A 41-year-old Jewish pro-life lawyer in Palm Beach County is increasingly catching the attention of conservative activists in the Sunshine State and beyond. He’s Adam Hasner and he’s on the verge of officially putting his hat in the ring for the Republican nomination to challenge Senator Nelson in Florida.
Meanwhile, he’s already on what looks much like a campaign trail.
His expected competition includes Mike Haridopolos, the state senate president, who has announced, as well as George LeMieux, the former senator appointed by Charlie Crist, and current congressman Connie Mack. The race is beginning early and promises to keep our attention as Florida proves to be a key to whether or not we have a different president in the White House come January 20, 2013.
Hasner, who currently has a Senate exploratory committee, has been traveling the state like a candidate and is open about the fact that he is “taking all the necessary steps to move forward.” But, given the relative political powerhouses running, it will be far from a given that he will be the nominee. And he’s open about that, too, embracing his relative outsider-ness, confident it’s a winning strategy.
“I know that I’m going to be outraised and outspent,” Hasner, a former Florida house majority leader, tells NRO. “Our message is resonating with the conservative leaders and the conservative activists across the state.”
His message: As senator, he will be what he is: “An unapologetic conservative” who believes the “importance of America’s prosperity as an economic as well as a national-security issue. … We are safer when we are stronger.”
Hasner believes he brings “a unique voice” to the mix, and a three-legged stool, as they say. Already sounding like a candidate, he says, “I’m the one who is consistently talking about … having a discussion about reforms we need to entitlement spending … getting more and more engaged on the threats of national security… and the fact that social issues still matter.” While some Republicans stay away from the latter, Hasner emphasizes that “the deterioration of fundamental values is really what has created a dependency on government to cure what has ailed us.”
We are “inseparable” from our “Judeo-Christian roots,” he tells me. Hasner says he’s not “going to be politically correct” and “my message is the same whether I am in Palm Beach or Panama City. … I’m going to be the one who is going to see what needs to be said and do what needs to be done.” No kidding. Hasner has been known to host a screening of Iranium and talk about the threat of sharia-compliant finance.
Listening to Hasner, it is obvious that the University of Maryland graduate has a bit of a passion for politics and public policy.
Speaking of the economy, Hasner supports Sen. Marco Rubio’s opposition to continuing Resolutions to fund the government, something he believes resonates with well-educated voters. “People recognize that this is no longer an academic discussion about America’s fiscal crisis,” he says. “People recognize the crisis we face long term.” And so they’re more open to tough reforms because they know we have to be.
Of Rubio, Hasner, an early supporter who served with him in the Florida house, says: “Marco Rubio has demonstrated why people believed in him and supported him. This is the type of leadership Florida is looking for, America is looking for.” He sees his campaign as a next step for Floridians who don’t want to “play an insider game. The issues we’re facing are far too challenging.”
Hasner says voters around Florida are “engaged and educated on the issues unlike anything I’ve ever seen before.” This past November, Hasner says, “They sent a message in 20120 and it was enough is enough. We want our leaders to do the hard thing and if they don’t do it we are going to send new people to do it.”