peggy_quince_2.jpg2012 Election Special Edition

The newly formed District 18 congressional seat is being sought by Republican Rep. Allen West and Democratic opponent Patrick Murphy in the Nov. 6 general election.

West, a first-term representative and Tea Party favorite, chose to run in redrawn District 18 after GOP legislators rendered his District 22 far less welcome to
conservative Republicans. Intent on ousting West, political newcomer Murphy also headed north.

West, a critic of President Barack Obama, said he is “committed to creating a fair and balanced tax structure, reining in federal spending, reducing the debt and creating an environment in which jobs and American prosperity flourish.”

Murphy said his focus “is creating a climate conducive to job growth, stability, a tax rate/code that is predictable five to ten years down the road,” and that money needs to be spent on improving existing infrastructure.

Veteran Democratic Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Miramar, is running for the redrawn District 20 seat against Randall Terry, an anti-abortion activist of no party affiliation, and write-in candidate Anthony Dutrow. All the candidates (except for Terry who could not be reached for comment) say they are focusing on turning the economy around, but that improving the healthcare and education systems are also areas of concern.

Hastings, a congressman for the past 20 years, who currently holds the District 23 seat and is vying for his 11th term in office, said “The Affordable Care Act needs to be implemented,” adding, “(Republican presidential nominee Mitt) Romney wants to repeal it and (Florida Gov. Rick) Scott won’t implement it but they can’t tell you what they would replace it with.”

District 31 incumbent State Sen. and caucus leader Christopher “Chris” Smith is being challenged by Republican opponent Christopher “Chris” Smithmyer.
Running in the state representative races are Gwendolen Clarke-Reed, District 92; Joseph “Joe” Gibbons, District 100; Shevrin D. Jones, District 101; Hazelle P. Rogers, District 95; Cynthia A. Stafford, District 109; Perry E. Thurston, Jr., District 94.

Florida Supreme Court Justice Peggy A. Quince faces a retention vote, and 11 constitutional amendments are on the ballot (see page 12D).

Cynthia Roby may be reached at

*Pictured above is Florida Surpreme Court Justice Peggy Quince.