Two More Republicans Announce Challenges to Debbie Wasserman Schultz

By: Kenric Ward | Posted: February 28, 2012 3:55 AM
Gineen Bresso, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Juan Eliel Garcia

Gineen Bresso, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz D-Fort Lauderdale and Juan Eliel Garcia

Two more Republicans have jumped in to challenge Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fort Lauderdale, and Broward County's GOP chairman says a "spirited primary" will help the party "put our best foot forward."

Gineen Bresso and Juan Eliel Garcia joined the Republican contest in the 23rd Congressional District, bringing the number of GOP hopefuls there to six.

Previously announced candidates, as reported by Sunshine State News, are Karen Harrington, Joe Goldner, Joe Kaufman and Ozzie DeFaria.

Bresso, an appointee to the U.S. Elections Assistance Commission, returned to South Florida to run a consulting firm and make her first run for public office. Pledging "A New Way Forward," Bresso says the Broward/Miami-Dade district "needs a full-time representative."

"Wasserman Schultz spends too much time running around the country," said Bresso, noting the congresswoman's partisan position as chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee.

Though her Boca Raton residence is outside the Broward/Miami-Dade district lines drawn by state lawmakers, Bresso says she is familiar with both the region and Washington, D.C.

As former counsel to the Committee on House Administration for the U.S. House of Representatives, Bresso said she knows the federal budget process "and how to make it work for people."

Garcia, a Spanish-language radio host from Pembroke Pines, is also a first-time candidate. His strengths, he says, include a connection to the Hispanic community.

"It's an open secret that for the GOP to win, it needs Hispanic voters," said Garcia, who intimated that he expects to receive the endorsements of local Hispanic chambers of commerce in the area.

Garcia is convinced that Wasserman Schultz's "time is up."

"Even the Democrats are tired of her," he said.

Broward County Republican Chairman Richard DeNapoli says the party would "love to beat Wasserman Schultz," but admits "it will be a difficult race."

"She can get millions of dollars from the DNC, which makes her a formidable candidate. Hopefully, we can take her out," he said.

If there's a silver lining for the GOP, it's Barack Obama's declining popularity since 2008 and a slight shift in CD 23's party registration. Previously listed as +12 for Democrats, the new boundaries show a +10 edge for Wasserman Schultz's party.

"A lot of candidates bring a lot of attention. Whoever the nominee is will have a decent shot," DeNapoli predicted. "We'll try to help out and unite behind the winner."

Meanwhile, the primary jousting has become more pointed.

DeFaria recently posted an advertisement showing Wasserman Schultz sporting a dog collar.

On Saturday, an anonymous Craigslist ad called for a Bible burning at Harrington's restaurant in Pembroke Pines. No one showed up.

Goldner, who has taken to calling Harrington a "political whore who pretends to be something she's not," theorized that the Craigslist gambit was a religion-baiting publicity scheme cooked up by her campaign.

Without naming names, Harrington's camp said of the non-event: "It is unfortunate that there are individuals who feel the need to delve into gutter politics. This is expected behavior from someone who is unbalanced, and has no place in politics."

Like their fellow GOP candidates, and unlike Wasserman Schultz and her $1 million-plus war chest, neither Bresso nor Garcia can point to mountains of cash. The Federal Elections Commission website shows just $3,150 in campaign contributions to Garcia and none yet for Bresso.

But the challengers are undaunted.

"This is no longer about money," Garcia asserts. "People are tired of money pushers."

Contact Kenric Ward at kward@sunshinestatenews.com or at (772) 801-5341.

Comments (8)

The Real Karen Harrington
9:31PM AUG 5TH 2012
1:19PM AUG 1ST 2012
Ozzie Defaria has a massive ego, seems to be an elitist and has a very nasty temper. Couple that with starting a debate that Harrington was not at by encouraging people in the crowd to boo at Karen's absence in front of a GOP unity sign. After calling out someone who challenged his claim of adding 800 million dollars to the economy by stating" lets have a respectful debate" never proving his wild statements and then tried to intimidate that woman (me) with dirty looks for the rest of the evening. He shows no respect..can't tell the truth,does not admit his mistakes slams Karen with inaccurate info. Says he does not know what his smear campain web site says when called on it. We need PATRIOTS in DC not rich men who can buy their way in. Check him out....snake in the grass . He maked DWS look good. Karen is the only choice! He also posted a fake mug shot online, to make the guy who exposed his CRIMINAL RECORD look bad.
The Real Karen Harrington
9:30PM AUG 5TH 2012
Robert Lloyd
9:01AM FEB 29TH 2012
Interesting to read the mud throwing going on here. But I wonder why it is not stated what religion (or atheist) a candidate is? Would it not be of interest to most people if a person is a Jew (most likely then an atheist statistically), a Baptist, Catholic, an atheist, Methodist, etc etc etc...

We see Romney ALWAYS noted strongly as a Mormon, so why not New York's Schumer strongly noted as a Jew and does he believe in God? Something is really wrong here. This is basic journalism and free press gone bad.
Robert Lloyd
10:18AM FEB 29TH 2012
>>...basic journalism and free press gone bad.<<

Mr Ward and the Sunshine State News, I am not singling out this news site as I view this site every day and enjoy the articles. But our news sources nationally are in trouble if we truly want to call ourselves a nation with a free press. And we are all part of this and should not be. I think that a free press is long gone unfortunately.
Andrew Nappi
9:01PM FEB 28TH 2012
Seriously, what is the difference for LIBERTY? Will these GOP candidates pledge to end the wars? Will they work to end the FED? Will they come out against the military arrest and detention provisions of NDAA? Will they vote against all unconstitutional over reach attempts by the general government? Probably not. In short, it is another race between BIG GOV D and Big Gov R... At the core, very little difference.
Joe Goldner
6:20AM FEB 29TH 2012
As of this date, I am the only candidate that is against SOPA, PIPA and NDAA! All of these plus the extension of the Patriot Act is in my believe a violation of the constitution, limits our freedoms and is a giant extention of the powers of the Federal Government. Join me in my fight to save our freedoms and our constitution! Joe Goldner for Congress! FIRE DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ! I WILL PERSONALLY HAND DEBBIE THE PINK SLIP!
Robert Lloyd
9:08AM FEB 29TH 2012
But Mr Goldner, who are you? What is your race, religion, occupation, and why the abbreviations of what you are fighting against? Your age... how many kids, and what past work have you done?

These are just basic things someone should know before considering your candidacy. Of course no one should vote for a woman or surely a woman with numerous last names so you have that going for you at least.

Leave a Comment on This Story

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.