Central Florida Republicans in Two Camps as Presidential Primary Approaches
Longtime Republicans are either certain about who they will cast a ballot for in the March 15th winner-take-all Republican presidential primary. Or they are undecided. For 29-year-old Amanda Patrick, the choice is clear:
“Rubio’s a more viable candidate I think. He’s kind. It’s not all about bashing and stuff like that. No to Trump," she laughs.
Volunteers for Rubio will watch the congressman debate tonightfrom their new Orlando campaign office. The campaign is opening the office less than two weeks before the state’s primary. A win could catapult Rubio ahead of Trump, who won seven states on Super Tuesday.
But Trump supporter and retired teacher Bruce Pantke says Rubio supporters should not bet on the congressman winning his home state because he has based his campaign on attacking Trump.
“He’s starting to sound high school, you know?," adds Pantke, mimicking a child mocking someone. "'Nah nuh nah nuh nah nah.' Come on! Grow up. Be what you’re running for.”
While Pantke and Patrick are clear on who they will vote for, other Republicans are not. Some describe the Republican presidential race as a “show” or “disgusting” or “confusing.”
It started with more than 15 candidates vying for the presidential nomination. For some, that has meant having options, but for others, it has been a cause for dysfunction. Vietnam veteran Wohali Agatoli calls himself a religious conservative and a Ben Carson supporter. With the nontraditional candidate Donald Trump leading the pack and Carson out of the race, he’s unsure who to vote for:
“Everybody wants to come out head and shoulders about the rest. But they’re all playing the same game from a different angle.”
Sen. Marcio Rubio will attempt to woo voters like Agatoli in Jacksonville on Saturday. His campaign is opening an Orlando office tonight. It is the third Rubio campaign headquarters to open in Florida, after Miami and Boca Raton.
Meanwhile, Trump will host a rally at the CFE Arena at the University of Central Florida where he is expected to outline part of his plan and slogan to "Make American Great Again."
The Florida presidential primary will take place March 15th, early votinghas already started in parts of central Florida.