U.S. Senate from Florida

U.S. Rep. Val Demings emerged from a four-way Democratic primary in August to join NPA candidates Steven Grant and Tuan TQ Nguyen, along with Libertarian Dennis Misigoy in challenging incumbent Republican Sen. Marco Rubio for a six-year term representing Florida in the U.S. Senate.

Rubio drew no Republican challengers this cycle and advanced to the general election without appearing on a primary ballot.

Four write-in candidates also qualified, although their names do not appear on the ballot.

News4Jax sent a questionnaire to each candidate asking about their background and their views on several issues. Scroll down to read the responses of those seeking your vote in their own words.

Note: Responses are sorted alphabetically by party and are presented exactly as submitted, with no editing by News4Jax staff.


  DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE
Val Demings

Val Demings

Occupation: Congresswoman, FL-10

Age: 65

Your family: Married to Jerry Demings, Orange County Mayor; Three sons and five grandchildren

Education: Bachelor’s in Criminology from Florida State University; Master’s in Public Administration from Webster University

Political experience: Congresswoman representing Florida’s 10th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2016

We asked our most-loyal viewers (News4Jax Insiders) what three issues they would most like candidates to address:

Viewers’ No. 1 issue: The economy

  • I’m the youngest of seven children to a maid and a janitor, and I grew up in a two-bedroom, A-frame house in Mandarin in the 1960s, so I know how important a dollar is to so many families. We are facing a number of challenges as a country, and I’m working relentlessly to bring down prices while keeping Floridians on the job. Fighting to make the American Dream accessible and affordable to all Americans will be my top priority in the U.S. Senate.

Viewers’ No. 2 issue: Voter rights/election integrity

  • Our country was founded on the idea of one person, one vote and that the voices of the people matter. My friend and colleague Congressman John Lewis used to say the right to vote is almost sacred in a democracy. That’s why trying to take away your voice is unAmerican and wrong. In the U.S. Senate, I will be a fierce advocate for the right to vote and work to pass legislation that protects our democracy.

Viewers’ No. 3 issue: Gun rights/gun safety

  • We must do everything within our power to stop innocent people from being gunned down in innocent places. We have made progress — but it is not enough. As Orlando’s former chief of police, I know all too well that we have more work to do. We must continue to close the loopholes in our gun laws, expand background checks, and pass red flag laws like here in Florida. These common sense pieces of legislation will keep our communities safe and ensure violent criminals aren’t outgunning law enforcement officers on the streets.

News4Jax asked each candidate three additional questions to help voters determine which most agrees with their views:

What do you see as the top three issues facing the state and nation over the next two years?

  • I’m prioritizing the issues that matter most to Florida families and workers: lowering prices, including the cost of gas and housing, lowering crime, and protecting Social Security and Medicare.

Do you believe Joe Biden is the legitimately elected president of the United States?

  • I will never stand for an attack on American democracy. The 2020 presidential election was fair and secure, and the will of the people was carried out — there is no question that President Biden and Vice President Harris legitimately won the election.

In light of the Supreme Court ruling striking down Roe v. Wade, would you propose or support additional laws either banning abortion entirely or guaranteeing reproductive rights?

  • The decision to strike down Roe v. Wade is downright dangerous and tragic. In the U.S. Senate, I will stand up, speak out, and relentlessly fight for a woman’s right to choose her own destiny. We refuse to go back to allowing our personal decisions to be made by politicians like Marco Rubio who has obsessively fought to ban abortions, even if in cases of rape and incest. I am fighting in Congress to pass into law other essential rights that could potentially be threatened, including the right to access contraception and the right to marry the person you love, no matter their race or gender.

How can you help voters in a way that others running for this office cannot?

  • I’ve dedicated my life to serving Floridians. After I graduated from Florida State University, I was a social worker in Jacksonville. Then I spent 27 years putting on a bulletproof vest and putting away criminals while Marco Rubio was climbing the political ladder. And now that Rubio is a senator, he won’t even show up for work. I showed up and worked hard as Orlando’s Chief of Police, and as a result we reduced violent crime by 40%. I know how to deliver results for Floridians and as senator, I’ll continue to fight to keep our communities safe.

What would you hope to be remembered for accomplishing after serving in this office?

  • I’m running to make a real impact on the lives of working Floridians like my parents, a maid and a janitor, and I hope to be remembered as the Senator who had the courage to take on the tough fights for people in every community.

Campaign website: valdemings.com

Campaign’s social media site(s): Instagram @valdemings | Twitter @valdemings | Facebook Val Demings | TikTok @valdemings


  LIBERTARIAN CANDIDATE
Dennis Misigoy

Dennis Misigoy

Occupation: Software Architect

Age: 40

Family: Wife and three kids

Education: Bachelor of Science in Computer Science

Political experience: Elected in Nov 2016, served for four years as chairman of a small special taxing district in Miami-Dade County.

We asked our most-loyal viewers (News4Jax Insiders) what three issues they would most like candidates to address:

Viewers’ No. 1 issue: The economy

The biggest economic problem facing Americans today is the record high inflation rate. An inevitable consequence of the destructive monetary policy employed by the Federal Reserve, especially since the COVID outbreak, it has robbed the people of the purchasing power of their dollars and transferred yet more wealth to the elites. The answer to this problem is not more government intervention in the economy to control prices. The answer is sound money that cannot be debased in the same way. Since governments and their approved central banks have proven they cannot be trusted with control of the money supply, we need a fully free market in currencies that allows, without the restriction, for the use of alternatives such as cryptocurrencies and precious metals like gold and silver as legal tender.

Free markets have consistently led to the greatest improvements in people’s standards of living by delivering goods and services in the most efficient way possible, and that should inform all of our economic policies. Our policies must always embrace individual freedom, respect property rights, and reject socialism along with any other form of central economic planning.

Viewers’ No. 2 issue: Voter rights/election integrity

The US Constitution delegates the power to manage elections primarily to state and local government, as government at those levels will inevitably understand better the needs and tendencies of voters in their communities than will Washington DC. Outside of any clear, demonstrable, and deliberate efforts to prevent eligible voters from exercising their right to vote, the federal government should not involve itself in the policies on how elections are run.

Where election fraud is discovered and proven in court, public officials responsible for election integrity need to be held accountable, including the possibility of criminal penalties.

Viewers’ No. 3 issue: Gun rights/gun safety

The Second Amendment is clear in protecting the individual’s right to own firearms, which is an extension of the basic human right to self-defense. I oppose all laws that undermine those rights, including the Red Flag Laws which do so while also circumventing Constitutional due process, and have been widely supported by Republicans in our state, including by our incumbent Senator, Marco Rubio.

Improving safety related to gun crimes, and in particular the most prominent of such crimes which are mass shootings, would be best achieved by eliminating the restrictions on people’s right to bear arms. Laws such as the Gun Free Zones Act of 1990 have turned schools and other areas into soft targets which attract mass murderers who desire to kill large numbers of victims, something which is only possible when they meet little or no armed resistance. The presence of firearms in the hands of trained, responsible gun owners would likely deter many such mass shooters, but even in the worst cases where it does not, it would ensure that the shooter would be stopped sooner after meeting resistance from the armed staff members.

What do you see as the top three issues facing the state and nation over the next two years?

  1. The aforementioned record inflation which is impacting every American today.
  2. Our foreign policy of regime change wars and occupation, particularly in the Middle East, which includes our support for the genocide in Yemen being perpetrated by Saudi Arabia. The deaths of countless civilians in these wars, the epidemic of suicide among our veterans, the massive financial cost, and the next generation of terrorists being inspired by today’s wars are among the many reasons why we need to end this policy and bring all of our troops home. This also includes our efforts to escalate the conflict in Ukraine, funding a proxy war against Russia, which runs the risk of becoming open, direct war with Russia, who possesses the next largest nuclear arsenal on Earth. We should return to our roots of a non-interventionist foreign policy, remove ourselves from entangling alliances which involve us in many of these conflicts, and abandon the pursuit of global hegemony.
  3. The criminalization of non-violent behaviors, including actions such as gun ownership and drug use. These creates needless harm and human suffering in vast array of ways, from leaving people defenseless to enriching violent criminal organizations to incentivizing the production of more potent and dangerous substances for people to consume. We must instead embrace the true idea of limited government, where its role is strictly to uphold and defend the individual rights to life, liberty, and property.

News4Jax asked each candidate three additional questions to help voters determine which most agrees with their views:

Do you believe Joe Biden is the legitimately elected president of the United States?

  • Yes

In light of the Supreme Court ruling striking down Roe v. Wade, would you propose or support additional laws either banning abortion entirely or guaranteeing reproductive rights?

  • As I am running for US Senator and the recent ruling has returned this issue to the states, I would not propose any legislation regarding abortion. Depending on the specifics, the most I would consider supporting would be legislation recognizing the start of human life during the second trimester, but which could not be used to prohibit appropriate exceptions for medical reasons.

How can you help voters in a way that others running for this office cannot?

  • My victory would transform the nation by striking the first serious blow against the two party system which has dominated our political system for over a century and a half, and beginning the long process of real change.

What would you hope to be remembered for accomplishing after serving in this office?

  • Breaking through the two party establishment with a Libertarian victory, ending US involvement in wars of choice to establish real peace with all nations, and allowing Americans to escape the inflation and boom-bust cycle created by the Federal Reserve by making monetary freedom a reality.

Campaign website: misigoy.com

Campaign’s social media site(s): Twitter - @dennismisigoy | Facebook - @electmisigoy | Instagram - @electmisigoy


  REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE
Marco Rubio

Marco Rubio

Occupation: U.S. Senator from Florida, first elected in 2010

Campaign website: marcorubio.com

The Republican incumbent has not responded to email and telephone invitations to complete the News4Jax candidate questionnaire. If responses are received, they will be promptly posted in this space.


  NPA CANDIDATES
Steven Grant

Steven B. Grant

Occupation: Attorney

Age: 39

Your family: Wife, Daughter, two dogs and cat

Education: University of Maryland, College Park; Bachelor of Science Finance, Florida Coastal School of Law, Juris Doctor

Political experience: Mayor of the City of Boynton Beach, Florida

We asked our most-loyal viewers (News4Jax Insiders) what three issues they would most like candidates to address:

Viewers’ No. 1 issue: The economy

  • I believe in creating and incentivizing a more circular economy for the United States of America. This would create vertical integration producing American made commodities, for American made products, to be used by Americans. This will conserve resources and reduce the cost for Americans.

Viewers’ No. 2 issue: Voter rights/election integrity

  • I would support legislation that prohibits States from automatically registering anyone with a driver’s license to vote. I would support legislation that requires the Federal government to certify citizenship status before voting, similar to the process for obtaining a U.S. passport.

Viewers’ No. 3 issue: Gun rights/gun safety

  • I believe in the second amendment, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State.” I support expanding the military and providing our youth more options to serve our country.

News4Jax asked each candidate three additional questions to help voters determine which most agrees with their views:

What do you see as the top three issues facing the state and nation over the next two years?

  1. Corruption in the Federal government.
  2. Improving education and the economy.
  3. Reducing inflation and preserving the environment.

Do you believe Joe Biden is the legitimately elected president of the United States?

  • I believe Vice-President Mike Pence certified the results of President Biden’s election. I believe President Trump lost the 2020 election.

In light of the Supreme Court ruling striking down Roe v. Wade, would you propose or support additional laws either banning abortion entirely or guaranteeing reproductive rights?

  • I support the Federal government protecting the liberty to make informed medical decisions in every state. I do not support the Federal government enforcing vaccine mandates on private employers.

How can you help voters in a way that others running for this office cannot?

  • As Mayor, I oversaw the day to day operations of a municipality including Police, Fire, Sanitation, Water, and other government services. I have real world experience handling my constituents needs and offering solutions to their issues.

What would you hope to be remembered for accomplishing after serving in this office?

  • I plan to accomplish Term limits for Congress; Immigration Court Reform, Military Expansion; and Environment Beautification.

Campaign website: stevenbgrant.com

Campaign’s social media site(s): facebook.com/attorneygrant


Tuan TQ Nguyen

Tuan TQ Nguyen

Occupation: (No response)

Age: (No response)

Family: (No response)

Education: Master degree in Global Strategic Communications (Florida Tech Institute)

Political experience: Have not held previous public office

We asked our most-loyal viewers (News4Jax Insiders) what three issues they would most like candidates to address:

Viewers’ No. 1 issue: The economy

The economy is recovering from the pandemic. However, the war in Ukraine has disrupted the supply-chain and has skyrocketed gas price contributing to the current inflation. In the short term, I would propose the following measures:
- Re-open the Keystone XL pipeline.
- Shelve the Build Back Better bill.
- Pass the China competition bill (United States Innovation and Competition Act USICA).

Viewers’ No. 2 issue: Voter rights/election integrity

I think requiring voter ID may help restore the faith in the integrity of our elections. In addition, ex-felons should regain their civic rights including the voting right upon their release.

Viewers’ No. 3 issue: Gun rights/gun safety

My position on gun rights/gun safety is aligned with the bill that has just been supported by 65 Senators and signed into law by President Biden

What do you see as the top three issues facing the state and nation over the next two years?

  1. Supply chain disruptions caused by our adversaries (Russia, China and Iran to some extent ( if we could not come up with a solution to reign in its nuclear ambition).
  2. Unlawful immigration at the Southern Texas border.
  3. Polarization and divisiveness caused by intensified partisan spirit.

News4Jax asked each candidate three additional questions to help voters determine which most agrees with their views:

Do you believe Joe Biden is the legitimately elected president of the United States?

Yes

In light of the Supreme Court ruling striking down Roe v. Wade, would you propose or support additional laws either banning abortion entirely or guaranteeing reproductive rights?

I currently have no plan to propose additional laws regarding abortion. I am fine to leave it up to the states to make their own laws according to the will of their residents. However, if an abortion-related bill was to presented to the U.S. Senate,
- I will surely vote against any bill forbidding abortion in case of rape, incest and when expectant mothers’ life is in danger.
- I also will not make abortion easier than the Supreme Court ruling in 1973 (Roe.v.Wade).

How can you help voters in a way that others running for this office cannot?

As a no-party affiliated candidate, I will be able to

- help both parties to work together, striking more compromises to find sound and practical solutions that serve the interests of the American people - first and foremost - above partisan interests.

- help reduce the polarization and divisiveness caused by partisan fights.

- give a voice for independent voters in Florida, who have been sidelined in national politics.

- bring my international experiences to ensure that America will have a strong, robust and coherent foreign policy.

What would you hope to be remembered for accomplishing after serving in this office?

  • America is a great land of opportunities, which has allowed a foreign-born candidate to become a U.S. Senator, so that he was able to contribute his skill, his experiences and his passion to serve this country and the American people during a trying time dominated by partisan politics. Most importantly, he has served this country with goodness and his belief in America’s ideal of LIBERTY and JUSTICE FOR ALL. He was a Good Samaritan in American politics.

Campaign website: letsbe-american.com

Campaign’s social media site(s): facebook.com/TQletsbeamerican