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Florida House District 2: Cris Dosev Sets His Eyes On The State House

Courtesy photo

Republican voters in Florida House District 2 will choose between the incumbent representative and a two-time congressional candidate in the primary election on August 18th.  Incumbent Alex Andrade will face challenger, Cris Dosev.

Yes, Cris Dosev is looking to make a change, but he’s also like things to get back to at least a little bit of normal. “The key issue is getting people back to work safely. Just as important, getting children back to kindergarten to 12th grade.”

Cris Dosev is a candidate in this month’s primary for the Republican nomination for the Florida House Seat in District 2. The winner of that race will face the Democratic candidate in November. He says getting younger students back in classrooms should be a priority.

"Higher education? I gotta be honest, if there’s a need for monies to be diverted so that children can go to school safely, and they have the monies available, they need to be diverted so that kids can go back to school," he said. "Because those children in schools in essence provide the opportunity for their parents to get back to work. As opposed to universities, in fact I’ve got a university student, our daughter Carmen is in South Carolina, a lot of those courses are done online. And they’re adults at this point in time, and I think the universities have done a much better job accommodating (distance learning) than you can in high school and/or grammar school in particular. And people have to understand that there are priorities during this pandemic. We have to, as adults, determine and allocate the proper resources to those priorities.”

Another issue that is getting national attention but also has a local angle is the controversy about Confederate monuments, and there is one right in the middle of District 2.

“I am not for tearing down monuments," said Dosev. "I am vehemently opposed to tearing down our history and monuments. I understand, and I respect people’s arguments for and against. I understand the history. I do know this, though: you’re looking at a monument in my eyes and to a lot of people in this community that represents a terrible episode in American history, the Civil War. And if somehow we can make the monument, say, more universal and connected to the tragedy of the Civil War that affected not only people from this community (but) from the whole country. I think that would be a very, very reasonable compromise. And, they are looking at about 370 thousand dollars to move this (monument)."

"And I know a neighborhood that’s just west of there. Could you imagine what $370,000, the impact that would have if we were just simply to take care of maybe pulling people off of septic or painting their houses? I mean, this is the kind of thing that I think people have to recognize.  This money is real money. And this money just can’t be frivolously spent on things that I don’t think are priorities at this point in time.”

The Florida unemployment insurance system has come under extreme fire as being woefully inadequate during the current economic downturn. Should it be torn down and started over?

“Simple answer: yes. It’s an embarrassment," said Dosev. "The Republicans established it, and if you were to talk to any small employer you’d find that they were scratching their heads thinking to themselves ‘how could this possibly carry (the state through) an incident of this nature?’ Well we found very clearly that it didn’t. If it weren’t for the federal government applying themselves nationally in this thing, the people that would have been subject to unemployment in Florida would have suffered greatly. Those people that are having great difficulty trying to get on to it ARE in fact suffering. Because it’s a debacle, there’s no other way to describe it.”

The effects of the pandemic will continue to be on the top of the legislative agenda for the foreseeable future. But if there was no pandemic, Dosev says the region has a mission.

“So if we set aside the pandemic, I would have to say the most critical thing to Republicans, right, to Republicans and I’m a Republican, is the re-election of President Trump in November. That’s the most critical thing. And why do I bring that up specifically? Because the president, in my humble opinion, would not have been in the office had it not been for Northwest Florida. Northwest Florida carried him across the finish line.”

This is the third time Dosev has run for office in Northwest Florida.  He ran in the primary elections in 2016 and 18 for the congressional nomination that went to Matt Gaetz. Now he has his eyes on the state house. He makes his case for winning the seat by pointing to his life’s experience. 

“I’ve run a small business. I’ve raised a family. My wife and I have sent five of our children to college already and we’ve got a sixth there and two more at home. So we understand what it means to raise a family. Those are important things to know. Running a business during very difficult times, from 2006 to 2010 I was (a) condominium developer. I understand what it means to have to go through an economic crisis. And I suspect here, in a short order, many, many people are going to be going through that crisis. So what can they gather from that? I empathize. I understand what it means to live through difficulty, I understand what it means to raise a family. In addition to that, I’ve served my country during time of war. And I’ve got two sons that are on active duty right now defending our country. So I understand what it means to be a military family personally, and now through extension of my own children. And I believe that best represents the people in this community, and they know that I will serve them honorably.”

Cris Dosev is running for the Florida House seat in District 2 against primary opponent Alex Andrade. The winner of the Aug. 18 primary will face the Democratic candidate, Diane Krummel in November. 

Bob Barrett has been a radio broadcaster since the mid 1970s and has worked at stations from northern New York to south Florida and, oddly, has been able to make a living that way. He began work in public radio in 2001. Over the years he has produced nationally syndicated programs such as The Environment Show and The Health Show for Northeast Public Radio's National Productions.