Jim Frishe is feeling good about his GOP primary vs. Jeff Brandes

When he's not working on legislative matters, Frishe works as a real estate broker and consultant.

When asked what he would work on if elected to the Senate, Frishe repeats a familiar GOP talking point: There's too much regulation at the state capitol.

"There are people out there that send reports to Tallahassee that still get put in file drawers that serve no regulatory purpose. We can do all of that stuff electronically so much easier, and keep the records we need to keep without wasting personnel time filling out paper reports … we need to streamline things like that, reduce some of the regulations, so that only the things that make sense go to Tallahassee."

One issue polling strongly in Frishe's favor: purging non-citizen voters from the rolls. A recent Quinnipiac poll showed a majority of Floridians support Governor Rick Scott's attempt to purge non-citizens from the voting rolls. Democrats have taken issue with his goal because a recent purge list generated by a state database contained a number of false positives.

Frishe however, is in sync with what Scott is attempting to do, and cites a recent report by an NBC affiliate in Fort Myers to back up the charge that voter fraud is happening.

The NBC station discovered over 1200 non-citizens registered to vote while reviewing jury excusal information in Lee and Collier counties. "That's not anecdotal evidence, that's actual hard news reporting that somebody did, " the Pinellas legislator said.

Frishe added that such information should quiet critics who say that Scott's mandate to rid the state of non-citizens on the voting rolls is heavy handed.

"There has been a problem with vote integrity in this state in the past, and we've come a long way since the 50's when buses sometimes went precinct to precinct in some communities. We've come a long way toward making sure that the vote counted when it was supposed to. I think we need to continue to do that because the integrity of the system is more important than anyone of us running."

The Fort Myers story broke well before it was discovered that the state's own list of suspected non-citizens on the voting rolls included a number of problems. Currently only Lee County (home to Fort Myers) is the only county in the state still purging voters. The Nation reported last week that Lee County removed 44 suspected non-citizens from April to June, but only two were from the state's list. The other 42 came from the county’s records of people who identified as non-citizens in order to avoid jury duty.

click to enlarge This reporter with Florida Representative Jim Frishe - Ferrell Little Bonnemort
Ferrell Little Bonnemort
This reporter with Florida Representative Jim Frishe

click to enlarge This reporter with Florida Representative Jim Frishe - Ferrell Little Bonnemort
Ferrell Little Bonnemort
This reporter with Florida Representative Jim Frishe
  • Ferrell Little Bonnemort
  • This reporter with Florida Representative Jim Frishe

One of the most eagerly watched Republican primaries for a state legislative seat is the one in Senate District 22, which is made up of parts of Pinellas and South Tampa, where House members Jeff Brandes and Jim Frishe are battling it out to advance to the state's upper chamber.

Though redrawn and renamed, the district is the one that is currently held by Jack Latvala and previously by Democrat Charlie Justice, meaning it's one of the few swing districts in the state.

But it's not going to swing this year, as the Democrats never came up with a candidate. But Brandes/Frishe is certainly competitive, with the veteran (Frishe is 63, Brandes 36 ) seemingly gaining momentum as more high-profile endorsements have come his way in recent days.

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