Add one more name to the list of Republicans running to unseat Sen. Bill Nelson. According to The Tampa Tribune, “Marielena Montesino de Stuart, an orthodox Catholic blogger from the town of Ave Maria, has filed to run in the Republican U.S. Senate primary.”
Montesino de Stuart joins GOP primary candidates Adam Hasner, George LeMieux, Mike McCalister and Craig Miller. The socially conservative Catholic Cuban-American blogger says on her campaign website that she is a “true conservative.”
The announcement of her candidacy on her website says:
All Floridians should be able to follow their dreams—without the threat of a bloated federal government that taxes them excessively while taking away their sacred rights, including the right to life, which is granted to them by God– and secured by our Constitution.
The family, which is the building block and foundation for a civilized society—is under attack. The family existed from man’s beginning– before the creation of the State and the Church. We need to support legislation that is pro-family– and vigorously oppose legislation that endangers the family.
Stuart has become something of a conservative gadfly in the town of Ave Maria, a town developed as a Catholic community including Ave Maria University. In 2009, she was banned from the university campus after repeatedly criticizing the university for what she considered insufficient Catholic orthodoxy.
Among her causes has been opposition to attempts by the state and Collier County to lure Jackson Laboratory, a prestigious laboratory focussing on genetics and inherited diseases, to open a facility there. Stuart opposed the effort because Jackson doesn’t rule out research using embryonic stem cells.
An endorsement from former Congressman Robert Dornan, featured on her campaign website, touts this crusade against the “anti-life genetic facility”:
Marielena Stuart is a solid pro-lifer. She has never been afraid to defend the right to life with an uncompromising strength in her own community and her State—and through her nationally-read columns.
In 2010-2011 she was immensely influential in helping defeat the establishment of an anti-life genetic facility in Southwest Florida, a project which was backed by powerful land developers and government bureaucrats. She fought in defense of the human embryo, the tiniest of our kin, and in doing so Marielena Stuart also helped save Florida tax payers hundreds of millions of dollars.
According to the Tribune, Montesino de Stuart “advocates a typical platform of conservative GOP issues—gun rights, opposition to abortion [and] a pledge to cut government spending.”