Pensacola, Florida
Tuesday March 19th 2019


Midterm Meet & Greet: Cris Dosev says he’s “the adult in the room”

In anticipation of the August primary and November general election, Inweekly has created this series to introduce you to candidates as they qualify for their respective races. We’ll mostly focus on local stuff, but statewide races and Congress will also be on our radar since they are on the ballot.

First up is Republican Cris Dosev—who’s running for a second time to represent our district in Washington.


By Jennie McKeon

Chicago-born Marine veteran and Northwest Florida business owner Cris Dosev may not have the name recognition of Florida District 1 Congressman Matt Gaetz.

But the congressional candidate believes that may be in his favor. While Gaetz has made a name for himself on cable news, Dosev said it might come at a cost.

“It’s an obvious weakness,” Dosev said, “because he’s made some really, really poor decisions.”

Some of those “poor decisions” include Gaetz being the lone “no” vote on an anti-trafficking bill last year and his proposed bill to abolish the EPA, which he later admitted in an interview with GQ was only to try and make a statement.

In January, Gaetz invited alt-right blogger Chuck Johnson to be his guest at the State of the Union address.

He later apologized. Nonetheless, Dosev said the incident was an “embarrassment.”

The Pensacola Republican also said he’s concerned that Gaetz is spending too much time on his work to change marijuana to a schedule III drug to expand medical marijuana research.

“It’s problematic,” Dosev said. “We have real issues to concern ourselves with. Moving marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule III may seem very important to him, but it’s not nearly as important to people in Northwest Florida, particularly veterans. Veteran administration has not improved; military readiness has not improved. We’re still scavenging parts off of aircraft. Why is it that [Gaetz] is busy at cannabis conferences?”

Dosev said he chose to run again for District 1—he campaigned in 2016—because he could better represent what Northwest Floridians want from their congressman.

“What the people here deserve is a congressman and not a showman,” Dosev said. “It’s time to focus on real issues.”

As a Marine combat veteran, Dosev said he believes more should be done in terms of military readiness with funding.

“The military should be prepared to act,” he said.

Dosev said he understands that Northwest Florida’s population is largely made up of military families, and he wants to make sure they have adequate access to resources and benefits. In 2005, Dosev and a group of colleagues founded the Wounded Heroes Foundation, an all-volunteer service organization that assists military members wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“It is imperative that the VA (Department of Veteran Affairs) be reformed from top to bottom to best reflect our gratitude to our wounded veterans for their selfless service,” Dosev states on his website. “Their dedication and sacrifices are not to be discounted nor dismissed.”

In Northwest Florida, Dosev said he wants to work on diversifying the economy and improving infrastructure. With a degree in civil engineering and a background in real estate development, Dosev said he believes he has the unique skill set to get things accomplished.

“I’m very pleased in what I’ve seen in the way of development,” he said. “Though you come up with traffic issues. Between building new bridges, new feeder ramps or whatever it is that needs to be done to accommodate the growing population, I think all of those issues are very important. I look forward to finding solutions.”

Dosev is a conservative Republican who wants to protect the First and Second Amendment, is “unapologetically pro-life,” wants to enforce immigration laws by maintaining and increasing efforts to enhance border security and wants to see comprehensive tax reform.

“(The) current tax code is an abomination,” Dosev said on his website. “Since the establishment of the first income tax in 1913, legislators, bureaucrats and special interests have systematically hijacked our nation’s wealth and ability to prosper. It is time to restore a thriving economy and put people back to work.”

While Republicans have tried (and failed) to replace and replace Obamacare, as Florida’s District 1 congressman, Dosev said he would work to come up with a replacement plan and repeal the law “altogether.” On his website, he said the establishment Republicans failed President Trump.

Unlike some moderate Republicans who have distanced themselves from President Trump, Dosev is a proud supporter of the president. On the front page of his website, he declares, “Together, let’s support President Trump and work to Make America Great Again!”

He is the son of immigrants. His mother is from northern Spain, and his father is from Bulgaria. He credits his early beginnings with instilling his work ethic.

“I grew up shoveling coal and shoveling snow in Chicago,” he said. “I know what it means to work. I know what it means to have to put food on the table. I know what it means to defend our country.”

TWITTER: @crisdosev