(ORLANDO, FL) – The four leading Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate attended the debate on Saturday, August 20, 2011 co-hosted by the Florida Family Policy Council and a coalition of local Tea Party groups in Central Florida. Approximately 275 people attended this early primary debate with former state Majority Leader Rep. Adam Hasner, former U.S. Sen. George LeMieux, retired Army Col. Mike McAlister and business executive Craig Miller all in attendance at the historic Howard Middle School in downtown Orlando.
Members of the Florida press corps attended and reported on the debate including the Tallahassee Democrat, Orlando Sentinel, Palm Beach Post, St Pete Times and the Miami Herald in addition to several other local television, radio, political bloggers and independent news agencies. The debate which will be available online in the next couple weeks focused on moral and social issues in the first half and on economic issues in the second half.
Two panels of citizen leaders asked the questions. The first panel asked the social issue questions and included Bill Bunkley of the Florida Baptist Convention, Lynne Briedenbach, a political consultant and radio personality and Jesse Phillips, pastor and head of Citizen 2 Citizen. The second panel was comprised of Tea Party leaders in Central Florida including Jason Hoyt of the Orlando Tea Party, Clyde Fabretti of the West Orange Tea Party and Bernadine Galate.
Other photographs of the debate and behind the scenes shots can be seen on our photo gallery here: