Arcade Owner Brandon Michael Cannon Files to Challenge Sen. Joe Negron

By: Nancy Smith | Posted: May 13, 2013 3:55 AM


Brandon Michael Cannon

Brandon Cannon

UPDATED MAY 14: Brandon Michael Cannon, 26, owner of a now-shuttered Port St. Lucie senior arcade, has filed to run against state Sen. Joe Negron of Palm City in the 2014 Republican primary.

Cannon told Sunshine State News he is well aware that if his grassroots campaign should pull off an upset next year, he would be interrupting Negron's ambitions. Negron is scheduled to become president of the Florida Senate in 2016.

Cannon said his decision to run is based on his and other District 32 constituents'  observations of Negron. He said they feel underserved by their senator, who literally ran from them during this past session's HB 155 debate -- "Prohibition of Electronic Gambling Devices."

"I traveled to Tallahassee with a group of seniors from Senator Negron's district," explained Cannon, owner of once-thriving BMC Arcades. "We wanted to ask for his support on 155, but first his office shielded him from us, and then, when he got off an elevator right in front of us and saw us, he turned and took off in the other direction."

Negron said Tuesday night that's not what happened. When he was coming off the elevator, he previously had been in the Senate president's office. "I wasn't ducking my constituents. That's the last thing I would do. I really take pride in my constituent services," he said.

Cannon, who describes himself -- as Negron does -- as a strong conservative who defends the Constitution, supports choice, promotes free-enterprise and economic freedom, also claims politics today needs reforming and he's up to the task.

"It's time for a new generation of politics," he says. "We need to elect politicians who don't get so wrapped up in themselves and their own ambitions that they forget who they work for. We need people who will give government back to the people."

Even the Republican Party, he said, could use a little revitalizing.

Cannon was born in Greenville, S.C., and has lived in St. Lucie County for 10 years. He said he's worked many roles in business, including ownership, management and customer service; and has spent countless hours volunteering for senior citizens and children.

Negron won't take Cannon lightly, even though Cannon likely won't be able to match the incumbent's fundraising firepower. In 2013 the Palm City lawyer got a free pass in the primary, but amassed about $600,000 to fight businessman Ray D’Amiano, D-Stuart, an opponent who made himself scarce, didn't have a website and ignored candidate interview requests from local newspaper editorial boards. For every $285 Negron raised, D’Amiano raised $1. Negron won the general election 3-to-1.

Cannon said he closed his arcade shortly after Gov. Rick Scott signed HB 155. "We always had a great relationship with the St. Lucie County sheriff," he said. "I didn't want to butt heads with a man I respect. Law enforcement is having enough trouble trying to figure this bill out."

Here's a list of priorities in Cannon's first brochure:

 Re-engaging 'We the People' who control the government.

 Protecting the Constitution from the attacks on the First and Second Amendments.

 Reducing wasteful spending by streamlining a bloated government.

 Continuing the practice of capitalism and economic freedoms.

 Having health care that is affordable, and driven by competition, not controlled by government.

 Increasing the productivity in the public sector.

 Shifting the public sector to more successful private jobs.

 Decreasing the unemployment rate by increasing jobs.

 Increasing the average take-home pay of families.

 Exploring and using the natural resources our country is blessed with.

 Supporting our farmers and ranchers.

 Revitalizing the Republican Party.

 Perfecting our school system, starting at the elementary level, to provide a firm foundation for educational success.

 Strengthening the bond of family through personal freedoms.

He and his wife, Faith, have two daughters, Alyssa and Sophia. 


Reach Nancy Smith at nsmith@sunshinestatenews.com or at (850) 727-0859.


Comments (27)

12:39PM APR 18TH 2014
If you're not a career politician you're a wanna be career politician. This guy has all the RWNJ talking points down cold.

Vote for government that works FOR the people. Vote Democrat. Always.
Not Dennis
12:37PM AUG 24TH 2014
What in the world is RWNJ? That must be some Democratic talking point! I think you're confused. Voting Democrat means a government that takes FROM the people! Always! How are you liking your "Hope and Change" now?
John Stamos
8:43PM JUN 7TH 2013
This kid didn't even go to college. His campaign website is riddled with spelling and grammatical errors.
watching you
2:46PM MAY 24TH 2013
The Internal Revenue Service has slammed the Miccosukee Indians with a tax lein of $170 million for failure to report and withhold taxes from its distribution of gambling profits to tribal members...full story at publicgaming dot com website.

Isn't that what got the IRS involved in the Allied Vets scandal? Failure to pay taxes? Do I smell "double standard"?
watching you
1:44PM MAY 18TH 2013
Florida legislature needs to show that ALL THIS MONEY WAS DONATED TO CHARITY.

Allied Veterans, which as a charity organization was not allowed to make campaign contributions, often channeled checks through the owners of its affiliated gaming centers and the head of the company that provided the slot machine software, Chase Burns, the Herald/Times found. Burns, owner of International Internet Technologies, used five different companies to shower legislators with $283,000 in the last two years alone. He gave $75,000 to the Florida Democratic Party, $52,000 to the Republican Party of Florida, $40,000 to the political committee run by Sen. Jack Latvala, R-St. Petersburg, and $25,000 to the political committee controlled by Sen. Joe Negron, R-Palm City.

Arcola Systems and its affiliates used a political committee controlled by their lobbyist David Ramba, as well as a series of other political committees run by Ramba to steer money to legislators. Among the top recipients, according to the Herald/Times analysis: $50,000 to the House Majority, led by House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel; $30,000 to the Senate Majority, led by Senate President Don Gaetz, R-Niceville; $25,000 to Latvala; $25,000 to the political committee controlled by Rep. Richard Corcoran, R-Trinity; $20,000 to the Republican Party of Florida; $12,500 to the Florida Democratic Party; and $116,000 to the Citizens for Housing and Urban Growth, another political committee controlled by Ramba.
Roz Gitlin
9:42AM MAY 18TH 2013
I believe Negron took money from the internet cafes, closed them up out of embarassment. I read this and wonder why more isn't written about this fact.
Raye Daughenbaugh
2:40PM MAY 16TH 2013
GO BRANDON !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
watching you
10:07AM MAY 15TH 2013
I took the time to write a speech for all the incumbent Florida representatives to use come election time. Here it is:

Vote for me, an “HONEST” politician.

I promise to do everything in my power to enrich myself on the backs of the taxpayer.

I promise to take money from special interest groups and lobbyists, and allow them to influence my decisions even if it means screwing my constituents.

I promise transparency with back room deals made behind closed doors.

I promise to lead you by the hand because you’re too stupid to make your own decisions.

I promise to tell you “yes, I’ll do that for you”. Then do exactly the opposite.

I promise that if you elect me, you’ll be sorry that you did.

Thank you for your support.
Roz Gitlin
10:46PM MAY 14TH 2013
Negron is definitely our enemy. I am happy to see you are taking steps to out him. That Scott should be your next target. I am behind you and know many people who will back you.
6:10PM MAY 14TH 2013
Run Brandon...RUN!!!! Negron is completely out of touch and full of himself. He also voted to screw consumers with Scott's "auto-insurance" reform law passed last year. Thank goodness an honest judge in Tallahassee saw through that.

We need new young blood in Tallahassee. Scott, Negron, Wetherford, Simmons, Thrasher...all need to be sent packing.

Please return this state is us, the people, the voters, not the special interests and corporations.

Brandon, campaign smartly...negron is just another out of touch career politican...beat his behind raw!!!!!
1:04PM MAY 14TH 2013
Good for you I am not voting for anyone currently in office because of their actions against businesses like yours. They will have a lot of votes missing next election.
watching you
12:16PM MAY 14TH 2013
A Politicians Thought Process

Let’s form a committee to investigate the committee that suggested we form a committee in the first place. This way we can make our constituents think we are actually accomplishing something even though nothing useful ever gets done.

Fellow Americans, it’s time to clean house. It’s time to vote out the incumbents and life-long politicians and bring in some new blood with fresh ideas. Time to hold our representatives collective feet to the fire. Time to stop lobbyists and special interest groups from influencing their decisions. Time for campaign finance reform and term limits.
It’s time to take our country back.

Go for it, Brandon
jennifer morejon
11:20PM MAY 13TH 2013
Hi Brandon you have my full support Negron already lost this war when he decided to gocorrupt. We lost a battle but not the war they think they are getting away with what they did to us,closing our business leaving seniors without a place to distract themselves. But there not we have a God that makes justice. Stand uo straight on this call we will win it!
Anne Puglisi
6:50PM MAY 13TH 2013
I think that what Brandon is doing is commendable and I will give him my full support in running against Negron. What has been done to all of these businesses and the community is unforgivable and they should be stopped. Remember, Florida is made up primarily of Senior Citizens and we definitely WILL NOT FORGET WHAT HAS BEEN DONE TO US!!!!!! Negron may have his dirty money behind him for his support, but you have the good, honest, people behind you who will give you all the votes you will need!!!! He could shove his money where the sun don't shine! Hopefully, his days are numbered!
maria diminno
6:21PM MAY 13TH 2013
There are a lot of seniors who will be on your side!!!!!!
John Paul
6:20PM MAY 13TH 2013
I will be behind you 100%, I'm sick of politics as usual and especially Negron ,Thrasher and Trujillo. Let's campaign like never before on a grassroots kinda guy!!!!
maria diminno
6:18PM MAY 13TH 2013
Way to go Brandon, My husband n I will vote for you. I was there in Tallahassee n at our Rallies and saw with my own eyes how Negron would have nothing to do with us...
3:56PM MAY 13TH 2013
I am really proud of you Brandon You saw a bad Senator and deceided to do something about it!!! Negron might have 600k dollars but YOU!!!!! will get the VOTES!!!!!!!!!
Neil..... please get the Fraternals to join us at Seniors4Justice.com
maria diminno
6:18PM MAY 13TH 2013
very well said
1:56PM MAY 13TH 2013
Negron will win by 20 points.
Judy Fitzgerald
12:32PM MAY 13TH 2013
I have known Brandon for several years. I respect the man that he is and I hope the people of Florida get to know him as I have. Good Luck, Brandon. This West Virginian is on your side!
11:08AM MAY 13TH 2013
I hope he wins. I'm tired of professional politicians screwing up everything they touch. Run Brandon, run!
Deborah Peterson
10:25AM MAY 13TH 2013
Brandon will have my vote 100%
11:08AM MAY 13TH 2013
Hi Deborah!
9:57AM MAY 13TH 2013
8:56AM MAY 13TH 2013
u go Brandon...what the government did to us was not right I am or was a game room owner and I am registered and bonded with the state and I have a city tax id# and now I am illegal..REALLY it will take people like u to get this fuc#ed up state back in order..BEST OF LUCK
Caring Senior
7:02AM MAY 13TH 2013
We HAVE to START to turn the present political thinking from the present 'ME' to the correct 'WE the people'. !..Grassroots IS the history of this country.! We must have the control of our country and our future BACK in the hands of the voting people, NOT corporations and big business. Love of ONLY money is self destructive!...........Greed eventually destroys everything. How much will be irrevocably lost of nature and humans before we wake up nationally.?.............

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