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Senator (REP)
1st Congressional District

Welcome

Only one Democratic candidate qualified to run for US Senate, so only registered Republicans will have a choice in the primary for this race. However, there is competition for both Republicans and Democrats for the 1st Congressional District nominations. We do not cover the Senate races in detail, but there are links below to campaign websites (where available) and other sources of candidate information.

League sent a brief questionnaire to all the qualified 1st Congressional District candidates, asking them to outline their priorities and goals if elected or re-elected. This E-Voter contains all the responses received, so the electorate can compare the candidates’ views and opinions. Candidates who did not respond to our request for information are so indicated. You can compare responses and click on a candidate’s name to be connected to the appropriate campaign website, if available.

Here’s a list of candidate forums you can attend. If we’ve missed one, please let us know and we’ll add it to the line-up.

  • 1st Congressional District & Okaloosa County School Board: 28 Jul, 10:00 am, Striving for Perfection Ministries (24 Bass Ave, FWB). Sponsored by Okaloosa County NAACP, audience members may submit written questions in advance to the moderator. Doors will open an hour prior.
  • 1st Congressional District & Okaloosa County School Board: 28 Jul, 4:00 pm, Carver Hill School (298 School Ave, Crestview). Sponsored by Okaloosa County NAACP, audience members may submit written questions in advance to the moderator. Doors will open an hour prior.
  • School Board: 9 Aug, 7:30–9:15 pm, Ocean City Church (428 Racetrack Rd NE, FWB). Sponsored by a coalition of local churches for good government, a 30-minute meet & greet will take place before the event. For more info call Ocean City Church at 850-862-4012.
  • 1st Congressional District, Florida State Senate Districts 2 & 4 and Okaloosa County School Board: 9 Aug, 7–9:00 pm, Bob Hope Village Community Ballroom (30 Holly Ave, Shalimar). Candidate forum sponsored by Poquito Bayou Community Association.
  • 1st Congressional District: 20 Aug, 7:30 pm, WSRE-TV, cable channel 8 or 9, satellite channel 23.
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Senator

The Okaloosa & Walton County League does not send surveys to US Senate candidates, but we have included some links below each candidate's name so you can find more information. You can read an overview of the race here.

2018 Republican Senatorial Candidates
Rocky De La Fuente
Rocky De La Fuente
Ballotpedia webpage
Vote Smart webpage
Rick Scott
Rick Scott
Ballotpedia webpage
Vote Smart webpage

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1st Congressional District

Democrats
Republicans

LWVOWC sent surveys to the 1st Congressional District candidates, and all the responses received are printed below. You can also read an overview of the Democratic Primary and the Republican Primary. You’ll also want to tune into the WSRE 2018 Primary Rally on 2122 Aug at 7:00 pm (Cox channel 9 and satellite channel 23) to hear from all the candidates in contested local, state and congressional races.

Democratic Congressional Candidates
  Phil Ehr
Phil Ehr
Ballotpedia webpage
Vote Smart webpage
Jennifer Zimmerman
Jennifer Zimmerman
Ballotpedia webpage
Vote Smart webpage
What do you see as the top issues affecting our state and the 1st district in the next four years?

Financial survival for working families is the top issue.  That’s why my top priorities (outlined below) focus on the financial aspects in our region’s quality of life. Unaffordable healthcare tops the list, with uninsured families kept at risk of bankruptcy unless we find ways to strengthen Medicaid, Medicare and the Affordable Care Act; or to perhaps replace these programs in a way that serves all of us.  While veterans need choice in healthcare, the administration’s push to privatize VA healthcare is a mistake. Their approach is similar to the way public schools are being gutted by public funding of charter schools. Trends to privatize government responsibilities—including jails—call into question the government’s basic commitment public accountability.

People in Northwest Florida are profoundly affected by instability in national and international economics.  The national debt presents an unacceptable risk. The administration’s reckless use of tariffs to address unfair trade will continue to hurt Northwest Florida consumers, businesses and farmers.  We need to elect a Congress capable of dealing with these strategic threats.

Hurricane recovery, clean water supply, homelessness, race relations, gun violence, customary use of Emerald Coast beaches, and threats of more offshore oil drilling round out my list of major issues affecting Florida and the first district.

First, I have felt the effects of the healthcare crisis both as a provider and as a consumer. My pediatric patients rely mostly on Medicaid. Their parents are the working poor who qualify for Medicaid expansion, but Florida is one of only 17 states that have not expanded Medicaid, and it currently ranks 47th (out of 50) in the country in healthcare access. This leads to less preventive care and a sicker population, which is forced to use more expensive ER visits. My own family is reeling from increasing insurance premiums, like many other families with pre-existing conditions. Now the government wants to remove the protections offered by the ACA to people with pre-existing conditions. This administration will also end subsidies to health insurance companies—the backbone of the ACA—without which premiums will skyrocket for individuals and families like mine.

There are several other important issues in District 1. At the moment, there’s a big concern about the “Possession of Real Property Bill” (HB 631) signed by Governor Scott on 23 March. Also, as of 1 July Walton County’s local customary use ordinance became null and void as the statewide bill went into effect. This will affect major portions of the 26 miles of south Walton’s beaches. Another major concern for our region is SB 1073, the Escambia County Land Conveyance Act, which would sell off Pensacola Beach and Navarre Beach to private developers. “Save the Beaches” is a very strong rallying cry and movement in our region.

Why do you want to serve as our Congressional Representative, and why are you the best choice?

I respectfully seek your vote out of a compelling sense of duty.  Our country is in trouble from deep political division. I have demonstrated the judgement and character to stand firm for objective truth and the fundamental American values enshrined in our founding documents.  I’m running with the same sense of duty that drove me to join the Navy.

I’m the best choice because our campaign connects with people.  We are the only campaign to qualify by the rigorous petition method in all five counties in the district.  I earned the Florida AFL/CIO’s endorsement by demonstrating an understanding issues important to working families.  Our campaign attracted more than 700 individual donors. We’re steadily gaining volunteers and would welcome you!

My career as an enlisted sailor and an officer resonates in our district, which is home for more active duty and military veterans than any district in the country.  My deep professional roots in the Cradle of Naval Aviation and the breadth of my service in the Navy are major reasons I am the best choice in this race.

I’m a good choice due to cultural changes I experienced in the Navy.  For example, I helped to integrate women more deeply into Naval Aviation in the wake of the Tailhook scandals.  Although it seems normal today, I was proud to be led and mentored by female officers when they were rarely promoted to senior ranks.  Experiences like these will help me take effective steps to reduce sexual harassment and enhance equality.

I decided to run for Congress because I felt the need for change: a voice of reason, decency and common sense. We cannot succeed as a nation if we do not work together. Using fear to motivate people to hate each other only leads to more chaos.

I am the best choice because I have lived and worked in this district for two decades. My children have attended the same schools and played sports in the local ball parks. The district has trusted me to care for their children, grandchildren and families. I have heard their fears, hopes and dreams on a deeply personal level. When elected, I will be the first ever female representative from this region: a woman of Asian descent, an immigrant and most of all, an American who fulfilled her dreams through prayer and hard work.

If elected, what is your top priority for your term?

We need a revival in Congress so it functions as advertised—the first of three equal branches working for the American people.  New leadership in the House of Representatives is required for Congress to deliver what people want most—a better quality of life.

My top priority is to make the American Dream a reality for Northwest Florida’s poor and middle class by fighting for more good paying jobs, affordable healthcare, access to education, guaranteed Medicare and Social Security, and a clean environment.  Changes to the 2017 tax law are needed to reduce the deficit and improve public infrastructure. Government should ensure good schools everywhere and affordable healthcare for all. I’ll fight for public school teachers, expanded workforce training, lower drug prices, and guaranteed coverage for pre-existing conditions. I’ll fight to protect Social Security by raising the income contribution cap, and ensure Medicare and veterans’ healthcare are fully funded. Finally, I’ll consult scientists in each vote related to our soil, food, air, and water, because our environment wraps around everything we do.

These are the issues that working people and their families care about the most; and together we can restore real leadership for the people of Florida’s first district.

I will work very hard with other members of Congress to support legislation that provides healthcare to all Americans. No American should die or declare bankruptcy due to inability to obtain medical care. A healthy population is more productive at work, and healthy kids can go to school and learn.

What are your qualifications for office?

I’m a retired U.S. Navy Commander who rose through the ranks from Seaman in an honorable 26-year career.  I arrived in Pensacola in 1984 as a Petty Officer Second Class, where I established residency, earned an officer’s commission and “Wings of Gold.”  I served in a variety of leadership roles around the globe, flew reconnaissance missions in the Cold War and the Gulf War, and helped senior officers develop military strategy.  I’m a graduate of the Naval Command and Staff College and hold a Master of Science from Troy State.

My wife, Sue, and I met during my Pentagon tour.  We raised two daughters and will soon celebrate our 23rd wedding anniversary.  We are church-going Christians who love America.

After retiring from the Navy in England, I taught children part time for nine years in local schools while our girls finished high school.  I taught British military officers in their war college. Along the way, I helped to expose financial corruption in an international sports federation linked to the Kremlin and the oil trade between the Syrian regime and the terrorist group, ISIS.

I recently joined the Democratic Party after 38 years as a registered Republican, which offers voters a rare perspective to address the divisions that plague our country.  I support local organizations devoted to naval heritage, veterans, civil rights, the environment and civic dialogue.

Please see our campaign website and my LinkedIn profile for more experiences relevant to representing Northwest Floridians in Congress.

I have been a pediatrician for 2 decades—the last 19 years here in District 1. I have lived, worked and contributed to this region all this time and served the children who needed help the most. I am a woman who established her solo pediatric practice with no help from big hospitals—a small business owner who has survived and thrived despite the odds. I am an immigrant who has navigated the often complex, expensive and confusing immigration process and has brilliant ideas to simplify matters. I am a doctor who believes that everyone can achieve their American dream if they are healthy and educated. I am an underdog in the “good old boys” club. I am an American on a mission.


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Republican Congressional Candidates
  Cris Dosev
Cris Dosev
Ballotpedia webpage
Vote Smart webpage
Matt Gaetz
Matt Gaetz
Ballotpedia webpage
Vote Smart webpage
John Mills
John Mills
Ballotpedia webpage
Vote Smart webpage
What do you see as the top issues affecting our state and the 1st district in the next four years?

What do you see as the top issues affecting our state and the 1st District in the next four years?

Immigration, military combat readiness, veterans’ issues, protection of 1st and 2nd amendment rights, and marijuana laws will be the top issues affecting our state and Florida’s 1st Congressional District.

We must secure our borders and all points of entry to insure the safety of our citizens and maintain our national sovereignty. Tax paying citizens should not have to foot the bill for illegal immigrants.
  
Our military must be properly funded, prepared and ready to oppose and defeat our enemies.  We must stop dragging our military through social experimentation and refocus efforts to effectively and efficiently streamline our acquisition and maintenance of equipment and training.

For the veterans who have given their selfless service to the defense of our nation, it is imperative that the VA be reformed from top to bottom to best reflect our gratitude and offer competent and efficient and convenient health care to those in need. 
 
Our founding fathers foresaw the need to enumerate certain rights of citizens of a free nation.  I will do all in my power to see that none of those rights will be infringed upon.

I support the availability of cannabis derived medicinal products to alleviate pain and suffering to those in need.  The federal role in marijuana legislation is to protect the nation and its citizens from harm. I strongly oppose the legalization of recreational marijuana. 

Congressman Gaetz did not respond to our survey.

• Religious Liberty – Stronger families, sanctity of life!
• 2nd Amendment – Shall not be infringed!
• Healthcare – Free market solutions!
• Taxes – Reduced and Constitutionally constrained!
• National Defense – Peace through strength!
• Economy – Free markets and sound money!
• Energy – Free up our vast American resources!
• Immigration – Protect borders, language & culture!
• Education – Choice and parental rights, NO to Common Core!
• The D.C. Swamp – Drain it!

Why do you want to serve as our Congressional Representative, and why are you the best choice?

After years of developing a business and a decade of military service, I recognize that our country and its future depend upon citizen servants to step up and take upon themselves the mantle of leadership.  Frustration with an out of control federal government was my motivation to run for this office.  I love my country but have been disappointed with leadership that led us into wars without commitment to fight and win.  I have been dismayed with a government that colluded with big banks and credit rating agencies that crushed our citizens and small business by pursuing unfettered greed.  Like everyone, I am tired of the Swamp.  I am tired of sending “players” to Washington. We need to send leaders that have defended and will defend the Constitution, not players that are seeking their own advancement.  I am a combat veteran, a small business owner, a family man, and a committed Christian.  I support President Trump and want to assist his valiant efforts to secure our nation’s defense militarily and economically.  I have a resume of life experiences that represent the hard working, patriotic, faithful families of Northwest Florida.

 

I am John Mills and I am seeking the Republican Party nomination for United States Representative, Florida Congressional District One.

As a U.S. Navy pilot, I took an oath to serve America and I remember it well. I swore to defend and uphold the Constitution of United States. It was my duty and honor to do so. In running for U.S. Congress, my interest is the same; to serve and uphold the principals that we hold dear.

With the politics of division and envy straying so far from adherence with our Constitution these past few years, I felt compelled to once again serve in this exceptional place we call America; a unique place built on an idea of government for the people, by the people, and of the people. My hope is that we can rediscover her greatness in the days ahead as I hold true to the promise and carry the message of freedom, rule of law, and prosperity to Washington; values that once defined us.

My military experience, proven leadership, and willingness to defend our Constitutional republic makes me your best choice to represent you in Congress. Together we can make a difference in America. I ask that you give me your support and I ask for your vote in the Republican Party Primary on August 28, 2018. May God bless you and may God bless the United States of America!

If elected, what is your top priority for your term?

To assist President Trump to continue and build upon the progress and accomplishments he has brought us in his first year and a half as president. Specifically, I would like to assist him in military combat readiness policies, domestic national security issues, further tax relief, and the protection of our 1st and 2nd Amendment rights.

 

Restore our Constitutional Republic! I believe in the philosophy of liberty and freedom as presented in the Declaration of Independence and in the framework of limited government as structured in the Constitution of the United States. The Constitution clearly states the enumerated powers of the federal government. The current size of the federal government must be greatly reduced to fall within its Constitutional limitations.

What are your qualifications for office?

I am a Marine combat veteran, small business owner, happy husband, proud father of eight pretty cool children, and have done my best to live my life with integrity and honor. I am pro-life.  I took care of my aging parents till they passed away.  I go to church, volunteer in the community, go grocery shopping, run my business from my phone and computer, pay bills, cut the grass, and on occasion get to go to the beach or go fishing or go pistol shooting.  As you can see, other than the 8 kids part, I am really no different from many of the folks that live in this district, and I think that is what best qualifies me to represent this district.   I have worked hard for everything I have, and I am grateful for the opportunities that have been given me by being a citizen of this great nation.  I want to help secure the same opportunities for all our families.  I have a broad base of knowledge and life experiences, and my motivations are pure, and that is the best qualification you can ask of your representative.

 

Military Service and Support
• U.S. Navy Pilot (Retired), Rotary Wing and Fixed Wing
• Product Developer, Military Aircraft Operator Manuals
• Commanding Officer, Naval Security Force Naval Air Station Kingsville
• Commanding Officer, Naval Security Force Naval Air Station Whiting Field
• Program Manager, National Naval Aviation Outreach
• Director, Navy Regional Emergency Management Operations
• Disaster Preparedness Officer, Naval Air Station Pensacola
• Air Terminal Officer, Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
• Safety Officer, Helicopter Combat Support Squadron 16, NAS Pensacola
• Public Affairs Officer, Helicopter Combat Support Squadron 16, NAS Pensacola
• Prior Navy Enlisted Service, Aviation Electronics Technician

Small Business
• Small Business Owner and Operator, Livery and Transportation
• Small Business Owner and Operator, Pharmaceutical Delivery

Community
• Second Vice President, Pensacola Military Officers Association
• Board of Directors, Pensacola Military Officers Association
• Chapter Leader, John Birch Society Pensacola
• Member, Order of Daedalians 21st Flight Shangri-La (NAS Pensacola)
• Board of Directors, American Red Cross Northwest Florida Chapter
• Chairman, Disaster Services for American Red Cross Northwest Florida Chapter
• Emergency Management of the Year Award Recipient, Florida


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