Irish American GOP contender Karen Harrington takes on top Democrat in Florida race
By: Ed Farnan | Published Friday, February 24, 2012, 10:30 AM | Updated Friday, February 24, 2012, 10:30 AM
|Karen Harrington campaign poster|
Karen Harrington has no qualms when she speaks about her intentions of unseating the chairman of the Democratic National Committee from her 20th District Congressional seat in Florida. Ms. Harrington took time out of her busy campaign schedule to sit down for a 1/2 hour chat with me/Irish Central to fill in some of her history and what motivated her to get into politics in the first place.
A business woman with 3 family owned Rickeys Restaurants and over 100 employees, Ms. Harrington, was very busy doing just that. However she was so dissatisfied with the job Debbie Wasserman-Schultz was doing for her district in Florida and for the country, Karen looked to see who would best go up against the nationally powerful, incumbent Congresswoman, Debbie-Wasserman -Schultz. Finding no one she could back, Harrington set about to go into politics herself, for the first time in 2010.
She had no political background when she ran against the incumbent Wasserman-Schultz in that 2010 election. Yet in a surprise to all of the political pundits, she amassed almost 40% of the vote in a heavily Democrat area. This 2012 election, sees a more seasoned and focused campaign with national recognition and national backing.
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Besides having more experience in campaigning, Karen's team is enhanced with veteran Anthony Bustamante as her campaign manager, a seasoned pro who was Senator Marco Rubio's statewide field director in his successful Senatorial campaign. Karen has also found herself endorsed by nationally syndicated talk show host Mark Levin, who favored her strong conservative views. Congresswoman Michelle Bachman has also lent her name to Karens campaign as well. Due to recent redistricting in Florida, the 20th Congressional district demographics have changed and favor Karen Harrington a bit better than in the 2010 elections.
Yet Karen doesn't refer to her effort as a campaign, she refers to it as a movement as her efforts are picking up momentum around the country. She has been getting donations from 38 different states so far, as people become aware of her and start to rally even this early in the political season. She is slowly building up a groundswell of support and has received positive Tea Party recognition in her state and nationally too.
Her conservative credentials are impeccable and basically the opposite of what her political adversary stands for, so there are no fuzzy differences between them. This election will offer a clear and stark choice between her and opponent Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.
Karen Harrington is for smaller government, more personal responsibility and using our own energy resources to become energy independent. She says today's skyrocketing gasoline prices are a reflection of Obama's failed energy policies. She favors a hybridized solution on immigration, using some of the Newt Gingrich plan with a blend of Mitt Romney's. However her first priority is to seal off our borders first and then address the problem of illegal immigrants in this country, but self deportation is high on the list of her solutions.
One thing for sure, Floridians in the 20th District will have clear choices between their congressional candidates this upcoming election. This fight will have the national spotlight on it and a lot of political firepower will be zeroed in on this race.Of course the Presidential campaign will overshadow all other elections, but the congressional elections will be where the work in the political trenches will happen. Whichever party controls the House, will control the purse strings.
Karens original name before marriage is Mitchell, with O'Malley and O'Sullivan in her family background, accounting for her red hair and fair skinned Irish looks. But more importantly, that Irish bloodline gives her that strength and determination needed to take on such a formidable political opponent.
Anyone in the area of Florida should visit one of her Rickeys Restaurants around St. Patricks Day, in Silver Lakes, Pembroke or Hollywood. They will be featuring corned beef with cabbage and of course you can wash it down with green beer.
Of course you can visit Karen Harrington's election headquarters and find more about her at: Karen Harrington for Congress
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