NS Nation Name: Vaquas
Character Name: Greg Kost
Character Gender: Male
Character Age: 55
Character Height: 5’10
Character Weight: 160 lbs
Character Position/Role/Job: Mayor of St. Petersburg, Florida (January 2, 2006 - January 3, 2010)
United States Senator from Florida (January 3, 2011 - Present)
Character State of Origin: Florida
Character State of Residence: Florida
Character Party Affiliation: Republican Party
Main Strengths: Natural Grassroots Organizer (Organized), Good with Minority Outreach (Empathetic), Ambitious and Politically Savvy (Driven)
Main Weaknesses: On-the-Record Hawk with associated controversial comments (Hasty), Family Struggles (Privately Disagreeable), Spiteful and prone to developing personal vendettas. (Vindictive)
Biography: Gregory Arturo Kostopolous was born May 3, 1963 in St. Petersburg, Florida to Mary Bunell, a Pediatrician, and Castor Kostopolous, a Greek Immigrant and Small Business owner. One sibling preceded him by two years, a sister by the name of Anysa, and another sibling succeeded him by four, a brother by the name of Galen. Gregory, who would begin to answer to the name Greg upon entering High School, was raised relatively comfortably, though a battle on the horizon during Greg’s adolescence set the family back significantly in finances.
Greg worked part-time in his father’s laundry business and largely assumed responsibility over the establishment after his father was diagnosed with liver cancer, postponing Greg’s college plans by two years as his father battled against the disease and eventually emerged victorious given the relatively early detection of the affliction. Galen Kostopolous would express interest in taking over their father’s operation as Greg pondered college, giving the latter licence and a clear conscience to attend the University of Florida and ultimately attain a Bachelor’s degree in Finance. It was during this time that the middle Kostopolous would meet his first wife, Zoey Barr. The two would marry in 1988 and divorce in 1991 following allegations of infidelity, with Barr being the offending party, but not before the couple had one child, a girl named Ilysse (April 19, 1990).
Shortly following his graduation from college, Greg would enter the real estate business, immediately exhibiting a knack for the trade and quickly outpacing the friend that entered into the market alongside him. His experience as an independent realtor would land him a position within a large firm, where he would stay for 6 years before founding his own independent firm specializing in property management. In 2000 he would marry his current wife, Rosalyn Herrera, a Cuban-American and convert to Roman Catholicism. He would have one child with her, by surprise, a boy by the name of Zander (February 20, 2002)
By 2004, Gregory Kostopolous (who had now legally shortened his name to Greg Kost after much internal debate), had become something of a local celebrity in St. Petersburg due to a widely successful tv ad campaign that used the phrase “Low Cost Kost” over and over again until it was welded into the public’s collective consciousness. “Low Cost Kost” gained more attention following the publication of an opinion editorial published in the St. Petersburg Times, in which he expressed an interest in running for public office and laid out his ideas on how to make city government more efficient. Many believed him to be eyeing a seat on the city council, but following Incumbent Mayor Fletcher’s announcement that he would not be seeking a second term, the charismatic “TV Guy” declared that he’d be running for the highest office in the city
Though the race was non-partisan, the people of St. Petersburg knew that Kost was a Republican, something he had made clear in the year before his bid was brought into existence. He would be the only “major” republican with name recognition to enter the field, and he would end up in a runoff with City Councilwoman and Democrat Beverly Lopez. He would win the election 61-39 and serve a full term as Mayor, his priories largely laying in expanding the previous mayor’s education initiatives and launching his own initiative designed to streamline transportation and eliminate financial waste.
Kost’s term as Mayor was positively received, and towards its end another article from the St. Petersburg Times titled “Fletcher and Kost pushed for change. What comes next?” raised speculation that the Mayor would forgo a second term to seek statewide office. Kost had a friend in the form of the state republican party chair, also from St. Petersburg, would push for Kost to enter the Gubernatorial Race, but Kost would ultimately decide that the Senate race was a better investment due to the rising GOP backlash against President Baharia and the waffling of Incumbent Governor Marlon Crest on whether or not to enter the federal contest. State House Speaker Tristain Rodriguez would ultimately pass on the race, and other candidates would struggle to build up a campaign that could compete with the unique brand “Slash Costs Kost” had built for himself. Ultimately, Crest would run as an independent, and Kost would win the Republican Primary outright with 52% of the Republican vote.
The General Election was a contest between Republican Mayor Greg Kost, Independent Governor Marlon Crest and Democratic Former Ambassador Mitch Cox. The three candidates were within striking distance of one another, with a significant portion of the state undecided, until a particularly strong debate performance by Kost which saw him denounce “creeping socialism” and endorse a return to “common sense financial responsibility” in the wake of a severe recession. While Tea Party Movement threw its full support behind Kost’s campaign, the candidate was noted to be particularly good at drawing larger, more diverse crowds than the typical tea partier, focusing on kitchen table issues and getting the “crippled federal government” out of the lives of everyday people. Ultimately, he would win the election with 54% of the statewide vote given the massive republican turnout in the state and overperformance among minorities, particularly hispanic americans, compared to Governor Crest’s 24% and Ambassador Cox’s 22%.
Mayor Kost became Senator Kost on January 3, 2011. Immediately upon taking office, Kost hired Jason Heikkinen, a former advisor to Secretary of State [Not Condi Rice], as his Chief of Staff, the two developing a close personal relationship that would lead to some on the hill to dub them an “army of two”, with the Senator often sending Heikkinen as his representative to meetings and having him collect sensitive information from colleagues. The two developed a plan for the next 6 years focused largely on pressing hard against the Baharia Agenda, particularly on issues of spending and inflation of the national debt, though a hawkish foreign policy in places like Libya also shone through as hallmarks of the Senator’s first term.
Kost voted against the Budget Control Act of 2011, which included mandatory automatic budget cuts from sequestration. He later said that defense spending should never have been linked to taxes and the deficit, calling the policy a "terrible idea" based on a "false choice."
The following month, Kost and others co-sponsored the American Growth, Recovery, Empowerment and Entrepreneurship Act (AGREE Act), which would have extended many tax credits and exemptions for businesses investing in research and development, equipment, and other capital; provided a tax credit for veterans who start a business franchise; allowed an increase in immigration for certain types of work visas; and strengthened copyright protections. The bill was ultimately killed in committee.
Kost voted against the 2012 "fiscal cliff" resolutions. Although he received some criticism for this position, he responded: "Thousands of small businesses, not just the wealthy, will now be forced to decide how they'll pay this new tax, and, chances are, they'll do it by firing employees, cutting back their hours and benefits, or postponing the new hires they were looking to make. And to make matters worse, it does nothing to bring our dangerous debt under control."
Kost was opposed to the Gang of Eight immigration bill, as he viewed it as “not firm enough” on those who had entered the nation illegally, though he stressed that a comprehensive solution was necessary.
In 2012, Kost endorsed [Not Newt Gingrich] In the Republican Presidential Primary, but following that candidate’s withdrawal from the race, he endorsed Ron Mitter.
In April 2013, Kost controversially voted for an expansion of background checks for gun purchases, breaking with the majority of his party and contending that the measures would go a long way in preventing mass incidents of violence in the future. In response, the NRA threatened to pull support from the Senator in any future endeavors, though the tensions between the two parties were largely resolved following a closed door meeting with Kost and the President of the NRA himself that was described as “productive”. Kost currently bears a B - rating from the NRA.
In March 2015, Kost and other Republicans, proposed a tax plan which, according to The Wall Street Journal, combined thinking from "old-fashioned, Reagan-era supply siders" and a "breed of largely younger conservative reform thinkers" who are concerned with the tax burden on the middle-class. Kost’s largest contribution to the bill was the establishment of a 3,000$ child tax credit, a credit that Kost views as one of the best ways to “reach out to those needy families that could use a helping hand instead of a boot on the neck.”
Going into late 2015, there was widespread speculation that Kost was considering a run for the Presidency. This would turn out not to be the case, with Kost ruling out a run in May 2015, claiming that he “still had work to do” for the state of Florida. He would seek reelection and face off against Congressman Dan Rockwell in the general election, in a race that narrowed as election day drew nearer. Kost endorsed [Not Rubio] in the republican presidential primary, but reluctantly threw his support behind Arnold Wolf as the field narrowed and the nomination was secured. Following the leaking of the controversial Wolf Tape, Kost sat in on a meeting between high ranking members of the Republican Party in which removing Wolf from the ticket was discussed. Kost openly advised against the idea, along with many others present, and adopted a policy of “Nothing nice to say, say nothing” in regards to the Wolf Campaign. There was minor controversy after Kost’s younger brother, by now a successful businessman, donated a large sum of money to the [Not Hillary] Campaign, with an implication that it was at the direction of Kost being floated in circles hostile to the candidate. The campaign itself was relatively smooth barring external forces, though things got ugly when Rockwell accused Kost of exploiting people’s economic anxieties in a manner similar to Wolf over the course of his tenure in the General Election debate. On election night, Wolf won out, securing 50.7% of the vote compared to Rockwell’s 46.6%.
On December 13, after President-elect Wolf announced his pick for Secretary of State in the incoming administration, Rubio expressed concerns with the selection. On January 11, Rubio thoroughly questioned the nominee during a Senate hearing, but would ultimately vote in favor of the nominee.
In April 2017, Kost made headlines when he implied that President Wolf should have gone further in his strikes against the Syrian Regime in response to chemical weapons attacks against his own people, calling for the “structural decapitation” of the Assad Regime. Kost defended the remarks on cable news, calling the regime “barbaric and evil” and making it known that he views the Syrian Dictator as “a menace to global society.”
In the first session of the 115th United States Congress, Kost was ranked the twenty-fourth most bipartisan Senator by the Bipartisan Index.
In 2018, while ballots were being counted in a close Florida Senate race between a Democratic incumbent and the Republican challenger, Kost publicly shut down conspiracy theories regarding a democratic plot to steal the seat away from the challenger, arguing that election officials "have been very clear they are here to make sure every vote is counted." Kost has been an outspoken critic of conspiracy theories, particularly those on the right, and has recently gone viral after disparaging anti-vaccination activists, saying “These people… they think they’re helping their kids… they’re putting them at risk, they’re effectively pro-diseasers... rather than rational investigators.”
It is now 2019, and rumors are swirling that the Senator from Florida may make the jump into the foray of Presidential politics and run for the highest office in the land in Wolf does not pursue a second term. The Senator’s office has not confirmed or denied this, but several domain names have been purchased and job openings posted that would lead one to believe that a Presidential campaign could well be on its way.
Other Info: Roman Catholic, Daughter Ilysse (28 years old, author, married, one child) Son Zander (16 years old, private high school, decent grades). Is capable of holding a conversation in Spanish, and is fluent in Greek. Good Friends with the Democratic Junior Senator from Virginia. Golfs in his free time.[/spoiler][/quote]