Combat veteran and successful businessman Todd Wilcox will stand out amongst the slick talkers and paid-for politicians in DC.
By Jacob Engels
Earlier this month I had the pleasure of spending a few hours with Todd Wilcox, a successful Orlando-based entrepreneur who founded three different business that support American’s military and diplomatic interests abroad.
Wilcox, who grew up in the Tampa Bay area and graduated from the University of Tampa before serving the the Army Infantry, eventually earned his Green Beret and served as a CIA Case Officer in the Middle East before retiring to start building his successful businesses.
What stood out in my limited time with Mr. Wilcox was his extremely blunt nature, devoid of the politically correct banter we’ve come to expect from so many candidates for higher office. Mr. Wilcox and his opponents in the U.S. Senate primary to replace Marco Rubio will all be in Orlando this weekend for the Republican Party of Florida’s Sunshine Summit – which features GOP presidential contenders.
My 5 questions with Todd Wilcox are below…
What makes you who you are… who is Todd Wilcox and why should voters want you to represent them in the U.S. Senate?
My character and qualifications for the US Senate have been defined by my personal and professional experiences over the past 26 years. My professional life has been a series of events and challenges in which I have built and led sophisticated, high performance teams of professionals that have overcome complex tasks to accomplish very challenging missions…and in most cases literally under fire in hostile environments.
I am not looking for a job or a political position, I am running because we need REAL leaders with REAL world experience who will commit to a mission, in this case… restoring America’s prominence. My career (my life) has been dedicated to defending America.
The U.S. Senate has a lot of partisan back and forth… how would move past the gridlock… while staying true to your core beliefs?
This is where it’s not enough to be “right,” We conservative’s must also be persuasive. That’s why Reagan was so successful. He was persuasive. We also have to learn to choose our battles and accurately assess our clout to determine the likelihood of victory. I won’t compromise defending our country and I believe we must restore responsible budgeting.
As for the bipartisan back and forth – my success has been based on my ability to surround myself with competent though diversely different people who might not agree on every issue, but are keenly focused on accomplishing the mission at hand.
I can build consensus from an otherwise divergent group of individuals to get tasks accomplished.
Leaving behind a successful business to enter a grueling campaign for U.S. Senate is not exactly the easiest choice for your business or personal life. Why now?
America is at a critical crossroads….We no longer have the ability for our country to kick the can down the road if we want to regain our prominence as a nation. I have always lived my life under the philosophy that “those who can serve should”.
I have been the benefactor of our great American free market capitalist economy and I have succeeded at the American dream of achieving financial independence through hard work and disciplined execution of the entrepreneurial spirit and a lot of luck. The latter was out of my control, but I was always ready to seize those lucky opportunities that life has presented.
After 9 years of growing my business enterprise, I am in a unique positon in which I can turn the reigns of the business over to a very capable management team so that I can focus on the next step in my service to this great nation.
I declared my candidacy for the US Senate after a very disciplined and deliberate analysis of the situation, the viability of my candidacy and my ability to raise the money needed to be successful. I can easily differentiate myself from the career politicians that make up my primary opponents and I can just as easily, if not more so, differentiate myself from the eventual Democratic nominee in the general election.
These aspects coupled with the general sense of fatigue we all have with career politicians and my substantive real world experience on the issues most critical to restoring America’s prominence are all of the ingredients needed for a successful campaign.
Name 4 priorities that you would address if elected.
1. Defend and Restore Free Market Capitalism – long term job and economic growth by restoring free market capitalism. When American’s are free to prosper and help their fellow man, we rise to the occasion each and every time.
2. Responsible tax reform and national budgeting – that includes a cut to federal spending, not just a reduction in the growth rate of our national debt. To say our tax code needs to be reformed is an understatement, never before has the term “less is more” been so true.
3. National security and a strong defense – which includes securing our borders. This should be done in a manner that respects the rights of the states to regulate and manage themselves. Abroad, we should be careful and about the issues and territories we engage, remaining committed to supporting our allies and utilizing our armed forces properly.
4. Protect Americans’ freedom and privacy – this should start with restoring the checks and balances system through enhanced and greater oversight and limitations on the executive branch and federal agencies. Our government should not be monitoring it’s citizens without cause, should stay out of our bedrooms, and focus on protecting our great nation… not facilitating a police state.
Lightning round – favorite film, musician, and TV show?
Movie: Lone survivor – The story of Marcus Latrell and a SEAL recon team that is compromised during a find, fix, finish (F3) mission in Afghanistan. This movie struck a chord with me for several reasons. This is a very realistic portrayal of the violence and action in face to face combat with a very determined enemy. It also portrays a side of the Afghan culture that few understand or have ever experienced. Finally it touches on the rules of engagement and the risk aversion that comes along with embedded JAG officer as advisors, that provide interpretation and input to commanding officers during the battle, that if not properly managed can result in the loss of life of our war fighters.
Music: Jerry Garcia and The Grateful Dead.
TV Show: Rockford Files
Books: Good to Great by Jim Collins, Common Sense by Thomas Paine. Also a fan of Bob Woodward and Thomas Freidman.
Learn more about Todd Wilcox’s campaign by clicking here.
Jacob Engels, is the Founder of East Orlando Post & Seminole County Post. He is a seasoned political operative who has led numerous statewide political groups and has worked on several high-profile local, statewide, and national races. Jacob has been interviewed on national television & radio programs, with his work having been featured in the Orlando Sentinel, New York Times, Washington Post, Miami Herald and other publications nationwide. He can be reached at email@example.com