Businessman to challenge veteran South Florida congresswoman

AP News
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Posted: Jun 03, 2016 3:36 PM

MIAMI (AP) — Veteran GOP Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen is getting a well-financed Democratic challenger for her South Florida House seat.

Businessman Scott Fuhrman announced Friday he's running for Florida's 27th congressional district, and outlined his plans in a two-minute campaign video . He talks about running his family's juice bottling company, being a husband and father and making "some bad decisions" as a younger man.

The 34-year-old says "I drove too fast. I raced cars, and I broke the law." He adds "too many politicians hide behind the truth. I won't be one of them."

In an interview with the Miami Herald, which first reported his entry into the congressional contest, Fuhrman acknowledged his campaign will be "an uphill battle." He said he'll spend $250,000 of his own money to fund his campaign.

In his announcement video, he says that as a businessman employing 75 people he doesn't lose sight that "this isn't just a business; it's people's lives and their families."

He pitches himself as an outsider, saying he would be "a different kind of congressman," and then pivots to saying he would protect Social Security and Medicare, fight for equal pay for men and women, and safeguard the environment.

On his campaign website, Fuhrman released detailed information about his brushes with the law, along with his driving record dating back to when he was a teenager. It included a DUI and weapons conviction in 2009 in Boulder, Colorado, and two alcohol-related arrests as a student at Florida State University between 2001-04.

"I'm releasing the details of these mistakes, so the voters can judge me in the sunshine," he said.

His family owns the Florida Bottling Co., which bottles and distributes fruit juice to retailers in the U.S. and abroad.

He graduated from Florida State University with a bachelor's degree in political science and from the University of Miami with a master's in business administration and a law degree.

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This story has been corrected to say he's running in the 27th congressional district, not the 19th