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Carlos Beruff says scheduling conflict will keep him out of U.S. Senate event in Boca Raton tonight


The political forum that was expected to be the first with all five Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate in the same room, will not be after all.

Manatee County land developer Carlos Beruff, who got into the race in February, will not be in Boca Raton tonight when the other four candidates in the race speak at an event organized by a group called America First. in Palm Beach County. Beruff's campaign said he had a "scheduling conflict" and will not be able to make the event.

U.S. Reps. Ron DeSantis and David Jolly, Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera and defense contractor Todd Wilcox are all expected to attend the event at the Boca Raton Marriott.

Lopez-Cantera's campaign manager Brian Swensen said barring a family emergency, Beruff's sudden absence looks fishy. 

"Beruff’s last minute scheduling conflict on the day of the forum is an affront to voters, the organizers and Floridians who deserve better," Swensen said. "If Mr. Beruff is afraid to answer for his shortcoming as a conservative, how can anyone believe he has what it takes to stand up to the status quo in D.C.”