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GOP governor candidate forum set for May 5 in Orlando

The event will be hosted by the Florida Family Policy Council.
Release touting a Republican candidate forum hosted by Florida Family Policy Council May 5 in Orlando. [Screen Grab.] Credit: Florida Family Policy Council.
Release touting a Republican candidate forum hosted by Florida Family Policy Council May 5 in Orlando. [Screen Grab.] Credit: Florida Family Policy Council.
Published Apr. 5, 2018|Updated Apr. 5, 2018

Republican candidates for governor will convene for what is billed as the "first major GOP candidate forum" May 5 in Orlando.

The event will be moderated by Fox News analyst Frank Luntz. The Florida Family Policy Council is the event sponsor.

"Republicans have a very strong and impressive bench of candidates in the race for Florida's next governor, which makes choosing the best candidate even more challenging," John Stemberger, president of the Florida Family Policy Council, said in a release. "This forum will help educate primary voters to crystallize this important decision."

Two Republican candidates — Congressman Ron DeSantis and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam — have confirmed they will attend the forum. It is unclear whether Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran, who's all but certain to declare his candidacy, will join them. (A spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.)

The Florida Family Policy Council describes itself as a "pro-life, pro-family" organization. Its website touts a number of conservative positions, and it includes educational resources with articles titled, "The Real Planned Parenthood: Leading the Culture of Death," "Homosexuality is not a Civil Right" and "Gender Ideology Harms Children."

The group also appears to have tweeted this in 2013.

The Council has a sister organization called Florida Family Action, which it says is the "legislative arm" of the Florida Family Policy Council. Both organizations are run by Stemberger.

Democratic candidates for Florida governor will participate in their first debate on April 18 in Tampa.

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