Federated Republican Women of North Dade

2018 Candidate Forum Recap

August 05, 2018 1:22 PM | Anonymous

Treasurer Jane Muir, Secretary Maite Bocanegra, Vice President Ada Fennell, President Maricel Cobitz and member Barbara Grant.

On August 2, the FRW of North Dade hosted “Republican Victory 2018,” a forum featuring twenty-seven candidates for Florida House Districts 103, 105, 111, 113, 114, 115, 118, and 119, Florida Senate District 36, U.S. Congressional Districts 23, 25 and 27, including sitting Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart, Denise Grimsley running for Commissioner of Agriculture, and Ashley Moody, running for Attorney General of Florida. Adam Putnam was the final candidate to speak. Lieutenant Governor, Carlos Lopez-Cantera, closed the two-hour program.

Patti Ann Febro, Pastor for the Florida Federation of Republican Women, opened the program with an invocation. Vice President Ada Fennell led the Pledge of Allegiance. Carmen Irene Serrano-Bigles and Caterina Isabel Serrano-Bigles sang the National Anthem in harmony, as their parents proudly listened along with the seven hundred guests in attendance.

President Maricel Cobitz, who also serves as District 8 Representative for the FFRW, began with a rousing speech quoting great Republican President Theodore Roosevelt’s “Man in the Arena.” “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena…” She applauded the candidates for their efforts and reminded all of the seven hundred guests in attendance that, no matter who prevails, we must be unified in our support for the Republican. “Remember, we are RIGHT!” She quipped. “God Bless American and God Bless President Trump!”

Treasurer Jane Muir moderated the program, which included each group of candidates responding to a question with equal time. Secretary Maite Bocanegra assisted with maintaining the orderly schedule. The candidates were asked about issues they felt were most important, how they planned to win the general election, and what made them best qualified for the position. A rowdy gang of protestors and a few hecklers added to the excitement, provoking chants of “USA! USA!” while Hialeah’s finest removed them from the auditorium. 

The candidates were impressively diverse. Eleven of them were women, twenty-one minorities. The minority candidates included Latino, African American, Jewish, and Lesbian candidates. They included medical doctors, Ph. D.s, attorneys, military veterans. They spoke to the audience on issues ranging from paid parental leave, the algae bloom affecting our waterways, ending mass shootings, and curbing robo-calling, to our system of medical care, and even LGBT issues.

The event was covered by local affiliates for CBS, ABC, Fox, Univision, Telemundo, local community newspapers, and made the front page of the Miami Herald.

Guests at registration.

Patti Ann Febro, Pastor for the Florida Federation of Republican Women delivering the Invocation.

Adam Putnam interviewed by the Miami Herald, and local CBS and Fox affiliates.

Telemundo interviews guest in advance of the forum.

Diverse candidates stood for the National Anthem, sung by Carmen Irene Serrano-Bigles and Caterina Isabel Serrano-Bigles.

Hialeah's Finest served as crowd control.

Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart addressed the auditorium.

Lieutenant Governor Carlos Lopez-Cantera closed the program.


Tel: 786.290.4333



Copyright 2020 by the Federated Republican Women of North Dade, a 527 political organization chartered by the Republican Party of Florida, the Florida Federation of Republican Women, and the National Federation of Republican Women. 

C/O Treasurer, Jane Muir, 1900 North Bayshore Drive, Suite 1A, Miami, Florida 33132

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