Six GOP Candidates Vie To Challenge Rep. Pat Murphy

Six Republicans have lined up to participate in the Republican primary in the 18th Congressional District on Tuesday, Aug. 26. The winner will get the opportunity to face freshman incumbent Congressman Patrick Murphy in November.

The candidates are former State Rep. Carl Domino, attorney Beverly Hires, software developer Brian Lara, former Connecticut lawmaker Alan Schlesinger, former Tequesta Councilman Calvin Turnquest and small business owner Nick Wukoson.

District 18 covers all of Martin and St. Lucie counties, as well as northern areas of Palm Beach County, including portions of Royal Palm Beach, Loxahatchee Groves and The Acreage.

Domino, a Jupiter resident, is a graduate of Florida State University. He completed active duty as a naval officer in Vietnam and then earned his MBA from Harvard University. Domino built a successful financial services company from scratch in Palm Beach County and at one time was handling assets in excess of $3 billion. He sold that company and began building another investment management company in the Treasure Coast region.

In 2002, Domino was elected to the Florida House of Representatives and served for eight years. He is best known for his property tax reduction legislation known as “portability,” which enables local homeowners to move without losing the property tax benefits of the home they left.

According to his web site, Domino believes that Washington is broken and needs to be fixed. He has suggested a “Fix Congress First” pay plan would encourage real public service instead of padding the wallets of career politicians. Learn more at

Hires, a Tequesta resident, holds an MBA in healthcare management, in addition to being an attorney and a registered nurse.

Hires began work as a nurse at age 19 and spent a decade caring for patients before working her way through law school, where she won the “Best Advocate Award” in moot court competition. She passed the bar on her first sitting and started her own practice two years after graduation, where she balanced the demands of her career with the challenges of being a mother of triplets.

Hires has spent more than three decades fighting for patients, including a case in which parents sought answers in their child’s death. She identified a dangerous drug as the cause, took the case to Washington and won, with the Food & Drug Administration adopting her proposed changes to the drug’s labeling.

According to her web site, Hires opposes the Affordable Care Act and favors its repeal because it creates disincentives to hiring and job creation, especially among small businesses, by adding new layers of cost, complexity and government bureaucracy. Learn more at

Lara, a Stuart resident, is the son of legal immigrants, born in 1972 and raised on Florida’s east coast. He graduated in 1989 from Miami Senior High School before earning a degree in electrical engineering from Columbia University. Specializing in computer software development, he has built risk management and financial software more than 20 years.

At Columbia, he met his wife, Rosemary, a doctor who has taken time off to homeschool their son Lewis for the past 12 years. A self-professed science geek, he has coached a Lego league team, guiding a group of 10- to 12-year-olds in designing, programming and building robots to accomplish a series of tasks.

According to his web site, Lara is eager to put common-sense solutions to work solving the problems of South Florida and the nation. Strengthening the economy and getting Americans back to work are his main priorities. He favors cutting government regulations that get in the way of small businesses creating jobs. Learn more at

Schlesinger earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from the Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania and went on to earn his law degree from the University of Connecticut School of Law.

He served six terms in the Connecticut House of Representatives from 1981 to 1993. He also served as a two-term mayor of the City of Derby and served as selectman for the Town of Orange, both in Connecticut. He also ran an unsuccessful campaign to represent Connecticut in the U.S. Senate. Schlesinger traveled between Connecticut and Florida for many years, but now resides on Singer Island.

According to his web site, he believes that the Affordable Care Act has failed at insuring the uninsured and has made healthcare less affordable for many Americans. Schlesinger proposes a comprehensive solution based on health savings accounts for everyone coupled with a catastrophic insurance component. He believes that both parties have been irresponsible when it comes to the nation’s financing. Learn more at

Turnquest, a Tequesta resident, was born in Nassau, Bahamas, into a family with a long tradition of public service and deep involvement with their church. He earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry with a minor in biology at the University of Miami. He then worked to earn his green card and became a U.S. citizen in 1999.

While attending the University of Miami, he met Sheryl Thompson, and married her six years later, after she earned her medical degree. They bought a home in Tequesta in 2004, opened a small business and became active in local issues. In 2005, he was elected to the Tequesta Oaks Home Owners Association and, in 2007, he was elected to the Tequesta Village Council. He was re-elected twice and served as vice mayor.

In 2009, Turnquest became active in Republican and conservative groups and became an outspoken leader for fiscal reform, personal responsibility and protecting America’s values at home and interests abroad. He is active in the Tea Party movement. Learn more at

Wukoson, a Palm Beach Gardens resident, describes himself as a “Lincoln Republican.” He is proud of the party’s record of fairness, small government and fiscal responsibility. But he is not proud of many in the party, or how either party in Washington operates today, according to his web site.

As a former police officer and current small business owner, Wukoson believes that it is his duty to hold people accountable to the Constitution and protect hard-earned tax dollars and civil liberties.

Wukoson claims to have developed a plan that will bring instant transparency and responsibility in how government operates. He favors real solutions and practical ideas to overcome the nation’s problems. He describes himself as someone ready to shake up the GOP and all of Washington. Learn more at