Local Republicans Want to Drive the Discussion
A group of more than 200 of North Florida's Republican party leaders, grassroots activists, and elected officials met at the Holiday Inn in Lake City on Saturday. Their purpose was to discuss the issues facing America and energize the party as it gears up for a difficult 2010 election cycle. The organization of the event was lead by Congressional Caucus Chairman and Nassau GOP State Committeeman Doug Adkins.
Former House Speaker and current U.S. Senate candidate Marco Rubio delivered remarks that seemed to speak directly to the base of the party. Rubio touched on cultural issues and his support for the Fair Tax. He stressed in no uncertain terms that he would stay in the Senate race for the duration, despite being urged by some in the party to instead run for Governor or Attorney General.
But Rubio wasn't the only U.S. Senate candidate at the event. Long-shot Senate candidate Bernie DeCastro made what was perhaps the most energetic address of the entire event. DeCastro managed to use the "n-word" at least a half-dozen times, but in a (mostly) non-offensive way.
Also pitching to the crowd were Attorney General candidate Jim Lewis, Congressional candidate Troy Stanley and representatives from the Putnam and Baker campaigns for Agriculture Commissioner.
Numerous state Representatives and Senators attended the event and spoke during the various panel discussions, including both Lake Ray and Janet Adkins from the Duval Delegation.
Videos of some of the speeches will be posted on YouTube shortly, and we will post them as they become available. The Drive the Discussion movement is making heavy use of social networking tools like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to spread the word.
Early in the day, Doug Adkins noted that no paper invitations had been sent out for the event. Facebook was used as the primary way to spread the word about the meeting and collect RSVPs.