Who Won the District 19 Republican Debate?

Republican Candidate Debate – Florida Congressional District 19

In a bid to fill the void left by the resignation of Democratic Congressman Robert Wexler, the Boca Raton Republican Club hosted  a candidates debate at 6:30 pm on Monday Dec. 14, 2009,  at the Boca Raton Marriott, 5151 Town Center Circle.  The South Florida 9-12 Project was invited to participate, and Ed Fulop served as timekeeper for the event.

For some great pictures of the event, see Boris Balaban’s post HERE and his videos HERE

After a shaky start where the timekeeping rules regarding answers and rebuttals was changed several times, it proceeded with each candidate allowed equal time to answer every question.  All the candidates made a good showing and took positions that were appreciated by the audience of several hundred.  There were some differences in their approach to the issues though and we encourage readers to give their thoughts on the debate as comments on this post.  Who do you think “won” the debate?   Who was strongest on the economy, energy, foreign policy?   Did anyone catch mistakes made by the candidates?   Give us your thoughts!

The territory of the District 19 congressional seat stretches across Broward and Palm Beach counties, and the three Republicans running in the February primary are Joe Budd, Edward Lynch, and Curt Price.


39 Responses to “Who Won the District 19 Republican Debate?”
  1. Florida Gator Florida Gator says:

    I took some pictures.
    Will be posting them soon.
    I will be uploading some video tonight.

    Florida Gator (Boris Balaban)

  2. EdFulop EdFulop says:

    Anyone want to but me a watch for Christmas? 😉

  3. Austin Parris Parris85 says:

    Well, being in a race myself I’m not going to put too much out there, but here’s what I saw:

    Joe Budd — Mentioned a key phrase for me, “states rights”, which means he understands how Congress sometimes infringes upon the ability of the states to perform certain duties. As a hopeful state legislator it really speaks to me that we’d have someone like that who would understand the problems from the state side. He has a lot of energy and I certainly get the impression that he’s passionate about this situation.

    Curt Price– I like Curt and I think he’s got some good ideas. His SCRAP acronym is definitely nice and straightforward, a little gimmicky but it works. To me, though, coming from a high school debater standpoint as well as a fellow candidate, I think he really hurt himself by acknowledging he hadn’t read any of the new immigration stuff, especially since law enforcement is his forte and he could bring that specialty knowledge to the political forum.

    Ed Lynch– What can I say about Ed? I think he’s very trained politically, but I (and I will always stand by this) am thinking that he hinges his qualification too much on the proposition that he’s already run. If that were a qualification, Ron Paul would have been president years ago, and now McCain might be. Besides that, I am concerned about Ed’s overall reliance on being anti-Democrat. It’s an alienating position that doesn’t endear well in the district in which I reside. That’s not saying he needs to sacrifice any of his positions, it’s just a problem with the manner in which those issues are communicated.

    That being said, I’m going to find a 3-sided die and choose later.

    • imsadriver says:

      I think Ed Lynch won hands down. While Curt Price seems to be a nice guy, he should do himself and the party a favor and leave and let this be a two man race. Joe Budd was a distant 2nd. Yes, Ed has run and has the endorsements of many high profile persons. He is not running on the fact that he ran before, but it’s important to note that he came out of nowhere last time and finished 2nd to the incumbent Democrat. Are you suggesting that he should be pro-Democrat? We are already alienated by the fact that we are Republicans to begin with. He doesn’t need to pander to them, just educate them. It’s obvious the Democrats are seeing what’s happened since Obama won and they have already grown tired of the same old same old. Ed will devote all of his energy to represent the people of the 19th district, and has for two years at his own expense. Joe seems to be a nice (and informed person) as well, and his little cheerleading section was a bit much. I noticed he was running on the fact that he’s been married for what? 34 years, and pointed out his lovely wife twice….that doesn’t qualify you for Congress. Ed Lynch is best qualified in my opinion.

      • Austin Parris Parris85 says:

        I never said to be pro-anything. It’s a battle of ideologies, for sure, and there certainly needs to be differences drawn.

        Were it to be a vote today, I’d vote for Ed. Keep that in mind as I explain my position, please.

        Here’s where it becomes a problem: For a long time all I heard was Anti-Wexler stuff, but I never heard real ideas or solutions. I understand he’s Conservative, I’d never doubt it for a minute, but for a guy like me, I’m a nuts and bolts ideas kind of guy.

        I think Ed will do fine regardless.

        • imsadriver says:

          I knew I liked you!

          • Matthew says:

            Joe’s cheerleading section was a bit much? huh. that’s funny, that means he has support. Invalid putdown. Joe mentioned his wife twice? huh. He’s a family man and his wife is his backbone support. Again, invalid putdown. Joe Budd clearly won the debate. He is fresh and might actually have chance at winning the overall general election because of the fact that he isn’t SO in you face NOT a democrat. Just saying… you’ve got nothing bad on Joe Budd. I’d VOTE JOE BUDD in a heart beat.

  4. Florida Gator Florida Gator says:

    There opening speeches video.
    youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZKLbTPYanA

  5. Keep up the dialog and thank you! Boris for the video and the pics!

  6. jessicadornblaser jessicadornblaser says:

    As you know I am bias! I love Ed but I think Allen West won the debate! 🙂

  7. Florida Gator Florida Gator says:

    Question # 2 (question #1 was a little mixup in the time.)
    youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3gne2jfE_F0

  8. Angie says:

    My husband and I went to the debate and didn’t find anything really differentiating the candidates on positions. We agreed that our favorite was Curt Price, then Joe Budd, and Ed Lynch based mainly on personalities. While, I felt that Price should have been informed on the 1 issue he couldn’t answer, we liked his honesty and that he thought a little more out of the box. We also liked Budd. Lynch, while informed, is very smooth and maybe too much of a politician for our liking. I wouldn’t mind seeing any of them win though. I wish it would have been set up where they debated each other back and forth to see how strong they were on their positions, and how well they could define them.

    • Austin Parris Parris85 says:

      My thoughts exactly Angie. As a former high school debater I hate the current formats political debates use. If I had it my way, my opponents would have to prove me wrong and counter my argument, rather than there be no clash.

    • imsadriver says:

      Well, Angie….you better have someone who is a politician when they go to DC. I’ve been there, and worked in Maryland politics and believe me, you better be ready to deal with sharks because that is the swimming area you will be relegated to. Look, I liked all of the speakers, but came away with the feeling that Ed Lynch is someone who is not going to be pushed around in Congress. I’m happy everyone is still married to their respective wives, but that’s not helping our agenda. Ed is still married to his wife, but that wasn’t a consideration when thinking about who I would vote for.

    • Matthew says:

      That’s right. I find Lynch to be wayyy too much of a politician for me! I personally like Joe Budd. Not a politician, but also smart enough not to answer, essentially, ” I don’t know.”

  9. dntjudgelesubjudged says:

    I believe these candidates are similiar, but I would give Joe Budd the Win the for this debate. He had a great opening speech as well as Ed Lynch. I noticed that Joe Budd was the only candidate that took control of the stage when there were errors in the time limits. He spoke with energy and passion, and he also had some excellent ideas. To my recollection Curt Price and Joe Budd were the only two canididates to mention family and friends support which I believe as a voter is important. Ed Lynch was very smooth in words, but he kept mentioning politicians that supported him like he was trying to portray that these people want him in, so I should too. I like Curt Price’s Ideas, but he seems to lack the spark (lite it). We will see what happens, God Bless

    • Angie says:

      Does anyone know what the “baggage” is that Joe Budd kept referring to? I don’t want a candidate that is corrupt. That is why I am a part of this group. Principals, not parties. There are plenty of politicians in Washington that have “baggage”, we don’t need more.

      • imsadriver says:

        He who does not have baggage cast the 1st stone. No one there is a criminal and when we start personal attacks, it defeats us all. Whoever wins, let’s make it a Republican!

        • John says:

          The whole point of this is to send someone that has a chance of winning. A person that has run before and LOST does not give me comfidence that he can win this time. A person with “baggage” will be an easy target for the democratic opposition. We need to send someone who is honest, forth-right and has the ability to think on his feet. Joe Budd is the only one of the three that I see has the ability to meet all three of those qualities.

    • Sarah says:

      Joe Budd’s opening speech was on fire!!! In fact, every time he speaks, he’s great. Joe Budd = the next Allen West? I think so!

  10. jessicadornblaser jessicadornblaser says:

    Don’t you think negative campaigning is politics over principals. I think if someone touts themself as principled it usually means they are not. Look at Obama, he promised hope and change… We got the direct opposite from him. Look at the source of who is spreading rumors and lies. Perhaps you should look at Joe Budd… I’m not saying anything but before you should judge (which you are doing- but by the nickname you have chosen you “try” to stay away from judging) research the candidates individually!

    I am one of the people who created http://www.wexlersweb.com I am a snoop and a research guru. I have researched all of the men in this race. None are as white as snow! Yet my husband and I have both sacrificed our personal lives to volunteer for Edward Lynch!

    I also would say to any one who claims themselves to be devout Christians and who personally attack another to remember Matt 7:5 And them to look at Matt 18:15-18.

    Gossip is not righteous!

    • dntjudgelesubjudged says:

      I would not condsider myself to be judging with my last post. I am only stating what I felt and observed. Everyone is entitled to their opinions. For now, Im sticking with mine. What are these lies that you mentioned?

    • Jenna says:

      I TOTALLY agree with your comment about attacking each other. Yet, I would LOVE to hear what your dirt is on Joe Budd… because he doesn’t have any. If you had dirt on him, I would think you would share with us.

      As far as saying that principles over politics is a lie, you can not be serious? Just because one guy offers change and doesn’t bring it, doesn’t mean that EVERYONE is a liar. If you look into Budd’s principles, you would see that honesty is one of the main ones. This is unlike Obama, who was secretive about his past the entire election. Joe Budd is definitely the best choice by far.

  11. In the wake of last week’s ‘District 19’ debate, (before commenting here) I wanted some time to weigh 3 considerations: 1) My note-taking during the debate, 2) My initial impresssions of the candidates, *prior* to the debate, and 3) What other 912ers have taken away since.

    Some brief opinions & observations that I came away with:

    1) Curt Price. He is “genuine”. I believe that. If there is one guy of the 3 winning “hearts”, it’s Curt Price, the underdog with fight in his heart… I met Curt for the first time in November at the Gun & Knife show. Although I knew very little about him prior to the show, some folks Shannon and I have come to know through the 10th Amendment coalition and the NRA spoke very highly of Curt… his reputation among those who know him that of someone who is a hard-working man, strong willed about his principles, and a Reagan devotee. He approached me at the show, and asked 912ers to consider him.

    IN THE DEBATE: Curt came across as Curt… what you see is who he is. I find him personable, likable, genuine… sentiments many of you shared. Curt is strong on national defense, and the need to return to Reaganomics-style tax cuts & small business incentives. His SCRAP concept is well-conceived, and I appreciate the brevity of some of his answers – Curt makes a point, done. He has a “blue collar” sensibility that makes him easy for me to relate to, and I hope that doesn’t hurt him with “Boca brokers”. One concern among the ‘hallway talk’, that I share in some part, is his public persona… he has convinced us his ideology is Conservative, but I also feel concern for the “presentation” aspect… a lack of “readiness for the national stage”. There is a certain indefinable “It factor” that I know a Republican would need, to even remotely have a chance at defeating a Democrat in this district…

    2) Joe Budd. I never heard of him, respectively, until a few weeks ago. No question, for many conservatives and Republicans I’ve been engaged by, Joe Budd is “the question mark” in this primary race, so far… who IS he? Where did he COME from? How has Budd helped the conservative movement in Palm Beach County? One of our leaders in the 912 was able to gain an audience with him on the phone prior to the debate, and liked what he heard, so that was a positive start… but after the debate, when both Shannon and myself separately had a chance to engage Budd, we were each genuinely SURPRISED… to realize Joe had virtually no knowledge of who the South Florida 912 is, or furthermore what Glenn Beck’s role was in inspiring the local movement. I personally have no inflated sense of ‘myself’ here, I don’t… but I thought of the hard work – on buses, on street corners, in restaurants, in town hall meetings: From Boca Raton to Washington DC – of our grassroots 2009 movement in Palm Beach County… I thought, sincerely, “How is Joe not AWARE…? Is he really that Conservative, if he doesn’t know what the grassroots Conservatives are DOING around his own community?”

    IN THE DEBATE: I liked the steadiness of his demeanor. Joe seems to carry himself with poise and calm, which are traits that admittedly *will* carry well with many middle-left Democratic Jewish voters (for those who, hopefully, are questioning the Pelosi legacy now in progress). His points on TORT reform and job creation in Palm Beach County were “spot on”, and generated good crowd feedback.

    3) Edward Lynch. Nobody – I mean, NO candidate – has worked harder alongside the efforts of the 912 and Tea Party movements in 2009 than Ed Lynch. He shows UP… and shows UP… over, and over, and over. One thing that struck me about Ed is that the first few events we put together as the South Florida 912, he didn’t come as “the candidate”… he came as ONE OF US. He came to listen, he came to ask questions, he offered suggestions, he held genuine conversation with strangers in our young, fledgling group of disenchanted patriots. He casually mentions to Shannon and I at one event that he really thinks we’re doing a great thing (trying to draw concerned local citizens into fellowship, and activism), and he tells us as a near afterthought that he ran for office before in our district and plans to again, and if we need help with anything, here’s how we can reach him (with his card). Ed Lynch has been plugged in to the “patriot underground” since the very 1st event WE ran, on March 13th, 2009. Lynch has never “asked” for my trust… but he HAS earned it.

    IN THE DEBATE: Lynch portrayed himself repeatedly as a “fighter”. That’s not hyperbole – that’s Edward Lynch. Ed did not mince words about his stance defending the nation of Israel – Lynch made it clear he will fight for our alliance with Israel in Congress. Lynch passionately proposed his platform for energy independence with a 2-pronged message: 1) “Small Business America” cannot afford the carbon credit quicksand of Cap & Trade, and 2) America must urgently advance the cause of nuclear energy as a clean, ultimately affordable solution to our vast energy needs.

    In the late summer, when the local members of the 912 Project and the Tea Party swelled easily over 1,000 strong to protest HR3200’s proposals for reforming Health Care – I saw Ed and his small handful march mid-field at the Delray Beach Civic Center with speakers, a bullhorn, and (literally) rolling his sleeves up for the fight… a fight of heart & mind against “buses” coming in with blue-uniformed T-shirts for “Organizing For America’s” efforts to COUNTER the peaceful protests of Conservative patriots… I saw Lynch out there fighting alongside us.

    I have heard some of our members, who question his ‘slickness’ or ‘professional politician’ appearance… maybe you’re right. Maybe… or maybe not. I will never ask you to counter your own gut instinct – FOLLOW IT – but please go BEYOND the “words” of our (admittedly solid) candidates…

    …without knowing what a candidate will DO: We CAN recognize what they have DONE.

    I am satisifed, overall, that the local Republican Party has solid, principled men competing for my vote. (In a “912 Patriots Tavern” blog, I will post some of my one-on-one exchanges, from after the debate, with all 3 men in the near future.) The debate convinced me sufficiently… I could lend my support to any of them – Price, Budd, or Lynch – based on their public should they win in the primary.

    Based on my own initial deliberations: I am offering my (personal) endorsement to Edward Lynch… District 19 / US Congress.

    • Donna says:

      I stopped by the Delray event and Ed Lynch spoke with me. Primarily, he listened to what I had to say and responded. He seemed very humble and interested in what I had to say. His focus was on me and not elsewhere. I walked away feeling he could do the job. I can’t say anything about the other two as I haven’t met them or heard them speak. I only pray the people of south florida wake up and see their need to become conservative.

    • Emily says:

      Let me start off by saying that I am a high school student whose role model is Glenn Beck. There is no one in the political arena that I like better. I’ve been to several 9/12 events and LOVE the principles on which our country was founded. I find each of you on this site to be a vital part of bringing America back to its greatness. Now, what you said about how Joe Budd does not know about Glenn Beck is completely false. I have had a full length discussion with Joe on Glenn Beck and the Tea Party movements and grass roots and ALL OF THAT. Trust me, I wouldn’t support him if he didn’t know about much Glenn Beck. Joe Budd is a true conservative and needs our support. He is confident and can handle himself under pressure, unlike what we saw from Curt (although he is a great guy and if he won the primary I would support him 100%) BUT at the same time, he isn’t a smooth talking politician (like we see from Lynch, who quite frankly, has been in the game too long for me… yet again would support over a liberal democrat). Joe Budd is the best of both worlds and isn’t a compromise. Joe Budd should be your first choice.

      • Emily you are awesome! Thank you for sharing your ideas and on the site. I have met Joe now a few times and he had a great speach at the Rally for Israel. I am greatfull we live in a country with this process albeit convoluted at times. I hope the truly best candidate for us wins. Thank you Emily for your insite.

  12. saybil says:

    i have talked to ed lLynch and believe he can do the job if we can help him get elected. We do NOT want to split our vote it is very important to all get on the same page.

  13. Conservativechoice says:

    Joe DOES know about the 9-12, the South Fl Tea Party and DC Works, in fact his campaign manager Ron Harp went to DC to march with many of you. He has been following Glen Beck for several years. He also understands the grassroots effort that has been established in this area through all these groups and is proud to stand with you all.

    It is only fair to say that you should judge him on FACTS. I believe the question was, who won the debate. I agree with dntjudgelesubjudged. Joe won the debate, handsdown. He handled himself extremely well and was poised. He spoke with authority and showed great understanding in every area. What bugged me the most was all the name dropping Ed did. Who cares who he knows…I mean whose to say he KNOWS all those people.

    In reference to lies. Joe is NOT a liar. Do you have FACTS to support this? Anything Joe says he has FACTS to support his statements. He stands for what is right and He is the principled candidate!

  14. John says:

    Having read the previous posts, I have the distinct feeling that the persons above have a bias that has been brought to the table. I feel that it is imperative to send an individual that will not play the politics game of sacrificing principles (as we have just seen of the Dems who voted for the Health Care Bill in the Senate) in order to gain an edge. The end does NOT justify the means. I’m sure that someone that is polished can woo the crowds (again we have someone like that who is now our predident) but there is no substance and no assurance that we won’t get politics as usual. Ed Lynch is so polished he reminds me of previous politicians that gave the profession a bad name. Curt Price is a nice guy and but doesn’t appear to be able to think on his feet. I believe that Joe Budd has the fortitude to bring a new agenda to the table, the honesty to mean what he says and stand by his word, and the principles to not make back door deals that will sacrifice his integrity. If you seriously want to send a candidate that is electable, that will be Joe Budd.

  15. EdFulop Ed Fulop says:

    Am I the only one that is pleased that we have some candidates to actually choose from! The last couple of years has always been picking “the lesser of . . . . who cares” — we finally have some people who have genuinely stirred some passions. We are all intelligent people here, and biased (no spell check on this thing, so I hope that’s right) statements where we crow about the guy we like are just fine. However, let’s not waste any time and energy, or start planting the seeds of hard feelings, by trash talking about the other guy. The other guy might win the primary, and then who will you support!?

    • Austin Parris Parris85 says:

      I also would advise against writing checks your respective candidates can’t cash. “anything joe says….”, things like that, are making broad sales pitches that can hurt candidates’ reputations rather than help them. We’ve all had misrepresented or miscalculated facts before.

      • Conservativechoice says:

        To clarify so that no one misunderstands what I meant with regards to “anything Joe says he has FACTS to support his statement” … Joe wil not twist the truth to suit himself. Facts speak for themselves. Isn’t that the kind of man you want in office? One who will not only speak the truth but will adhere to it? Principles Over Politics!

    • Douglas Armstrong says:

      Great comment, Ed. I like the way you’ve weighed in… it *is* good to see a pool of candidates vying for our vote, with collectively ‘similar’ positions. It is not the case that any of these men comes off as ‘lukewarm’ in their positions (not to me) – just that their experience and beliefs reveal some different strengths.

      Edward Lynch presents himself strongly on foreign policy, cultivating reliable and realistic new energy resources, & his local activism… Joe Budd sounds-off well on tort reform and local job creation… Curt Price advocates President Reagan’s ‘peace through strength’ national defense strategies.

      *ONE* of these candidates will emerge as a front runner soon… NOW is the time to 1) Ask questions, 2) Attend local political events, 3) Write letters to the Palm Beach Post and Sun-Sentinel, and 4) Engage your ‘circle of influence’ on the URGENCY of this upcoming Special Election.

      I’m glad to see the seeds of this new website begin to produce the first fruits of spirited discussion. Thank you for posting… and thank you to the robust role of our webmaster!!

      Merry Christmas, South Florida 912ers… enjoy the silence and wonder…
      Douglas Armstrong

  16. John astons says:

    I absolutely like your post. Does it copyright protected?

  17. Sheila Eastman says:

    I realize this conversation has been dormant for a while, but I would like to add in my .02 for Curt Price.

    I first met Curt when he was collecting petitions to get on the ballot. He impressed me with his traditional/ conservative platforms on major issues and was very well spoken. I took one of his brochures and went home and jumped on the web to read more at his site (curtpriceforcongress.com). I liked everything I read. In my opinion, Curt Price embodies the original rationale behind the 912 movement. He is a successful business owner with a background in law enforcement- a candidate not unlike our founding fathers, who built this great nation. It was then that I realized that local politics and local home grown candidates are the only chance we as individuals have of actually making a difference in Washington. I have since watched him in the debates and he has grown immensely as a candidate. I even saw him at my local Dunkin Donuts on the campaign trail last week. I am amazed to say that he remembered me and the fact that I was having a small surgery done since our first meeting. He greeted me by asking, ” I have been hoping to bump into you again. How did your surgery go?”. Wow. Talk about a man with a heart! And the memory of an elephant too…

    I have watched the Republican party and the 3 men running for the ticket with a renewed fire and interest for local politics. I don’t know much about Joe Budd, but I do see there is a lot of infighting between him and Edward Lynch, who apparently has major IRS woes to the tune of a million plus dollars and a large lawsuit against his construction business for not paying subcontractors their fees. Pretty disgraceful that this information has to be reported by another candidate instead of our local newspapers. It is obvious that both the Post and the Sun Sentinel will root Ted Deutch on to victory if they can. The Democrats are doing everything in their power to get him elected, including sending Bill Clinton to Boca for a fundraiser. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the President personally endorse him as well. They need those easy votes for their BIG bills my fellow 912’ers!

    If we are going to make a difference, we need to send the best Republican we have up against Deutch. I would rather see a squeaky clean cop with business success and know-how go to the special election than anyone else we could choose from. Any thoughts?

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