Considered presumptive U.S. Senate GOP candidate
Pallavi Agarwal | Highlands TodayIn the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate race, voters have three choices of conservative candidates, each with ideas on how to end the $13 billion national debt, bring jobs and make the United States more secure.
Published: August 8, 2010
Published: August 8, 2010
William Escoffery III, 66, is a physician from Okaloosa County, William Billy Kogut, 55, is a real-estate agent from Volusia County, while Marco Rubio, 39, is a career politician and lawyer from Miami, who was the speaker of the Florida House of Representatives during the 2007 and 2008 legislative sessions.
Rubio, who is also running a high-profile campaign against Independent Charlie Crist and will be in the field against him in the November general election if he secures the Republican nomination, is by far the best known candidate on the Republican ballot and widely considered the shoe-in candidate for the Republican ticket.
Each has differing backgrounds but they all oppose President Barack Obama's national health care plan, his spending programs - especially bailouts and stimulus money, pushing instead for smaller government, lower taxes and spending cuts.
Rubio recently unveiled his "12 ways to cut spending," which included cutting White House and Congress budgets by 10 percent, ending the stimulus programs, and giving taxpayers the option of diverting 10 percent of their pay to ending the national debt.
Kogut wants a review all entitlement programs, an end to foreign aid, a cut in Congressional and Senate staffing and no bailouts.
Escoffery also opposes bailouts and wants a return to free market and private sector jobs, although he does not specify how to achieve that.
Although all three oppose abortion and gay rights, Escoffery is more strident in his social conservative credentials, advocating the return of Bible values. His campaign homepage has a link to all the churches he's attended this year, more than 20. He also wants Islam to be recognized as the biggest threat to Western civilization since the Crusades.
All three are from recent immigrant families but advocate no amnesty for illegal immigrants. Escoffery was born in Jamaica as a British subject and immigrated to the United States in 1975. Kogut's family came from Poland in the 1962 while Rubio was born to Cuban parents who fled Fidel Castro's regime.
While Escoffery goes to the extent of denouncing what he calls as the erosion of American sovereignty from encroachment of the United Nations, Kogut wants border security tightened through penalizing employers of illegal immigrants.
Rubio describes legal immigration as a source of strength and prosperity.
"I believe we must fix our immigration system by first securing the border, fixing the visa and entry process and opposing amnesty in any reform," he said.
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