Conservative leader Pat Mooney is running for Congress, joining a crowded Republican primary in Northeast Florida.
Mooney announced on Wednesday that he will seek the Republican nomination to replace U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., who is running for the U.S. Senate. A graduate of the conservative Leadership Institute, Mooney has worked for Response America, a marketing firm with ties to several Republicans including former U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-Fla.
As he launched his campaign, Mooney vowed to secure the border and end regulations imposed by the Obama White House.
"As a father of seven, I am deeply troubled by the path our country is on," Mooney said. "President Obama is destroying our great country. I want to make sure my children inherit a country that is safe, strong, and filled with economic opportunities.”
Mooney focused on his biography as he started his campaign.
"I grew up listening to my mother's stories about being imprisoned by Fidel Castro at age 20, and never forgot the lesson that freedom is our gift to defend every single day,” Mooney said. “As a life-long conservative who has worked along side Sen. Marco Rubio and Lt. Col. Allen West, Florida voters can rest assured knowing I will not back down. I will fight for our conservative values in Congress."
Mooney joins a crowded Republican primary field. Other Republican candidates include attorney Malcolm Anthony, state Rep. Fred Costello, R-Ormond Beach, businessman G.G. Galloway, Republican activist and Navy veteran Brandon Patty and state Rep. David Santiago, R-Deltona. On the Democratic side, businessman Bill McCullough, attorney George Pappas and state Rep. Dwayne Taylor, D-Daytona Beach. Richard Paul Dembinsky is running with no party affiliation. Former U.S. Rep. Sandy Adams, R-Fla., had been running for the Republican nomination but she ended her campaign due to health reasons.
After the latest round of congressional redistricting, the seat contains all of Flagler and Volusia counties and parts of Lake and St. Johns counties. The northern part of St. Johns County, which had been part of DeSantis’ based when he first ran for Congress in 2012, has been removed from the district. Republicans are favored to keep the seat in November.
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