NAPLES — A new player has jumped into the Republican primary for Florida’s U.S. Congressional District 25 seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Miami.
Miami native and former U.S. Marine Corps officer Paul Crespo is slated to officially announce his intentions to run for the 25th District at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at Royal Harbor in Naples, 2201 Snook Drive, where his campaign will host an event for his supporters.
In a written statement, Crespo, a conservative columnist, radio host and political analyst, said he believes America is at a critical crossroads.
“The forced, partisan, passage of Obamacare on Sunday highlights everything that is wrong with Washington,” Crespo said. “The blatantly corrupt vote-buying, the violation of Constitutional norms and traditions, and the disregard for the will of the American people, made a mockery of our system. This travesty makes it even more critical that we send real fighters to take back Washington in November.”
In February, an east coast congressman, U.S. Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart, announced that he wouldn’t seek re-election after nearly two decades in office as one of the country’s most prominent Cuban-American politicians and a vocal opponent of Cuba’s communist government.
Soon after, his brother, Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, said that he would run for his brother’s vacated District 21 seat — leaving District 25 up for grabs.
According to the Florida Division of Elections Web site, Crespo joins a wide field of candidates in the Republican primary. It includes Florida state Rep. David Rivera, who represents part of Collier County in his district; Homestead resident Edward Bollinger and Naples resident James Patrick Guerrero.
Also in the running for the seat are three Miami-Dade County residents, Democrat Luis A. Rivera, Whig party candidate Craig Porter and nonpartisan candidate Marili Cancio.
The deadline for candidates to qualify to run for Congress, the U.S. Senate, judicial seats, Florida State Attorney and public defender seats is from noon April 26 to noon April 30.