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Carlos Lopez-Cantera tells #SunshineSummit, “I will bust my ass for Florida”

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Insiders promised that Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, one of the Republican candidates for U.S. Senator, would shake things up a bit in his Sunshine Summit speech.

He delivered with one memorable shock line:

“I will bust my ass for Florida every day and be part of the solutions and not part of the problems,” he told the crowd to applause.

Lopez-Cantera was the final Senate candidate to speak at the Sunshine Summit in Orlando on Friday.

The state’s second in command, seeking to replace Marco Rubio in the U.S. Senate, said he’s the only man who “can stand up to the broken system” in Washington, D.C.

Earlier, a woman chanted “C-L-C!” as he took the stage. The candidate beamed.

“Wow,” he said. “That’s the first time that’s ever happened.”

He told party faithful he’d stand up for their values, not the Washington establishment’s.

“I am a Florida Republican, not a Washington, D.C., Republican,” he said. “We cut our debt, Washington piles it on … We balance our budget every year; they refuse.”

In brief remarks, Lopez-Cantera breezily pivoted from domestic concerns, including jobs and the economy, to foreign policy and national security.

He also bashed the Democratic opposition, which “can’t get a good idea signed into law.”

“Shouldn’t we, as Republicans, be better and have a higher standard?” said Lopez-Cantera, son of Cuban immigrants.

Afterward, the same woman cheered him off the stage with the “C-L-C” chant.

Before joining Florida Politics, journalist and attorney James Rosica was state government reporter for The Tampa Tribune. He attended journalism school in Washington, D.C., working at dailies and weekly papers in Philadelphia after graduation. Rosica joined the Tallahassee Democrat in 1997, later moving to the courts beat, where he reported on the 2000 presidential recount. In 2005, Rosica left journalism to attend law school in Philadelphia, afterwards working part time for a public-interest law firm. Returning to writing, he covered three legislative sessions in Tallahassee for The Associated Press, before joining the Tribune’s re-opened Tallahassee bureau in 2013. He can be reached at jim@floridapolitics.com.

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