The way things are looking lately there are many of us cheering for the challengers in the 2014 midterms. Two more challengers who deserve to be recognized are Mike Assad, who is challenging incumbent RINO Frank LoBiondo in New Jersey’s 2nd congressional district, and Jorge Bonilla who is challenging incumbent Democrat Alan Grayson in Florida’s 9th congressional district. Both of these congressional districts have more Democrats than Republicans, but Pueblo, Colorado showed this is not insurmountable. It certainly would be an improvement for new conservatives to join Scott Garrett in New Jersey and Ron DeSantis in Florida.
Frank Lobiondo earns the distinction of scoring the lowest of any member in the conference (37%). Although he represents a swing district, his score is so dismal that he ranks among those dramatic underperformers. In 2011, LoBiondo was among the most pro-spending, pro-union, anti-drilling, anti-free trade Republicans in Washington. He is a member of the Republican Main Street Partnership and was one of the 8 Republicans to vote for Cap and Trade in 2010. From cash for clunkers to the incandescent light bulb ban, he’s been a disaster during his 17-year tenure. Congressman Lobiondo also was one of 9 Republicans to oppose a common sense bill that would expediate the process for issuing permits for oil drilling.
Mike Assad holds the distinctive title of being one of New Jersey’s youngest elected officials. Assad, who has served on the Absecon, N.J., Board of Education for seven years, was elected at the young age of 18.
His advice to other young conservatives is to do what he did: “Speak up and get involved!” “Don’t let people who oppose what you are doing silence you,” he said. “Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and talk about these issues.”
Here are a few posts from his facebook page.
I am a Republican running for Congress in New Jersey’s second district in 2014. The only way to change Washington is to change the people who work there
If elected to Congress, I won’t vote to re-elect John Boehner as speaker. The House needs new leadership
More than 30% of people in Atlantic, Cumberland, and Salem Counties live in poverty. It is time for Washington to create a real economic stimulus by eliminating the IRS and instituting the FairTax. That will help create the private sector jobs that are desperately needed in South Jersey.
No Democrat in Congress can bring conservatives’ blood to a boil like the loud-mouthed, crude-insult-sneering Internet comments section in human form, Alan Grayson of Florida. Grayson swept into office with the Obama wave in 2008 and immediately stood out among freshmen Democrats for his willingness to say things no other congressman — or perhaps any decent human being — would say. Appearing on the Alex Jones radio program, he called Ben Bernanke’s aide Linda Robertson a “K Street whore.” He referred to the American health-care system as a “Holocaust for America.” And perhaps most famously, he asserted, with charts on the floor of the House of Representatives, that the Republican’s health-care plan was for Americans to “die quickly.”
Grayson lost to Republican Dan Webster in 2010 — after Grayson ran ads labeling his opponent “Taliban Dan” — and George Will called his defeat “an act of civic hygiene.” An example of pot calling kettle black is by Anthony Weiner who labeled Grayson as ‘one french fry short of a Happy Meal.’
But redistricting after the 2010 census added two districts to Florida, and the new lines created one in northern Orlando that was not far from Grayson’s old district. Grayson ran unopposed in the new district and won 62 percent in 2012.
Jorge L. Bonilla, Jr, the 42-year-old Republican was born in Brooklyn, New York to Puerto Rico immigrant parents who he says came to America to “pursue the American dream.” He would spend his middle school and high school years in Puerto Rico with his mother before joining the military — first the Marine Corps Reserves and then active duty in the Navy.
Here are some responses by Jorge Bonilla in an interview with Jim Geraghty.
This particular district is unique because of its demography. It was written as a 42 percent Hispanic district, in accordance with the redistricting of 2010, after the census. There was a need to accommodate congressional representation for the large Hispanic population in central Florida, most of whom are from Puerto Rico. This district was carved out of many others — if you look on a map, this district looks like a blue island in a sea of red.
As far as unique particular issues, education is going to be a big issue, especially as Hispanics in the district begin to wake up to what’s going on in education, going on with that agenda. Beyond that, everybody’s issues are the same as everyone else’s in America — focusing on jobs, on the policies of job creation. You look at the fact that 97 percent of job creation this year to date has been part-time employment. You look at the economy, at employment opportunities, the 16 percent unemployment among Hispanics — those are going to be the big issues that we have to address in this election.
He’s a bit of an embarrassment. Alan Grayson is a known quantity. He’s Mr. “Die Quickly,” Mr. “K Street Whore,” Mr. “Knuckle-Dragging Neanderthals.” He recently said, “Republicans don’t want to do anything for brown people.”
He’s a known quantity, a known polarizing figure. I don’t think his politics, nor his rhetoric, nor the policy solutions he champions are actually representative of this district. I think we have a unique opportunity to engage him. Yes, he’s well funded, and he’s an entrenched incumbent. We know this going in.
We’re going to get good results in 2014 by speaking to everybody. It’s the one thing we have to do. I know there’s been a lot of introspection within the Republican party. You hear a lot of people, a lot of talking about tone and a lot of people talking about messaging and so forth. But the first thing you have to do is speak to people.
You have to get out of your comfort zone. Speak to people you don’t normally speak to every day. Do so in a manner that is inclusive and respectful — you can do all of these things without compromising your principles or what you believe in. If we understand that, we can lose some of this fear and begin to engage with some of these other communities.
Know that this race is entirely winnable. I’m the only candidate who can bring together all elements of the conservative movement.
Nobody else in the primary field can do this — speak to people in Washington, speak to people within the Tea Party, the Second Amendment activists, the Common Core activists, and then speak to the greater electorate of the ninth congressional district.
This isn’t going to be an easy race. Alan Grayson is going to be well funded. It would be insanity to try to match him dollar for dollar, because he can always write himself a check. But we are going to make a race out of this and engage him in all different areas.
Here are a few posts from his facebook page
Leadership is entirely about having the backbone to stand on principle in the face of injustice. Therefore, I ask that you stand with me in support of efforts to defund Obamacare.
Americans Should Oppose Common Core Education Standards.
We must denounce the NSA snooping with the same rigor with which we denounced the IRS suppression of dissent.