After weeks of reports that he was looking at getting in the field, Manatee County businessman Carlos Beruff kicked off his bid for the Republican nomination to replace U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. Currently running for the Republican presidential nomination, Rubio is not running for a second Senate term.
Beruff, a homebuilder, launched a Web video on Thursday, highlighting his blue collar roots, including his family escaping communist rule in Cuba, and his calls for less government interference in the economy.
“A lot of these people in Washington today have got no idea how to run a business,” Beruff says in the video. “I’ve been running my own business for 32 years.”
Beruff showcases his business background in the video before moving to the themes of his campaign.
“Government doesn’t create jobs,” Beruff says in the video. “It creates dependency.”
The new candidate calls President Barack Obama’s health-care law a “disaster” in the video and pushes for lower taxes and less regulations. The video ends with a teaser for a formal launch on Monday.
The themes Beruff showcases in the ad have worked well for Florida Republicans in recent elections. In his 2010 gubernatorial bid, Rick Scott pushed much the same message. So did Ted Yoho and Curt Clawson in their successful bids to win congressional seats.
Beruff has been active in politics as a major donor for several leading Florida Republicans. Scott named Beruff to the Southwest Florida Water Management Board.
The new candidate joins a crowded primary. U.S. Reps. Ron DeSantis and David Jolly, Lt. Gov. Carols Lopez-Cantera and businessman and combat veteran Todd Wilcox are also running in the Republican primary.
DeSantis’s team launched a preemptive strike at Beruff earlier this month when he started getting buzz as a potential candidate.
“The last thing the United States Senate needs is another Charlie Crist Republican,” said Brad Herold who is managing U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis’, R-Fla., Senate bid. “Carlos Beruff gave thousands of dollars to liberal Charlie Crist over conservative Marco Rubio, even after Crist embraced Obama and his wasteful $800 billion stimulus bill. Even worse, he said he’d stick by Charlie Crist for this very Senate seat whether Crist ran as a Republican or not. It’s a free country, but if Carlos enters the race for Senate, he’ll soon find out the same way his friend Charlie Crist did that grassroots Florida conservatives have long memories.”
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