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Meet the Candidates: US House of Representatives District 12 – Aug. 23 Primary

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The candidates in this Primary race will only appear on the ballots of Republican residents that reside in District 12.
Each candidate was given the opportunity to provide a 150-word bio and respond to our questions within 700 words.

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JACK MARTIN (REP)

Jack Martin

 

BIO:
Hi, I’m Jack Martin, a twenty-five-year resident of our District. I grew up in Elizabeth, New Jersey. And married my Seminary School girlfriend. We’ve been married 40 years this past June 5th. We have six great children, four girls and two boys. My wife homeschooled all six.
In the past serving as Chief Steward of a 500-man United Paper Makers and paper workers union. Followed by serving several years as inventory Control Supervisor for an international Cold Storage and Fire Door company.
In 1983, pioneering Calvary Assembly of God in Fordland Missouri and serving at three additional churches as senior pastor for a total of 37 years.
During my years at Gowanda Assembly of God, in New York, I also served as principal of Gowanda Christian Academy, a K-12 school.
After 22 years, I stepped away from Praise Assembly of God in Hudson to run for Congress.

Q&A:

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What is your motivation for running for this office? Since the late 60’s America has steadily moved away from our Constitutional foundations. Our countries future as a free nation is uncertain. Just looking at my 5-year-old Grand Son, my six children and the millions of young Americans in our nation today is all the incentive I need to fight to restore our Republic. Seeing our nation drift towards socialism and perhaps even worse compels me to do everything I can.

What caused you to get into politics? September 11, 2001 was a wakeup call; from there I became politically active on all levels of Government from DC to the State, the county and three counties school boards. I got involved with the Family Research Council, and the Alliance Defending Freedom, both D.C. based. I became part of what is known as the Black robe Regiment, (pastors with the courage to speak out on all issues.) Americans in an effort to get along have allowed our nation to slip to a very dangerous place.

Describe up to four critical issues that you will focus on and what potential policy may look like. Securing the border, guaranteeing election integrity, bringing inflation under control and taking a responsible stand with China and Russia, who now laugh at us.
There are a series of bills I will propose in addition to those four keys. In addition, departments I would work to end, example Dept. of Education, Dept. of Interior, and the IRS.

How will you handle the political divide in Washington? I will work with Democrats when their proposals are actually good for the nation, but I will strongly oppose the type of legislation they have put out in recent years. The time for moral compromise is over. Republicans must work from a position of power. In 1994, Newt Gingrich led with what was known as “The Contract for America.” Bill Clinton was forced to work with the Republicans, and God willing we will take the house with controlling numbers and be able to do the same. Biden polices must be overturned.

What besides your experience makes you especially suited for this office? I am a Christian whose moral compass is not and never will be, for sale. Thirty-Seven years of ministry has provided me with unlimited chances to prove that. I am unselfish, and truly seek what is best both for the people of our district but on a national level too. I know the question was besides my experience, but that being said my experience is key. At 19, chief shop steward of an AFL CIO union. At 23 Inventory Control Supervisor for an International company. At 30 starting a new church from scratch, pastor of 4 churches, each that I left in the black after inheriting 3 in the red. Serving as both Pastor and Principal of a K-12 Christian School. Creating the Fire Dept. chaplaincy for Spring Hill Fire and Hernando County Fire and serving 17 years while still pastoring in Hudson. Member of the State of Florida ESF-8 Emergency Response team for over 10 years, with over 100 hours of C.IS.M. and PTSD training. I believe integrity and the courage to do right are essential to the survival of our country. Humbly state that I possess those qualities and will do everything in my power to restore our nation.

BRIAN PERRAS (REP)

Brian Perras

BIO:
Brian Perras is a Christian Conservative, native Pasco county resident who lives in his childhood home. Brian graduated from Ridgewood High School in 1996. He’s a third-generation military veteran. He enlisted in the Navy in 1997, however; his Military career was cut short after sustaining an injury. He served on the USS Enterprise and received an honorable discharge. Thereafter, he graduated from SCUN with a Bachelor of Arts.
He lives by his oath to protect and defend the Constitution against ALL enemies, foreign and domestic. The state of which our Republic is in prompted Brian to run for Congress. “We are no longer being represented or protected. I’m an America First Constitutionalist who is willing to serve and protect WE, THE PEOPLE at any cost!”

Q&A:
What is your motivation for running for this office?
To protect and preserve our Constitutional Republic.

What caused you to get into politics? I took an oath to protect and defend our Constitution. I cannot with good conscience sit back and watch America burn to the ground.

Describe up to four critical issues that you will focus on and what potential policy may look like.

1. Secure our border – Reinstitute “Trump Administration” border policies, which were proven and effectively working.
2. Uphold the Constitution – Protect and defend our Constitutional God given individual civil liberty rights. Follow the Constitutional laws, instill law and order.
3. ProLife – God’s creation must be protected in the womb at conception. All lives matter and are created equally according to God.
4. Empower Military and Veterans – Give them free health care, end common core ratings, use common sense ratings and offer holistic solutions. Allow them “body autonomy” as written in the Constitution, instead of forced, non-FDA approved jabs which are currently dismantling, harming and weakening our Military.

How will you handle the political divide in Washington? One day at a time with God at the helm, he’s my source of strength through prayer and concession.

What besides your experience makes you especially suited for this office? I’m a Christian Constitutionalist who only wants to serve WE, THE PEOPLE. I won’t sell out or be compromised in my Christian values and standards. Lastly, I’m a third generation Veteran who loves this country, and will protect her without apology from all enemies foreign and domestic.

CHRIS LEISER (REP)

Chris Leiser

Q&A:

What is your motivation for running for this office?
God, Our futures, DC has lost sight of We the people.

What caused you to get into politics?
Lack of government representation of the people, lack of government integrity and accountability.

Describe up to four critical issues that you will focus on and what potential policy may look like.
Inflation, southern border, human trafficking & safe sources of domestic energy.

How will you handle the political divide in Washington?
Term limits will fix this rather quickly. Calling all patriots, we need to flush the establishment and create a coalition of the people for the people.

What besides your experience makes you especially suited for this office?
Compassion, integrity, team builder, patriotic and free of any special interest groups.

Editor’s Note: This candidate did not provide a bio due to a family emergency.
From his campaign website: “God has been making a way for me before conception. By the grace of God I know him, first and foremost I am a believer, a father, a husband and a patriot with a deep sense of obligation to we the people & our constitution. Fourth generation born Floridian, Bartow Polk County 1978 and graduated Countryside High School, Clearwater Florida in 1996.”

GUS BILIRAKIS (REP-INCUMBENT)

Gus Bilirakis

BIO:
Gus Bilirakis was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2006 after serving eight years in the Florida Legislature. He is a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Ranking Member of the House Commerce and Consumer Protection Subcommittee, and a Member of the Health Subcommittee. He served as Vice-Chairman of the Veterans Affairs Committee for 10 years, during which time he successfully championed several initiatives to improve care and benefits for Veterans. Throughout his tenure, Bilirakis has been strong, conservative leader and an ardent supporter of small businesses who fights to lower taxes, balance our budget, support seniors, secure our border, fix our broken mental health system, strengthen national security, remove regulatory burdens, and create an environment in which American innovation can thrive. Bilirakis is consistently ranked as one of the most effective Members of Congress and has won national awards for communication and constituent service.

What is your motivation for running for this office?
I’m a dedicated public servant with a proven track record of success. I want to continue my efforts to bring solid, conservative leadership in Congress while helping my constituents and strengthening our community and country. I’ve been recognized as one of the most effective lawmakers in Congress, with more than 60 bills I have authored since 2015 being signed into law. These are practical measures that help seniors, improve care and benefits for Veterans, reduce the price of Rx drugs, improve treatment for mental health and substance abuse, and ensure kids have access to quality care. I work behind the scenes, cut through red tape, and build solid relationships to secure favorable results. I’m also proud of my strong record of constituent service. Our office has won national awards for our casework and communication. I want to use my experience to give the people of Hernando county a voice in the legislative process and the best representation they’ve ever had.

What caused you to get into politics?
I’ve always had a strong desire to help people and to give back to my community. I want to continue building upon that work, as these are very challenging times for all Americans.

Describe up to four critical issues that you will focus on and what potential policy may look like.
We must lower inflation by stopping the reckless spending, restore American energy independence by removing the barriers to domestic production, secure our southern border and hold the Biden Administration accountable for the poor choices it has made on the domestic and international stage. As the ranking member of the Consumer Protection and Commerce, with oversight of the Big Tech industry, I will also keep work to hold Big Tech accountable for improving transparency, ensuring the equal application of rules for all users, and doing a better job to protect children when using their platforms.

How will you handle the political divide in Washington? Politics is all about relationships, and I am fortunate enough to have great relationships with Members on both sides of the aisle. I’ve consistently ranked as one of the most effective and bipartisan members of Congress without compromising my conservative values and principles. I believe we can find common ground on many non-partisan issues that benefit all Americans, and I focus my efforts on making progress in these areas.

What besides your experience makes you especially suited for this office? Experience, relationships, integrity, and the ability to effectively communicate are some of the most important qualities of a good representative. I also have an open-door policy, coming home each weekend to meet with as many constituents as possible. My staff and I are very active within the communities we serve and we are always willing to listen and learn from our constituents. We’ve won national awards for our efforts in this area and we will continue to build upon what we’ve already achieved.

Editor’s Note: Mr. Bilirakis’ responses were not included in the print edition published on 8/19/2022 because we received them after press time.

SID PRESKITT (REP)
Editor’s Note: This candidate did not provide a bio or submit responses to our questions.
Biography from his campaign website: “A lifelong Floridian, Sid is a US Coastguard Licensed Captain, has been in the commercial diving industry for 20 years+ and holds many industry-related certifications.”

After 2022 Redistricting US HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES Hernando County now falls within District 12
After 2022
Redistricting
US HOUSE OF
REPRESENTATIVES
Hernando County now falls within District 12
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