Dosev challenges Gaetz for GOP nomination

Dosev challenges Gaetz for GOP nomination

Hide caption

@JennieMnwfdn

FORT WALTON BEACH — Cris Dosev ran his first campaign for Florida’s District 1 congressman in 2016 against seven other Republicans.

This time, he has a good feeling about the November election.

″(In 2016) name recognition was everything,” Dosev said Monday during an interview at the Daily News office. “And needless to say, the Gaetz name was very popular in the community. From our perspective, we were very proud of our efforts. We went from zero percent in the polls to over 20 percent in three and a half months. We look at this particular election as a runoff. We think that there’s a lot of room there for picking up some voters.” 

Dosev is the son of immigrants. His mother is from northern Spain and his father is from Bulgaria. After a career as an officer in the Marines, Dosev became a real estate developer and small business owner in Chicago where he grew up. He moved to Northwest Florida in 2009 with his wife and children.

The Pensacola man said he’s running again for Congress because he believes he best represents the district.

“I grew up shoveling coal and shoveling snow in Chicago,” he said. “I know what it means to work. I know what it means to have to put food on the table. I know what it means to defend our country.”

While Matt Gaetz has been a popular figure on cable news, Dosev said he believes it’s an “obvious weakness.”

“He may be popular in Washington and more so popular here, but at the end of the day it comes at a cost,” he said. “Because he’s made some really, really poor decisions.”

Dosev said he takes issue with Gaetz being the lone “no” vote on an anti-trafficking bill last year and called the freshman congressman’s bill to abolish the Environmental Protection Agency a “stunt.” He’s also concerned that Gaetz is spending too much time on his work to change marijuana to a schedule III drug to expand medial marijuana research.

“It’s problematic,” Dosev said. “We have real issues to concern ourselves with. Moving marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule III may seem very important to him, but it’s not nearly as important to people in Northwest Florida, particularly veterans. Veteran administration has not improved, military readiness has not improved. We’re still scavenging parts off of aircraft. Why is it that (Gaetz) is busy at cannabis conferences?”

Dosev also referenced to Gaetz’s State of the Union guest, alt-right activist Chuck Johnson. Gaetz later apologized for inviting Johnson.

“Certain optics are just bad,” Dosev said. “Inviting a holocaust denier to the State of the Union? First, he embarrassed the people here in Northwest Florida. What the people here deserve is a congressman and not a showman. There’s some major differences between Matt and I. One of them is that I’m the adult in the room.”

Gaetz said he’s not worried about campaigning for the upcoming election.

“I’m focused on doing the job,” he said Tuesday afternoon.

On his website, issues that are important to Dosev include protecting the 2nd Amendment, repealing and replacing Obamacare and enforcing immigration laws. When it comes to issues closer to home, Dosev said he wants to focus on protecting military benefits, diversifying the economy and improving infrastructure.

“I’m very pleased in what I’ve seen in the way of development,” he said. “Though you come up with traffic issues. Between building new bridges, new feeder ramps or whatever it is that needs to be done to accommodate the growing population, I think all of those issues are very important. I look forward to finding solutions.”

Across the United States, politicians have been talking about a possible “blue wave” in mid-term elections. In District 1, there are two Democrats running for Congress. Retired Navy Commander Phil Ehr has qualified to be on the ballot and and Milton pediatrician Jennifer Zimmerman is raising money to get on the ballot.

Dosev said he doesn’t believe the district will turn blue, but if elected he said he would represent all Northwest Floridians.

“Everyone wants to have a viable economy,” he said. “Everybody wants a military that’s strong. Everyone wants clean air, clean water and clean beaches.”

For more information about Dosev, visit crisdosev.com.

Source Article