim agreed to the 9 principles then he didn’t agree to the nine principles then he did agree to the nine principles.

    I want people to be honest. If they can’t be honest, how are we going to trust them in Congress?

    I’ll take my chances with Tommy Castellano. A 36 year business man with a passion to take our Congress Back. If you haven’t heard him speak, you need to. If you have heard him, you know what I’m talking about. He will make a difference.


  18. I’m with Jessica – this man is incensed with what is going on with our government. When he says to ‘vote like your future depends on it’ – he means it. He’s got the guts to take on whatever Washington throws at him and the integrity to hold his own. My vote goes to Castellano.


  19. “Sheriff Nugent is a competent man and will serve the district well, while Sager appears to be a one-trick pony.”

    Ummm, I guess you weren’t at the Pasco debates. I was, and Nugent is completely clueless. He’s Ginny’s appointed puppet & has all the symptoms of a marionette, including getting RINO PAC money. He will serve his MASTERS IN WASHINGTON, not the people of District 5.
    Jason Sager understands our Constitution & what’s at stake. He knows how our Republic was designed to work before the checks & balances were systematically removed. We need a hundred Jason Sagers to help restore our Republic. It’s about time we started sending our Mr Smiths to Washington.


  20. Reply to Realitynut:

    Democrats will have the chance to vote for/against Castor and Curtis in the Dem. Primary.

    The entire column is about Primary Elections, not the General.



  21. Chris,
    Your next column should be an explanation why there are so few good Republican choices. Is Rubio the best we can do?



  22. In District 24, Tom Garcia is a very stron Conservative and even stronger Constitutionalist. He has ran a campaign on eductaing voters on the Constitution and how he can best serve District 24. He has not ran any negative ads against his opponents and is a 22 year Navy Veteran and NOT a career politicain.


  23. Dusagree with your picks.

    You must like Snake oil

    If Scott is the primary wiinner get use to saying Governer Sink.

    Your discounting Eddie Adams in District 11 may discredit you.

    He does have a chance if he can get the nod.

    But in any case ” God bless him for a gallant effort”


  24. Enough of this. Don’t know how I ever got on his email list but from now on he goes into the spam folder. Ingram must be on Scott’s payroll to hold these illogical positions… Better a crook than a non-charismatic hard working veteran politician. Now I have heard everything.


  25. It won’t be easy – no one ever said it would. Mike Prendergast is the best chance FL-11 has to retire Kathy Castor before you have to pay her a taxpayer funded retirement. If just one of you sulk and stop working America is lost.


  26. Well, well, now that Rick Scott has tried to buy votes by sending out 16,000 postage-paid envelopes to replace some in Lee County,which were “returned to sender”due to a software glitch, he himself has made an error. He can’t spell Fort Myers. Further, if the voter were not to follow directions and place the ballot and original envelop in Scott’s envolope,the vote would be voided. It appears he’s as good at screwing up an election as he is his own businesses.


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