PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - He's a political outsider with no time for political correctness.
Manatee County Businessman Carlos Beruff is willing to call out Washington's ineffectiveness, frankly share this thoughts on the Veterans Affairs Secretary, and call for more spotlight on ISIS.
Beruff is working to complete a big goal for his first three months as a candidate: visit all 67 counties in Florida.
He says he's learning a lot along the campaign trail.
“Florida is big. It's a big state, and it's a diverse state," Beruff said. "Everybody wants a few things. One is we have to get wage growth back into the economy.”
Among the other items? Taking care of small businesses and getting America to be respected world-wide again.
The latter item is leading some to liken Beruff to another outsider, Donald Trump. But he doesn't see it.
“There's only one Donald Trump," Beruff said. "The only thing we have in common is we share a lot of the same views, a lot of them.”
But what he does see, is an election cycle where political outsiders seem to be resonating with voters.
"The public is looking for people who are not politicians," Beruff said. "They're tired of people that all they do are polished answers."
A recent poll of 1,885 Republican activists shows Beruff taking the lead in the GOP primary, with 27.2 percent of the vote. That's eight percentage points ahead of his closest challenger, Congressman David Jolly.