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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

U.S. Senate candidate Carlos Beruff makes his case in North Florida



Republican U.S. Senate candidate Carlos Beruff isn't saying how much of his own money he'll donate to his own campaign, but during a campaign stop in Tallahassee on Monday said morally he'd have a hard time asking other people for money if he himself weren't supporting his own campaign.

Beruff, a Manatee County land developer, said if he shows a commitment to his own campaign, he feels like he can then ask others to support him.

His statements came on a day he was making three campaign stops in North Florida as he begins his first ever campaign for public office. Beruff announced in late February he was joining a crowded Republican field battling for the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate seat that current Sen. Marco Rubio is not seeking re-election to. Besides Beruff, Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, Tampa businessman Todd Wilcox, and U.S. Reps. David Jolly and Ron DeSantis are running in the Aug. 30 primary. U.S. Reps. Alan Grayson and Patrick Murphy are the leading candidates on the Democratic side according to early public polling.

After attending the Tallahassee Republican Women's Club Federated luncheon on Monday, Beruff had plans to spend time in Nassau County near Jacksonville before delivering a speech to the Duval Republican Executive Committee later tonight.

"We want to get to all 67 counties," Beruff said. "The best part of the campaign is getting out and meeting all these people." 

Beruff, 58, said he's telling people the same things he's been talking about in new television ads that are airing statewide. He said Washington is broken and he thinks he can help fix it because he brings more of a business background and not a politician's background.

Beruff also pledged that if he is elected, he will serve no more than two terms in the U.S. Senate and promises to travel the state regularly to be accessible to voters even after he is elected. He said people should have more of a chance to meet the people they send to Washington after they get elected.

Beruff has never held elective office but has been appointed to numerous boards and commissions since 2009. That year, then-Gov. Charlie Crist appointed him to the Sarasota-Bradenton Airport Authority, the Southwest Florida Water Management board and the State College of Florida board. Gov. Rick Scott reappointed Beruff to all three positions and last year picked him to lead his hospital commission.

[Last modified: Monday, April 18, 2016 3:58pm]


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