Grayson defeats primary challenger Ruiz in 9th Congressional District

Controversial Congressman Alan Grayson has defeated his primary challenger Nick Ruiz in their Democratic primary in Florida’s 9th Congressional District.

Instant Analysis: This one was never in question, Ruiz was able to get a couple of media hits here and there but Grayson was able to defeat him with his nationwide name ID, and his base helping him get out the vote in the 9th. He’ll now face the winner of the 9th Congressional, GOP primary Carol Platt who was also a winner tonight. Expect Platt to “take the higher road” in her attempt to win this race. Very similar to what Daniel Webster did in 2010. This will depend on Grayson making those unforced mistakes in order for it to be successful.

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Conservative Media Stars, Loesch, Malkin, endorse Bonilla for Congress in Florida’s 9th

Today, Conservative Media Personalities Dana Loesch, and Michelle Malkin both endorsed Marine Vet Jorge Bonilla, in the GOP primary in Florida’s 9th Congressional District.

Both Loesch and Malkin are fixtures on political television, fearlessly representing Conservative values. And have both been able to build individual media operations, that have made them sought after celebrities on the Convention circuit.

Both endorsements were made on-line. Here is what Loesch had to say about endorsing Bonilla.

“We need more fearless, constitutional conservatives in elected office. Please consider Jorge Bonilla as that public servant and send him to take on Alan Grayson in the general.”

After receiving the endorsement, Bonilla said the following..

“Dana Loesch is a relentless advocate for our fundamental freedom whose journey, like mine, is informed by the events of the past few years, forged through parenthood, and driven by a call to serve. Times such as these remind us of the words of the late Andrew Breitbart, “…there are two paths.” I am honored to receive Dana’s endorsement, as we carry on the fight to lead us back along the right path for our future and that of subsequent generations of Americans”

Later in the day, it was Malkin who endorsed Bonilla saying..

“Bonilla is the only consistent and clear candidate in the field. Boot Grayson. Back Bonilla.”

Shortly after receiving the news, Bonilla had this statement

“Michelle Malkin is a ferocious defender of personal freedom, free markets, and parental sovereignty, whose platforms have given a voice to many who had none before, and which have been instrumental in launching many journeys including my own. I’m proud to call her my friend, and honored to receive her endorsement.

These endorsements should help him in his 3-way primary against Osceola Realtor Executive Carol Platt, and Businessman Peter Vivaldi. As Ms. Loesch mentioned, the winner will challenge incumbent Democrat Alan Grayson. The controversial lawmaker has no common ground with these two ladies, I can assure you of that.

Loesch -left- and Malkin -middle- both endorsed Bonilla -right- in his 9th District GOP primary

Loesch -left- and Malkin -middle- both endorsed Bonilla -right- in his 9th District GOP primary

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Interview with Peter Vivaldi Candidate for Congress in Florida’s 9th District

Good Afternoon!

Today, I’m happy to present the next segment of my election year interview series, with Candidates running for all levels of public office.

This segment features Businessman Peter Vivaldi, currently running in Florida’s 9th Congressional District. The winner of Vivaldi’s 3-way GOP primary will go up against controversial incumbent Democrat Alan Grayson in what is certain to be one of the most intense elections leading up to November.

Peter took a moment to answer some questions for us. Here is what he had to say..

FT: Mr. Vivaldi, thanks for taking the time to answer some questions for the readers. How is the campaign going? And what is the biggest concern you’re hearing from District 9 voters?

Peter Vivaldi: Campaign is growing, and going strong with new volunteers joining #TeamVivaldi weekly. The biggest concerns I’m hearing are the Economy, Housing and Education.

FT: You’re professional designation has been “Businessman” in the media. Can you describe your professional experience and how it can help the district?

Vivaldi: I am very proud to be labeled the “Businessman” I have years of experience as a project manager and consulting. I have worked on dozens of design build projects and have helped in creating bilingual call centers for a major telecommunication company. I feel that my background in contract negotiations, and moving ideas from concept to completion make me the strongest candidate in this field.

FT: You’re running in a GOP primary. Why should Republicans in the 9th District vote for you?

Vivaldi: I believe I am the only candidate that will be able to move the needle when it comes to the general elections. This is a majority-minority District and obtaining the Independent, NPA and Democratic Hispanic vote is crucial to win this seat. I have lived in this District for 3 decades and have the support of over 120 churches throughout the District.

FT: The winner of this primary will have to run against one of the most controversial figures in American Politics Alan Grayson. He’s brutal and will do whatever it takes to win. What’s your message to the voters in a a campaign against someone like him?

Vivaldi: I have been the target throughout this primary, and I have come out stronger than ever. I feel that I am the only candidate who has been tested and has withstood the test needed to go head to head with Alan Grayson.

FT: I always like to end my interviews on a positive note. What is the one accomplishment in your life that you’re most proud of?

Vivaldi: The one accomplishment I am very proud of, is to being a great Dad and knowing that at the end of it all my family comes first.

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I’d like to thank Mr. Vivaldi for interviewing. He’s currently running against Marine Vet Jorge Bonilla and Osceola Realtor Executive Carol Platt. Both have already interviewed with FPFT and their posts can be found in the Candidate Interview page of the site.

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Peter Vivaldi

Video: Watch 9th Congressional District GOP Candidates Jorge Bonilla, Carol Platt, and Peter Vivaldi interview before the Sentinel Op-Ed Board

The Orlando Sentinel Op-Ed Board gives the toughest interviews in town every election year. Candidates are invited to interview before members of the Op-Ed team and a videographer. It’s an environment very similar to a deposition, and there are follow-up questions on top of follow up questions. It’s a real test of the candidate’s vision and poise in stressful situations.

This interview focuses on the Republican primary in the 9th district featuring Marine Vet Jorge Bonilla, Realtor Association Executive Carol Platt, and Businessman Peter Vivaldi. Now, the winner of this primary needs to stand across the stage from one of the biggest “smoke throwers” in politics, incumbent Alan Grayson. A strong performance in this “pressure cooker” is essential.

You can watch the video below and please checkout the Sentinel’s Youtube page HERE.

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West Orange Chamber of Commerce 2014 Hob Nob Pictures and Results

Hundreds of voters filled the Bella Room in Winter Garden this evening, to talk to dozens of candidates hoping to represent them in office next year. The West Orange County Chamber hosted it’s 2014 Hob Nob, which featured plenty of political discussion, food, and a straw poll that indicated how the races were shaping up in West Orange County before heading into the August primaries.

The event was hosted by News 13′s Ybeth Bruzal, who did a wonderful job running the ceremonies. The straw poll was conducted by Orange County Supervisor of Election Bill Cowles who’s team also delivered it’s regular excellent service.

Let’s review some of the straw poll results…

In the Governor’s race, Rick Scott took the win, and the rest of his cabinet were on top this evening as well, with Attorney General Pam Bondi, CFO Jeff Atwater, and Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam (celebrating his 40th Birthday) all gaining the most votes in the straw poll.

In the races for Congress, Incumbent Daniel Webster in District 10, Glo Smith in District 5, and Carol Platt in District 9 were all winners on Thursday night. I had a chance to speak with Platt after she heard the straw poll results…

“I’m ecstatic. I have a long background in entrepreneurial business, and this room is full of local business people and small businesses that want to see a change. I’m absolutely honored. This is a classic political hob nob, people talking to one another and trading information, it’s been wonderful. Very exciting”

In the race for State Senate District 12, Edward DeAguilera won his contest, and in State House District 44 Eric Eisnaugle had the highest number of votes at the end of the evening. Here is what DeAguilera had to say about the event and his straw poll win..

“The West Orange Chamber is an amazing organization, I’m proud I won today. This is my home. This is my backyard. These are areas that are being under represented by our current legislator, so that is why they came out today and voted for me and I’m extremely proud of their support.”

On the county level, Bryan Nelson running for County Commission District 2, and Orange County Clerk Eddie Fernandez both won their respective elections. Despite being unopposed, Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs stopped in to talk with voters and participate in the parade of candidates.

The event was a big success and the Chamber did a fine job. You can find out more about the West Orange Chamber HERE

Below are some photos I took during the festivities….

The event was hosted by News 13's Ybeth Bruzal

The event was hosted by News 13′s Ybeth Bruzal

Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs

Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs

State Rep. Eric Eisnaugle before his win

State Rep. Eric Eisnaugle before his win

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