Senate candidate Keith Gross campaigns on America First platform

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Political candidate Keith Gross is campaigning against U.S. Senate incumbent Rick Scott in the Republican primary election being held Aug. 20. 

Months ahead of then, Gross has been busy visiting areas in Florida to talk to voters and tout his America First platform–including a stop at Skins & Bubba’s in Chipley on Saturday, Jan. 20. Gross said he is visiting rural areas because he wants to have “real conversations with real people.” 

Gross said he is a pro-freedom conservative who wants to get Washington, D.C., out of people’s lives as much as possible and is a Donald Trump supporter and against illegal immigration.

“We’re at a point in this nation where it’s not so much a war between Republicans and Democrats,” Gross said. “It’s a war between we the people and the uniparty in Washington. It’s more important than ever that we send America First conservatives to represent us in the U.S. Senate.”

U.S. Senate candidate Keith Gross is campaigning in the Republican primary against incumbent Rick Scott and meeting with voters in Florida along the way, including a stop at Dogwood Lakes Golf Course in Bonifay on Jan. 19. [COLLIN BREAUX | Washington County News] 

Gross wants to campaign in 30 counties in 30 days. He is from Bay County and a businessman. Specifically, he said he helped grow a “fledgling service business” which he and business partners sold in 2018 and sold other companies in 2023 after helping build those up as well. 

“For a long time in the state of Florida, it seems that establishment politicians and career politicians have spent enormous sums of money to essentially buy elections in this state,” Gross said. “That’s not the way it’s supposed to work. Certainly I have the money to compete with my opponent and I will not be outspent but, more importantly, I will not be outworked.”

Gross said America First conservatives means “not sending hundreds of billions of dollars to fund other nations–Ukraine, for example.”

“That means energy independence. That means closing our southern borders and enforcing our laws,” Gross said. “That means putting Americans first. There’s no reason illegal immigrants should be allowed to come across our border and receive better benefits than veterans are receiving right now. That’s a disgrace. We need to get back to taking care of Americans and put America first.”

Gross answered audience questions during his campaign stops in the Panhandle, including his views on term limits.

“Term limits seem like a good idea. We’ve got a Senate that looks more like a nursing home and they haven’t been getting anything done for Americans,” he said. “Here’s the caveat to term limits. We’ve got to term limit the administrative state first. Then we should term limit our politicians because right now the administrative state actually writes most of the laws and rules that govern our day-to-day life.”

“I’m going to Washington with one primary plan and that is to keep Washington the hell out of your life,” Gross continued. “That means gutting the administrative state. We’ve got to cut spending in this country quickly and dramatically.”

In response to an audience question on Social Security and concerns the program will run out of funding during a stop in Bonifay the day before, Gross said cutting spending with the Department of Education, for instance, can divert funding back into Social Security.

“Congress has the power to choke off funds to a corrupt Biden administration. Congress has the power to refuse to fund a customs and border patrol agency that is not controlling our border,” Gross said. “Congress has abandoned that power. They just don’t care about us. They don’t care about regular folks. They’re happy to continue their status quo because they’re not accountable to us. They’re accountable to special interest groups.”

The government needs to be shut down if they don’t shut down the border, he said.

“For the people that are already here who’ve come across illegally, we have to ensure that breaking the law has consequences again. We need to round folks up en masse, arrest them, and deport them,” Gross said. “If we refuse to do that, we’re just going to keep seeing folks come across our border and break our laws.”

Gross also discussed student debt repayment while in North Florida. 

“I had to pay back my student loans. I had to put myself through college and I had to pay them back,” Gross said. “I think we can all solve the student loan problem really quickly. If you take out a loan, you pay it back. End of story. It’s pretty simple. 

“Bigger than that is getting government out of the educational progress. Government got involved and made student loans incredibly easy to get,” he continued. “As a result, a lot of people who never should have got them got more than they should and then paid ridiculously high tuition prices to universities that continued raising prices because of the availability of loans.”