Combat veteran and GOP congressional candidate, Brian Mast, continues his meteoric rise in the political world by scoring two more highly coveted national endorsements, and raising more campaign dollars than any of his other primary opponents.This past week, Mast quietly announced the endorsements of U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) and House Rules Chairman, Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX), as well as posting $320,000 to his campaign coiffurs.
Mast is running in Florida’s 18th congressional district – the seat former Congressman Allen West lost in 2012 to Rep. Patrick Murphy (D)- against attorney Rick Kozell, Martin County School Board member Rebecca Negron, former State Rep Carl Domino, farmer Rick Roth, and Dr. Mark Freeman.
Freeman and Domino are self-funding their campaigns, while Negron is relying on her husband’s position in the Florida State Senate to help her raise money and support from lobbyists and others.
Kozell, who has a small business background, has impressed many with his ability to articulate his message and raise dollars from those within his base of support, as well as from fellow attorneys and lobbyist in Washington, D.C. and south Florida.
Over the past couple of months, Kozell and Mast have been embroiled in a bit of a feud, this after Kozell was accused of telling an elected official that Mast only wore shorts because he wanted to exploit the fact that he had two prosthetic legs.For months, Kozell supporters and donors have been circulating the narrative that he was only running for Congress because of his legs.
During a recent candidates forum in Boca Raton, Florida, Kozell was confronted with the accusation by an attendee during the Q & A portion of the program, prompting Kozell to rebuke the claim that he stated that about Mast.
Just a few days back, Mast was asked this very same question on Facebook by someone who took issue with the picture Mast posted of himself with Senator Ernst.
Here is what was asked and Mast’s response:
Bill Meloy I look at this picture and wonder, Why is he wearing shorts with a suit? Is he requirement due to his disability/prostetichs? (sic)Or is he purposely using his disability for his campaign? What I know of him, I like him, but this bothers me. Can anyone answer?Like · Reply · April 8 at 4:11pm
Brian Mast I am happy to give you two reasons why I wear shorts.
1. My shoes do not really come off and feet do not bend or articulate, so I challenge you to take a pair of pants on or off with your shoes on, leg straight out, and foot at 90 degree angle.
2. I fall down everyday (hazards of being on prosthetics, I just suck it up) but my knees have a sharp carbon fiber edge on them, and every time I fall I tear a hole in my pants. So for me, it makes sense to wear shorts so I can get dressed and also not have to buy a new pair of pants everyday.
Please always feel free to reach out with any questions.Brian Mast
This congressional race will be won with money. Big money.
Mast is nearing $1 million raised, as is Negron, but Domino and Freeman have already dropped $1 million in themselves into their respective campaigns.
The presumptive Democratic nominee, businessman Randy Perkins, as already loaned his campaign $2 million, and raised close to $1 million to date.
The Republican congressional nominee will have to counter the millions of dollars Perkins could be able to part with in order to win the general election.This going to be a heavy lift for Republicans.