AIFSC Endorses George Scarborough and Representative Quinones to Seek County Commission

February 1, 2007

AIFSC Endorses George Scarborough in Republican Primary for HD 3 Special Election

On Wednesday, January 31st the Associated Industries of Florida Service Corporation (AIFSC) voted to endorse George Scarborough (R-Gulf Breeze) in the Republican primary for the House District 3 Special Election.  Mr. Scarborough is running to replace former Representative Holly Benson (R-Pensacola) who was recently appointed Secretary of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.  The primary will be held on Tuesday, February 6th and the General election has been scheduled for Tuesday, February 27th.

George Scarborough, age 46, is the brother of popular TV news personality and former US Congressman Joe Scarborough.  He is the owner for Scarborough Consulting and was the organizer of the large high-tech expo called the Gulf Coast Technology Summit and Exposition.  During his interview, Scarborough confirmed that his brother was actively working in the district on his behalf and that he had been endorsed by Charlie Hilton, Earl Durden, Senator Don Gaetz (R-Niceville) and Congressman Jeff Miller (R).

On the issues, when asked about the recent special session on property insurance, Scarborough noted that he would be more supportive of initiatives that create competition among insurance companies.  Further, he supports Sen. Gaetz’s idea of capping local taxing authorities’ ability to raise property taxes and said that “portability is fine as long as we’re not robbing Peter to pay Paul”.

The other candidates running in the District 3 Special Election include:

  • Clay Ford (R-Gulf Breeze)
  • Lyn Hart (R-Pensacola)
  • Tom Banjanin (R-Pensacola)
  • Liz Campbell (D-Pensacola)
  • John Wyche (D-Pensacola)

Representative Quinones to Seek County Commission Office

It is our understanding that a 2:30pm press conference scheduled today by Representative John Quinones (R-Kissimmee) is to announce he will not remain in his House District 49 seat but will run for an open seat on the Osceola County Commission.  The qualifying deadline for the Commission is tomorrow (February 2nd) at noon.

Representative Quinones, who was the first Puerto Rican to serve in the Florida Legislature, was elected to House District 49 in 2002 and would not be "termed out" until 2010.   As for the candidates lining up to run for Rep. Quinones’ current seat, three candidates had filed their intent to run for his seat in 2008.  They are:

  • Ruth Ann Raia (D), ran against Rep. Quinones in the last two election cycles.  She is the owner for Furry Friends Inn, an upscale pet boarding company and is also an insurance agent.  Her insurance experience has mostly centered on migrant-worker-harvesting program, government funded crop insurance program, transportation program for crop harvesting businesses, and farm owner’s programs.

  • Ricardo Rangel (D), was born in New York and his parents are natives of Ecuador.  He is a former finance specialist for the U.S Army, National Guard and Army Reserves and is the President of the Political Leadership Development Council-PAC.  He is a GED instructor for English and Spanish and holds the annual “Ricardo Rangel Annual Softball game” to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Florida.  Rangel was also an Orlando area grassroots coordinator for Democracia USA, a national non-partisan Hispanic civic engagement program and was a campaign coordinator for the Jim Davis (D) for Governor Campaign. 

  • Darren Michael Soto (D), ran in the 2006 general election against Rep. Andy Gardiner (R-Orlando) and received 37.1% of the vote.  Soto is a sole practitioner commercial and civil rights attorney and a former member of the Civil Service Board for Orlando.  He is also Vice President of Communications for the Orange County Young Democrats.