Six candidates seek the GOP nomination for a congressional seat now held by Democrat Lois Frankel.

The six candidates seeking the Republican nomination in U.S. House District 21 span the spectrum of the conservative politics, from a moderate college professor with degrees in nuclear engineering to a QAnon follower who believes elite pedophiles torture and eat children.


Leading the pack in fundraising is 27-year-old Laura Loomer, one of the biggest names in the debate over the role and power that social media giants Facebook and Twitter have in politics — especially censuring controversial content.


Loomer, an investigative reporter known for her guerilla-style journalism at the far-right activist group Project Veritas, has been banned from Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, accused of using hate speech in posts about Muslims. The ban later expanded to Uber, Lyft, PayPal and Venmo.


Loomer describes herself as "the most banned woman on the internet" and is unapologetic about the content of any of her posts. Loomer said her brash and provocative social media style was a tactic she used to "breakthrough to the mainstream" about the prevalence of anti-Semitism and "radical Islam" in the United States.


Stripped of the tools used in digital electioneering, especially important amid coronavirus social distancing, her exile from the cyber world would seemingly be a debilitating hurdle. Still, Loomer has out-raised all of her opponents — including Democrat incumbent Lois Frankel — raking in over $1 million.


Although Loomer lost millions of followers when her Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts were banned, she attracted more than 624,000 new followers on Parler, an alternative social media site promoted as an option to Twitter and used by far-right provocateurs and political conservatives.


Loomer’s hefty campaign account has enabled her to create a well-oiled campaign. Gone is the outrage and the Islamophobic rhetoric of the younger Loomer, whose anti-Islam, amateur video screeds included claims that "Islam is a cancer on humanity" and "Muslims should not be allowed to seek positions of political office in this country."


Instead, Loomer has transformed herself into a polished, well-spoken candidate who says she will not use the in-your-face tactics to get what she wants in Washington because she will not need to: "In Congress my voice would not be silenced."


Still, when pressed on her views about Islam, Loomer said she believes that Sharia law poses a real threat in America. The mainstream media is biased and often does not cover events and crimes that negatively portray Muslims, Loomer said.


"There seems to be what I call is Muslim privilege," Loomer said. "We do need to address the issue of radical Islam in our country. It’s not Islamophobic or racist to do that."


Loomer’s talking points now include mainstream topics like education — she is for school choice and opposes free college education. Colleges should protect the free speech rights of conservative students.


She insists removing monuments to Confederate leaders is "erasing history." Loomer, who is Jewish, opposes a two-state solution to the conflict between Israel and Palestine.


The Affordable Care Act is an "undeniable absolute disaster" that should be repealed and replaced with reforms that allow insurance companies to compete across state lines and patients to choose their own doctors, Loomer said.


She said the coronavirus pandemic has been "poorly handled" and police and health department officials should not be "behaving like the Gestapo, forcing people to wear masks."


Candidate Christian Acosta is a moderate Republican from Boynton Beach who attended Omni Middle School and Atlantic High School before earning undergraduate and gratuate degrees in nuclear engineering at the University of Florida. After an 12-year career in the utility industry, Acosta returned to Palm Beach County to teach at Palm Beach State College.


Acosta supports the current system of mail-in voting, a method he said that has been in place for years but referred to as absentee voting. However, Acosta does not support wholesale mailing of ballots to voters regardless of whether they requested them.


On healthcare, Acosta does not believe in completely gutting the Affordable Care Act but advocates for changes to provide more choices, transparency in pricing and lower costs. Coverage for pre-existing conditions should remain and subsidies should be available for low income families, Acosta said.


Acosta is especially interested in promoting cleaner energy sources — a priority of many progressive Democrats. The government should promote more research on electric batteries, residential solar power, natural gas and creating a national research lab rather than relying on private companies and universities to develop new technologies, Acosta said. Tax incentives and limited subsidies could be provided to encourage homeowners to install solar, added Acosta.


Acosta would also press for lowering taxes for middle and low-income taxpayers along with providing tax relief to small local businesses. Acosta is a "big proponent" of school choice.


There should be more math and science programs in elementary and middle schools, along with efforts to promote girls’ interest in the fields. Acosta also wants to see more vocational education and a system that would provide credit toward certification in a trade.


Acosta has been endorsed by the Republican National Hispanic Assembly of Florida and the LEXIT movement, which promotes the Latino exit from the Democratic party.


Elizabeth "Liz" Felton, a former exotic dancer and current owner of an exotic animal exhibition business, denies she is a one-issue candidate.


Felton is most passionate about property rights and exotic wildlife regulations that infringe on animal owners’ property rights — "these animals are property," she said.


Groups like the Humane Society of the United States and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals infringe on property rights by promoting restrictions on animal ownership, from racing greyhounds to big cats, said Felton.


"This is the very issue that ignited my desire to run," Felton wrote in a post to her Facebook page. "The animal rights cult belief system elevates animal life above human life."


Felton considers herself a "liberal leaning Republican" who is for the legalization of marijuana and LGBTQ rights but opposes abortion. As for the 10 years she spent as an exotic dancer, Felton explained she was a single mom and "getting naked for money" enabled her to support her children, she said.


As for gun rights, Felton background checks before gun sales don’t do "a whole lot." As a gun owner, Felton opposes laws the restrict gun ownership, including assault rifle bans and red flag laws, which allow judges to remove guns from people considered dangerous to themselves or others.


Felton described the Affordable Care Act as an "unsalvageable train wreck" that needs to be repealed. In its place Felton proposes "doctor clubs" that would cover a specific number of visits annually. Separate "crisis policies" would pay for catastrophic medical care.


Felton supports term limits, saying she will "vote herself out of office" after one term. Her lively campaign videos on Tik Tok have racked up tens of thousands of views and she "loves" what President Donald Trump tweets on Twitter.


Reba Sherrill, a 56-year-old Palm Beach health and wellness advocate, is self-funding her campaign with a $350,000 loan. Sherrill favors stronger guardianship rules to protect seniors. Absentee voting should only be used as a "last resort."


As for sea level rise, Sherrill said she regularly monitors the beaches and does not believe sea levels will rise "any significant amount."


Healthcare reforms should include dental and eye coverage. Vaccines cause autism and other illnesses and people, especially children, should not be forcibly vaccinated, Sherrill said.


Sherrill is also a believer in QAnon, a conspiracy theory that believes a "deep state" cabal of pedophiles run by political elites, business leaders and Hollywood celebrities are actively working against Trump. They say members of the cabal include Hillary Clinton, who QAnon followers believe was involved in a human trafficking and child sex ring out of the basement of a pizzeria in Washington, DC.


In response, a QAnon believer from North Carolina traveled to the restaurant to investigate the conspiracy and fired a rifle inside the restaurant. No one was injured in the shooting and no basement or sex trafficking operation was discovered.


Sherrill believes members of the international pedophile ring torture and eat children to acquire the elevated levels of adrenochrome in their bodies. Adrenochrome is a compound released when the adrenal gland produces adrenaline. QAnon followers believe adrenochrome is a high-producing, addictive substance.


Sherrill said the pedophile cannibals are called "pedivores" and the phenomenon is one of the reasons she is vegan. On July 22, Twitter permanently suspended thousands of accounts associated with QAnon after finding posts on the accounts that could lead to offline harm.


"The whole thing about Q is to get people to question things," said Sherrill, who bills herself as a Q Patriot for Congress. "This is something I have done my whole life."


Candidate Aaron Scanlan, 48, is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force who served on active duty during Operation Desert Storm. After leaving the military, Scanlan worked as a police officer in Milwaukee and Port St. Lucie before joining the Jupiter Police Department as a hostage negotiator. Scanlan spent 23 years at the department and now works in real estate.


Scanlan believes the Affordable Care Act should be "repealed and revised," adding "making any type of healthcare mandatory goes against the very fabric our our constitution."


Scanlan opposes defunding police and said "the leaders of Black Lives Matter entity are running on a self-proclaimed Marxist movement." Scanlan is not a proponent of mail-in voting and believes the county has "ample resources for voters to vote in person."


The three most important issues facing the district are keeping local waterways clean, protecting seniors both "fiscally and physically," making prescription drugs more affordable.


Scanlan considers himself a fiscal and social conservative and said he decided to run now because he "couldn’t sit back and watch as elected officials in this country attempt to dismantle what this nation was built on."


Michael Vilardi, 60, retired after 22 years as a criminal investigator for the Internal Revenue Service. According to his campaign website, Vilardi also has prior law enforcement experience as a 9-11 responder and assisting Secret Service dignitary protection teams. Vilardi founded Winning Tax Solutions to assist individuals in negotiations with the IRS over tax disputes.


Vilardi did not respond to requests for information about his campaign. According to his campaign website, his healthcare platform includes implementing policies to "financially motivate students to go to medical school and serve their communities."


Vilardi opposes taxing Social Security benefits, supports term limits and "major reforms" at the IRS.