Nine candidates have lined up to compete in primary races in Florida’s 18th Congressional District. Three Democrats and six Republicans will appear on the Aug. 30 primary ballots, with the winners advancing to the Nov. 8 general election.
Boundaries for Florida’s congressional districts were recently redrawn. District 18, however, is mostly unchanged. It covers St. Lucie and Martin counties, and extends into the northern portions of Palm Beach County. In the western communities, it includes most of The Acreage and parts of Royal Palm Beach.
Considered a battleground district by election watchers, its general election race is labeled a toss-up. The seat is currently held by Democrat Patrick Murphy, who passed up what would have likely been an easy re-election bid to instead seek a U.S. Senate seat.
Murphy unseated Republican Allen West in 2012 to take the seat, and then defeated Republican challenger Carl Domino in 2014.
• Carl Domino of Jupiter was a state representative for District 83 from 2002 to 2010, served as majority whip from 2004 to 2006 and left the office due to term limits. He ran unsuccessfully against Murphy in 2014.
Domino has a strong pro-life record, is a life member of the National Rifle Association, supports veterans’ care and treatment, advocates reworking the tax code for a bigger return to taxpayers and restraining federal spending. He supports funding to clean up Florida waterways and estuaries. He is a longtime opponent of the All Aboard Florida high-speed rail system. A strong supporter of Israel, he thinks that the recent Iran deal will increase instability in that region. On education, he believes Common Core is a failure and that curriculum decisions should be made locally.
An investment manager, Domino holds degrees from the Shepard Broad Law Center, Harvard Business School and Florida State University. He is a retired commander with the U.S. Navy Reserve and is married with two children.
Visit www.dominoforcongress.com for more information.
• Dr. Mark Freeman of Stuart favors repealing the Affordable Care Act, securing the nation’s borders and deporting illegal immigrants. He believes that the economy has been crippled during the past seven years and favors developing an educational initiative that would give Americans technical skills to compete in the global economy.
Freeman would end corporate welfare, bring corporate profits from abroad, balance the federal budget, limit the power of the Federal Reserve, replace the tax code with a flat tax system and demand equal pay for equal work for women. He favors strengthening national security and defends the Second Amendment.
Freeman served as a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve. He graduated from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and earned his medical degree from Boston University Medical School. He is married and has two married children.
Visit www.drmarkforcongress.com for more information.
• Rick Kozell of Jupiter received a degree in business administration from Wake Forest University and built a small marine services business. He later sold it to attend law school and graduated from the Georgetown University Law Center in 2010. He returned to Jupiter and practiced as a business attorney in West Palm Beach.
Kozell serves on the annual fundraising committee for Place of Hope, has served on the county’s Land Development Regulation Advisory Board, and has been active with the St. Baldrick’s Foundation and Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Palm Beach and Martin Counties.
He believes lower taxes and limited regulation will create opportunity for working people, and in strengthening the middle class by cutting wasteful spending and limiting the federal government’s intrusion into the affairs of private business and individuals. He believes in limited government and federalism, and supports local control of primary education and a strong national defense. He is married with one child.
Visit www.rickkozell.com for more information.
• Brian Mast of Stuart is a 12-year U.S. Army veteran and former bomb disposal expert who lost both his legs during an improvised explosive device (IED) detection operation. He earned a degree in environmental studies at Harvard University, specifically working on watershed and green infrastructure, and is a water ambassador for Martin County.
Mast believes that Congress should pass tax reform that lowers rates, inspires economic growth and ends nearly all loopholes and deductions. He supports repealing the Affordable Care Act and allowing small businesses and voluntary associations to join together to get the same insurance discounts as large corporations.
He supports improving Israeli/American relations, veteran policy reform, a new strategy on national security, securing borders and fixing immigration policies, preserving Second Amendment rights, balancing the budget, lowering taxes and reforming the tax code. He supports rebuilding the military, opposes Common Core and supports government accountability. A strong right-to-life advocate, he will work to defund Planned Parenthood. He is married with three children.
Visit www.mastforcongress.com for more information.
• Rebecca Negron of Stuart, wife of State Sen. Joe Negron (R-District 32), is a Martin County School Board member and an obstetrics nurse.
A mother of three, she opposes No Child Left Behind and Common Core, believing decision-making in education should be done locally. She wants to boost the economy by simplifying the tax code, repealing excessive regulations, enacting a balanced budget amendment and repealing the Affordable Care Act. She opposes government bailouts and subsidies. A pro-life advocate, she wants to defund Planned Parenthood.
Negron believes that the federal government has hurt Florida’s environment by releasing harmful discharges from Lake Okeechobee and would focus on clean drinking water and protecting estuaries and the Everglades. She opposes gun control legislation and supports improving services to veterans. Negron supports improved national security by eliminating terrorist groups, improved relations with Israel and opposes Cuba’s Castro regime in favor of supporting pro-democracy leaders.
For more information, visit www.negronforcongress.com.
• Noelle Nikpouris is a GOP fundraiser and branding expert who has made appearances on television and radio, including Fox News, MSNBC, HLN, CNN and CNBC, giving advice and speaking about branding, political strategy, celebrity mishaps and scandals. She is also a columnist for the Sun-Sentinel.
Nikpouris claims that she is not a politician and suggests that if voters want to fix Washington, they cannot keep sending politicians to Washington and should support bringing back common-sense conservatism. She believes in America but thinks ISIS is growing stronger, the border remains open and more debt is being poured on the next generation, yet career politicians refuse to do anything about these problems.
Visit www.nikpour4congress.com for more information.
• Jonathan Chane of Palm Beach Gardens was born and raised in Palm Beach County. He is married with three young children. He believes that many middle-class families face real struggles in South Florida; the economic recovery is still leaving many small businesses and middle-class families behind; seniors are working too many hours to supplement their insufficient Social Security income and retirement savings; and schools need more support to prepare children for success.
An attorney with Domnick, Cunningham & Whalen, he serves on the board of trustees of Temple Judea in Palm Beach Gardens and is active with the Arc of Palm Beach County and the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County. He also does pro bono representation of children who are aging out of the foster care program and Holocaust survivors obtaining reparations from the German government.
For more information, visit www.jonathanchane.com.
• Randy Perkins of North Palm Beach owns AshBritt, which he started in 1992 and is now one of the leading environmental cleanup companies in the country. He is married with three daughters. After starting with a union job unloading trucks, he established a one-man lawn service company, building his business from there.
Perkins believes that skyrocketing education and healthcare costs, limited credit and burdensome regulations make it impossible for many small businesses to succeed.
Perkins believes that seniors should be protected and plans to fight anything that threatens Social Security or Medicare. According to Perkins, the Affordable Care Act was an important step forward in healthcare and that mental health reforms must be made. He will work to reform veterans programs and level the playing field for working women.
Perkins opposes the development of All Aboard Florida on FEC rail tracks and supports America’s bond with Israel. He is also a strong proponent of improved education and support for special-needs communities.
For more information, visit www.randyperkinsforcongress.com.
• John (Juan) Xuna of Stuart is a scientist, environmentalist and engineer. Xuna is committed to adequate vacations, longer maternity leave and free childcare, as well as decent wages, fairer wealth distribution and tax reform. He favors avoiding war and reducing military spending. He supports alternative energy, cleaning the environment, protecting wildlife and teaching “real science” in public schools.
Xuna also favors free college tuition and fewer H1B visas in order to protect young university graduates. He favors improved relations with Cuba, dignity and humanity for immigrants while maintaining strong border control, universal healthcare, promoting large families while remaining pro-choice, LGBT issues and death with dignity. He strongly supports NASA research and large increases in technology and national infrastructure.
Xuna worked for 38 years as an engineer and eight as a science teacher. He holds several degrees, including a master’s degree in telecommunications engineering from Colorado State University and an MBA in accounting.
Visit www.jxuna.com for more information.