As he runs again for the Florida House in 2014, Rep. Doug Broxson, R-Milton, drew a Republican primary challenger this week.
Army veteran and current National Guard member Jamie Tabisz-Smith, who runs the Liberty Life News site, filed his paperwork on Thursday to run against Broxson, who represents parts of Okaloosa and Santa Rosa counties in next years Republican primary.
Speaking to Sunshine State News on Friday, Broxson said he was familiar with Tabisz-Smith but said his challengers focus seems more directed at Washington than Tallahassee and called his challenger misguided in running for the Florida House instead of Congress.
It is very representative of people who are very concerned about whats happening, Broxson said on Tabisz-Smiths bid. Broxson said Republicans in Tallahassee had a conservative record when it came to reducing regulations and government spending. We stood up against Obamacare and did everything good Republicans are supposed to do, Broxson said.
Broxson told Sunshine State News he intended to continue to fight for job creation and ensuring the settlement money from BP was used properly. He also said he will fight to reduce taxes. We will hold the line on taxes, he said. Weve got some tax reform to do and Im willing to lead that effort.
First elected to the Florida House in 2010, Broxson served as the vice chairman of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee. He does have some experience in holding off primary challengers. In 2012, Broxson turned back the primary challenge of Milton businessman Jayer Williamson. Broxsons family has deep political roots in the Panhandle with his father, mother and brother serving as sheriffs of Santa Rosa County. Broxsons brother John served a decade in both chambers of the Florida Legislature and as a Santa Rosa County commissioner.
Tabisz-Smith told Sunshine State News on Friday that he was running to help ensure his children would grow up in a freer state and nation. He has four children with a fifth on the way. Tabisz-Smith said his candidacy would offer voters in the district an alternative to the incumbent.
I want to give people a choice, Tabisz-Smith insisted. Im very concerned about the future of our state and our country.
Tabisz-Smith pledged to fight for less regulation, taxes and government spending if elected to the Florida House. I believe in free-market principles, Tabisz-Smith told Sunshine State News. I believe in the Constitution.
So far in the 2014 election cycle, Broxson has raised $12,300 in cash and had around $10,900 in the bank at the end of June. Tabisz-Smith has just launched his bid and will set up a website in the coming weeks as he gears up to 2014.
This is a very strong Republican district with 59 percent of the voters registered in the GOP while 25 percent are Democrats. Broxson did not face a Democratic opponent last year.
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 904-521-3722.