Looking to Protect Patrick Murphy, DCCC Raps Carl Domino and Calvin Turnquest

By: Kevin Derby | Posted: April 9, 2014 3:55 AM
Carl Domino, Calvin Turnquest, Patrick Murphy

Carl Domino, Calvin Turnquest, Patrick Murphy

As Republicans hope to defeat U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Fla., in November, two of his Republican opponents are starting to gain attention from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) as they both claim to be the GOP’s front-runner. 

The DCCC started running robocalls and Web ads against former state Rep. Carl Domino and former Tequesta Councilman Calvin Turnquest this week. Both Domino and Turnquest are part of a crowded field of Republican candidates which also includes nurse and conservative activist Beverly Hirs, businessman Brian Lara, Alan Schlesinger who held legislative and local offices in Connecticut and was the GOP’s nominee against then-U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., back in 2006 and Nick Wukoson, a businessman and former police officer. Major candidates ranging from former U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., who Murphy defeated in 2012, to former state House Majority Leader Adam Hasner, who ran for another South Florida congressional seat in 2012, are staying out of the race. Ellen Andel, who served on the Juno Beach Town Council and had West’s support, has already ended her bid for the Republican nomination.

The DCCC launched robocalls and Web ads against Republican congressmen and congressional candidates this week, looking to tie them to the budget proposed by U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. The DCCC hit Domino and Turnquest but ignored the other Republican candidates looking to challenge Murphy.

“We are giving voters all across the country the opportunity to connect directly with their representatives and candidates, so that they can tell them that they do not want a misguided budget that heaps tax breaks and handouts on special interests and the wealthiest Americans, and then forces the middle class to pay the price,” said Josh Schwerin from the DCCC on Monday. “‘Battleground: Middle Class’ is putting Republicans on defense across the country and making them answer for turning their backs on middle-class families, raising their taxes, costing them jobs, and ending the Medicare guarantee.”

An example of the call script running against vulnerable Republicans is below:

“Republicans in Congress are trying to sell you out so that they can help their wealthy contributors,” the narrator of the calls says. “You’re already getting squeezed, and these Republicans in Congress are just making it worse. Their latest budget would cost 3 million jobs, raise taxes on families like yours, give tax breaks to corporations that ship jobs overseas, end the Medicare guarantee and raise costs on seniors.”

The narrator of the robocall accuses Republicans of “selling out the middle class and instead focus[ing] on creating good jobs.”

Even with West and Hasner staying out, Republicans hope to do well in this swing district and defeat Murphy. Sources have told Sunshine State News that conservative groups intend to spend heavily to defeat Murphy, with one tea party group planning to spend around $2 million against the Democrat.

In the meantime, both Domino and Turnquest looked to claim the mantle of Republican front-runner. Domino announced on Tuesday that he was the only Republican hopeful to make the ballot by petition. If the other candidates want to make the primary ballot, they will have to pay $10,000.

“I am honored to be the Republican in this race, with a great grassroots volunteer organization, to receive the popular support from voters throughout the district,” said Domino on Tuesday. “2014 is going to be a winning year.”

But Turnquest shows no signs of pulling out of the race and insisted the DCCC’s attack on him meant the Democrats take him seriously.

“I’m honored to have Patrick Murphy, Nancy Pelosi and their pals at the DCCC admit that they're afraid of me,” Turnquest informed supporters on Monday.

Domino and Turnquest have battled before. Back in 2012, Domino looked to return to the Florida House but lost to MaryLynn Magar who went on to win the seat after taking 42 percent in the primary. Domino placed second in the primary with 31 percent. Turnquest took a distant fourth with 7.5 percent.

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com. 

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