Republican candidate says he’s ready to challenge Wasserman Schultz

By Anthony Man, Sun Sentinel

Ozzie deFaria hopes his extensive business background and conservative anti-tax, anti-government spending views make him the candidate who can vanquish one of South Florida’s most popular politicians, U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston.

deFaria, also a Weston resident, said this week he’s seeking the Republican nomination to unseat Wasserman Schultz, who’s seeking her fifth term in Congress and also serves as chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee.

Wasserman Schultz regularly racks up two-thirds of the vote. In 2010, a historically bad year for Democrats, she won with 60 percent. But deFaria’s confident he could defeat her.

“I don’t believe she has the support she thinks she has,” he said. “I’m not looking to pick a fight with a big bad bully. The problem is the big bad bully is in my backyard. And I’ve beaten longer odds than running against Debbie Wasserman Schultz.”

Several candidates have been in the race for months, including Karen Harrington, the unsuccessful 2010 Republican nominee against Wasserman Schultz; Joe Kaufman, who campaigns for Israel and raises concerns about radical Islam; and Joe Goldner, a tea party activist.

deFaria said he respects the other candidates, but “I know for a fact that I have the strongest business background of any of the candidates.”

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