Interview with Jorge Bonilla, Candidate for Congress in Florida’s 9th District

Good morning! I hope all of you had a great weekend!

I’m excited to present the next segment in our election year interview series. Today, we speak to Marine Veteran Jorge Bonilla, who’s currently running for Congress in Florida’s 9th district. Bonilla is hoping he will be the GOP challenger to take on controversial incumbent Alan Grayson in November. He’s been campaigning aggressively, and has done very well during debates held so far this election season.

Bonilla took some time to talk answer some questions about his campaign and vision for the 9th district. Please have a read below.


FT: Mr. Bonilla, thank you very much for taking the time to interview. How is the campaign going and what is the main concern you’re hearing from district 9 voters?

Jorge Bonilla: First of all, Frank, many thanks for the opportunity to share our vision with the community. The campaign is going great. We are winning debates, straw polls and hob nobs, raising money, and connecting directly with our voters. The main concern I hear from voters encompasses the actions of this administration over the past few years, and over the sort of country that our children will inherit if we do not take meaningful action to address our debt and deficits, and to restore American opportunity for all.

FT: A part of your campaign message is “Securing America’s Future”.
Can you describe that vision to the readers? And how is Washington not doing that now?

Bonilla: “Securing America’s Future” means that we fight for a fairer, simpler, and flatter tax code, that we eliminate regulatory burdens that stifle private-sector job creation, that we enact reforms which will address our debt (both sovereign and structural) as well as our deficits, and that we take actions that ensure true American energy independence- all within a framework of respect for individual freedom and for the free market. These actions will, in turn, spur the kind of private-sector job creation that will address our structural unemployment problems, and will break cycles of poverty for millions of Americans. Unfortunately, Washington is its own place, and these reform ideas don’t always seem to resonate. This particular Congressional seat is a sledgehammer with which I am confident that we can deliver meaningful change.

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

Bonilla: At every debate and town hall forum, I have answered that question with both clarity and conviction. Republican voters throughout our district, upon hearing each of the candidates and upon researching our positions and backgrounds, and scrutinizing our command of the issues at various events, have determined that I alone have the steel to engage and defeat Alan Grayson. And make no mistake, that is what this primary is all about.

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?

Bonilla: I will offer our voters something that Alan Grayson can not: Authentic representation, from within the community, that will not embarrass them in D.C. or anywhere else. Grayson will pay a price for focusing on legislative point-scoring in lieu of job creation, and his tactics won’t save him this time.

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?

Bonilla: All my previous accomplishments pale in comparison to the fact that my wife and I are now raising two precious boys. Nothing we do before or after will ever be more important than that.

I’d like to thank Mr. Bonilla for interviewing. The other candidates in the 9th’s GOP primary include Realtor Association Executive Carol Platt, and Businessman Peter Vivaldi. Platt interviewed last week and Vivaldi has accepted my invitation, and his segment will be up in the near future.

As always, if you’re running for office, I want to talk to you! Don’t hesitate to contact me! Have a great day!

Jorge Bonilla

Jorge Bonilla

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Interview with Carol Platt, Candidate for Florida’s 9th Congressional District

Good Morning!

I’m happy to present you with the next segment in our election year interview series. Today, we have Carol Platt who is running for Congress, in Florida’s 9th Congressional District which consists of parts of Orange, Osceola and Polk counties, and who’s incumbent is the controversial Alan Grayson.

Platt took some time to answer some questions for us. Have a read below!

FT: Ms. Platt, thank you very much for taking the time to interview. How is the campaign going and what is the main concern you’re hearing from district 9 voters?

Carol Platt: Our campaign has a wonderful momentum created by a diverse group of volunteers and opinion leaders throughout Orange, Osceola and Polk Counties. As you may be aware, we’ve rolled out the endorsements of a number of leaders who have been successfully elected within the District: Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Former Congressman Dave Weldon, Former Florida Agriculture Commissioner Charlie Bronson, Florida Representative Mike LaRosa, and many more. Our campaign has both depth and breath of experience, but it’s the interaction between myself, our team and out District 9 voters that energizes all of us!

At community events, over the phone and in their homes, our people are concerned about their future, the next generation’s future, and the unconstitutional actions and governmental intrusions in their lives coming from Washington DC – along with the apparent inaction of people they elect. These recurrent themes, a real disillusionment with our government and the people that represent them, are played out in a variety of real life scenarios from dollar for dollar damage to their finances and restrictions on their ability to control the basics of healthcare for their family by the Affordable Care Act, to damages to their businesses through tax policy and legislative regulatory actions or to the availability of real jobs after college and stability and advancement in their current jobs. I am looking forward to telling their story on the floor and in the halls of Congress. Through their voice, I will make DC listen!

FT: You’re currently an Association Executive of the Osceola County Association of Realtors and have an extensive background in Real Estate. Is Washington doing enough for families to come to Osceola, buy a home and build a future? What can they improve on?

Platt: Along with being the current Association Executive of the Osceola County Association of REALTORS®, Inc., I’m the past president of the East Polk County Association of REALTORS®, Inc. and a former Florida REALTORS® Director. Our District was hit hard by the economic downturn and it’s stable but still recovering. The inability to have balanced economic strategies has certainly dampened our abilities to self-correct and move forward in a high growth, high potential District. While we are no longer plagued by extensive home inventories and vacant, deteriorating neighborhoods, we have an unprecedented number of homeless families. Our regional community is stepping up to help resolve this crisis in our individual counties and through the Central Florida Homeless Coalition. We should not be alone in finding those solutions to problems created in part by failed federal policies as resolution affects our collective future.

One key to the ability of families to come to Osceola, Polk and Orange Counties and create family wealth through homeownership is the availability of reasonable credit to credit-worthy buyers. DC is still grappling with comprehensive housing finance reform that comparatively supports affordable housing eight years later. Actually working together to “get it done” would be a monumental improvement. In addition, Congress must maintain its commitment to ensuring a 30-year Qualified Residential Mortgage that puts safe and sound lending protections in place without denying access to private capital lending for a healthy housing market for first time homebuyers.

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

Platt: Frank, there are three reasons why Republicans can count on me!
1. I have a solid track record of working with diverse strong-willed leaders to reach high goals – within budget! My support of conservative values has depth, breath and has been tested over time, which has earned me the trust and respect of a wide variety of opinion leaders.
2. I have the freedom to not only listen, but to hear the people of District 9, and vote their voice in Washington DC, not a next election or national polling winds vote.
3. I have that Freedom because I am going to Washington DC with a mission of service, not seeking a lifetime career of special benefits.

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 campaign against someone like him?

Platt: I may be the woman that Alan Grayson wants to beat, but he should not mistake kindness for weakness! I respect the dignity of each and every voter in our District. In my eyes, people do not have labels and I will not only listen to my constituents, but I will hear them. Voters are welcome in my home, in my office and on my cell phone, both here at home and in my temporary residence in Washington DC. I will act with integrity because they deserve better representation. Our District is comprised of people who want jobs, quality education, business opportunity and economic security. Our District is comprised of people who grew up here or came here to determine their own destiny. I will take our voice to DC to unlock real progress and prosperity for us and for our children.

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?

Platt: I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to be involved in so many ways. I am most proud of my wonderful family foremost. Within my public responsibilities, I am proud my Trustee service at Polk State and as Chair of the Florida Association of Community College Trustees to affect the lives of so many students’ progress and prosperity while serving the community in delivering a quality workforce. Within my civic responsibilities, I am proud to have been a vote and a voice, many years ago with former Florida Representative Dixie Sansom, to establish the Haven for Children, a shelter for abused and abandoned children in South Brevard County.


I’d like to thank Ms. Platt for interviewing. She’s currently running in a 3-way GOP primary with Marine Vet Jorge Bonilla, and Businessman Peter Vivaldi. Both have accepted my interview invitation, and we’ll hear from them in the coming days.

As always, if you’re running from office. I want to interview you! Please feel free to contact me!

carol platt

Smith Horiz

Video: Watch Congressional District 9 GOP Candidates Debate

Good Content Here.

Last Friday Night, Marine Vet Jorge Bonilla, Realtor Executive Carol Platt, and Businessman Peter Vivaldi debated in front of a group of Conservative groups, in Osceola County at the Kissimmee Sports Arena. This group included…

The Spirit of ’76 Gun Club of Central Florida
The Greater Celebration GOP
The Greater Osceola Republican Women’s Network
Osceola County Young Republicans

They’ve posted the debate in it’s entirety. It’s required viewing, if you live in CD 9 which includes parts of Orange and Osceola County. The winner of this Republican primary will challenge controversial incumbent Democrat, Alan Grayson who’s expected to launch a hyper-negative campaign against the winner. Poise on the debate stage will be absolutely essential.

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Rooney Endorses Bonilla in 9th Congressional GOP Primary

Congressman Tom Rooney (R-FL 17) has endorsed Marine Vet and Court Interpreter Jorge Bonilla in Florida’s 9th Congressional District race.

In a statement released by the Bonilla campaign, Rooney, who’s district is one of the 9th’s neighbors. had the following to say about the endorsement.

Jorge has proven to be a formidable candidate, with great knowledge and understanding of the pressing issues that our country is currently facing, including those issues that involve our veterans.

Having served in the Marine Corps and U.S. Navy, Jorge knows how important service to country is. Now he wants to continue his service in the Congress. We would be lucky to have him.

Bonilla had this to say about Rooney’s support.

Representative Tom Rooney’s congressional tenure is distinguished by his commitment to fiscal discipline, his work on the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and his tireless advocacy for Florida Agriculture. I look forward to joining him in these efforts, and am humbled to receive his support.

There is currently a 3 way GOP primary in the 9th district. In addition to Bonilla, Businessman Peter Vivaldi, and Realtor Executive Carol Platt are also running. The winner will challenge one of Congress’s most controversial incumbents, Democrat Alan Grayson, who despite a long list of personal problems gone public, is expected to use his financial resources to mount a heavy, negative, campaign against the winner.

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Bonilla Wins Solivita GOP Straw Poll After Debate

Last night, the Solivita Republican Club held a 9th Congressional District Debate and Straw Poll. The candidates in attendance included Businessman Peter Vivaldi, Realtor Executive Carol Platt, and Marine Veteran Jorge Bonilla.

After listening to each of them, it was Bonilla who came out on top in the Straw Poll.

The results were as follows.

85 Total Votes

Bonilla 47 (55%)
Vivaldi 26 (31%)
Platt 12 (14%)

After the win, Bonilla has this to say about the support he received from the group.

“I am honored to have won the overwhelming support of the Republican Club of Solivita in last night’s straw poll. In my opening remarks, I stated that this primary will boil down to who has the steel to stand up to Alan Grayson, and last night’s results are reflective of that. Many thanks to all of my friends and supporters.”

As mentioned in his remarks, the 3 are running for the chance to square off against controversial, incumbent Alan Grayson this November. This is the 3rd time Vivaldi and Bonilla have debated, it was Platt’s first participating in a forum of this kind. Based on public feedback from the first 2 and the straw poll from last night, Bonilla has been the most polished up to this point. The 3 have another debate scheduled for early next month.

Florida Congress District 9 5-14

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