CD 19 Republicans Pledge to Hold the Line on Taxes
Around the State
With three major Republicans battling it out to replace former U.S. Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla., in Congress, one of the most prominent conservative groups in the nation is looking to ensure the candidates will hold the line on taxes.
This week, two of the three candidates duking it out in the April 22 primary signed the “Taxpayer Protection Pledge” pushed by Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). Since 1987, ATR, led by President Grover Norquist, has urged candidates to “oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rates for individuals and/or businesses and oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates." More than 1,200 officeholders across the nation, including 39 U.S. senators, 219 congressmen and 14 governors, have signed the pledge.
“I want to congratulate Ms. Benacquisto for taking the Taxpayer Protection Pledge,” Norquist said on Monday. “The American people are tired of the tax-and-spend policies coming from Washington and they’re looking for solutions that create jobs, cut government spending, and get the economy going again.”
Kreegel signed the pledge on Monday as well, garnering Norquist’s praise, too.
“By signing the pledge, Paige Kreegel demonstrates that he understands the problems of hard-working taxpayers nationwide, but especially the taxpayers of Florida,” Norquist said.
“I challenge all candidates for federal office to make the same commitment to taxpayers by signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge today,” Norquist said.
While businessman Curt Clawson, who is also running for the Republican nomination, has not signed the pledge yet, campaign spokesman David James told Sunshine State News on Tuesday that they were very open to it.
"We are taking a very serious look at the pledge," James told Sunshine State News on Tuesday night.
The Clawson camp also insisted that their opponents' pledges meant nothing, maintaining that both Benacquisto and Kreegel supported raising taxes and fees during their times in Tallahassee and, in Benacquisto's case, during her time holding local office in Wellington.
Clawson will be holding an event with the Tea Party Express on Wednesday in Bonita Spring and it is expected that group will endorse him.
Whoever wins the April 22 primary will face Democrat April Freeman and Libertarian Rey Northwood in the June 24 general election.
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org.