RNC Chairman Reince Priebus has actively pursued minority outreach to broaden the party’s base. But, he is missing a golden opportunity in Florida’s 18th Congressional District.
Patrick Murphy currently holds the seat. The freshman is considered to be a rising star in the Democratic party. Thirty one year old Murphy barely beat Allen West in 2012. West spent a large portion of the election out of the district while Murphy worked the ground game. Romney won the district by over 4%. The district is certainly winnable.
The Cook report just moved this race from a toss Up to a Lean D. This move was in part due to Murphy’s fundraising prowess. But as was proven in this race in 2012, there is a saturation level for television ads. West was not able to materialize all of those ads and dollars into a win. The same should apply the general this year.
In a crowded primary, this race is a microsm of all that is right and wrong with Republican politics. The two front runners are Carl Domino and Calvin Turnquest.
Domino, 70, is a Charlie Crist ally and is self funding his campaign. He also is a pro abortion, big government Republican. Looking to woo low information primary voters, Domino recently came up with the “Fix Congress First Act,” which sounds good until you read it.
Domino believes Congressmen should be paid the median income of their district. That means that Congressmen who represent the poor would be paid less. If elected, Domino believes he should earn twice that of Congressman José Serrano, and more than 250 other of his would-be colleagues – including several women, Hispanic and African-American Representatives.
Democrats would hammer Domino on this and it would be a disaster in a general election.
Calvin Turnquest is a former EMT and former owner of both medical urgent care and wellness centers. The full time candidate is married to a doctor. He spent four years as a councilman of the Village of Tequesta, and two years as Vice mayor. Calvin is also a legal Bahamian immigrant. While the debate on immigration rages, Turnquest would provide a new perspective as he has first hand knowledge.
Turnquest is not afraid to take on a challenge. As a strong conservative, he was warmly welcomed when he recently spoke at his local NAACP annual meeting. Calvin spoke boldly about the important issues of faith, family and the independent spirit that unites conservatives with the black community. In what one might think would be a hostile environment, Calvin’s speech was well received, and he was given a standing ovation.
The Republicans have the opportunity to not only nominate a minority immigrant, but a candidate with strong conservative credentials that would contrast with Murphy. Turnquest,45, would offer the best opportunity for the Republicans to regain this seat.
Red State just endorsed Turnquest in the primary. Hopefully this will bring some grassroots campaign contributions to allow him to better compete with Domino’s deep pockets. There is still time for the Republican Party to step in and save itself from having a candidate in the general election, who has promoted a plan to “Fix Congress” that would feed directly into the Left’s narrative that the party is all about oppressing poor constituents. And, if Domino has his way, oppressing their congressional representation.
This race pits the old establishment of the Republican party with the future that it is seeking. But is Washington noticing?