Manatee County home builder Carlos Beruff on Monday became the fifth Republican to try to succeed Marco Rubio in the U.S. Senate. He made announcements in Miami, Jacksonville and Orlando, before coming home to Bradenton.
Beruff gave a short speech by political standards - only about 10 minutes - while standing in front of a pond behind Medallion Home, his Manatee County business. There, he cast himself as a political outsider - this being the first elected office he's sought.
It makes no sense to have career politicians," he said. "You need to go there to have one purpose - and it's to have a tattoo on your forehead that you look at every morning, and it says 'public servant.' And it's not for you, and it's not for the special interests, and it's not for the lobbyists that raise money for you. And there's a big difference, and that's what's happened in Washington, in my opinion.
Beruff's overriding message was one of limited government. The son of Cuban refugees says he wants to promote individual responsibility, and get government "out of the way."
"We have to take Washington back, folks," he said. "We have to stop the career politicians, who put their interests and the special interests ahead of yours. We have to get people in Washington who understand that your tax dollars mean something. The fiscal waste is immense.
"My mother said there is nothing you cannot achieve," he continued. "And I'm a testament to that, because I'm not the smartest guy in the world, but I will work when I have to. And that is what Washington needs. People who get up in the morning and go to work and do something besides just talk pretty."
The other Republicans vying to succeed Marco Rubio in Washington are Congressman David Jolly of Dunedin; Congressman Ron DeSantis of Ponte Vedra Beach; Lieutenant Governor Carlos Lopez-Cantera of Miami; and Orlando businessman Todd Wilcox.
The primary is Aug. 30th.