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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Republicans Reps. Jeff Brandes and Jim Frishe trade jabs for Florida Senate seat

The punches continued today between a pair of Pinellas County House members fighting for an open Senate seat.
Reps. Jeff Brandes and Jim Frishe both want to be the new senator from District 22, which takes in South Pinellas and a chunk of Tampa. Both answered questions Thursday before the Tampa Bay Times Editorial Board.
Neither shared any Republican Party love for each other, but each agreed the contest is one of the more interesting battles in the Sunshine State.
It’s about inexperience versus experience. Young versus old. Fresh versus stale.
Brandes, 36, a wealthy member of the Cox Lumber family business, said Frishe has “been an ineffective (House) member for 12 years.”
Frishe, 62, a real estate broker, said Brandes, a first-term House member, is “very young” and “about the bumper sticker and talking points.”
In a race that mirrors the growing divide among Republicans across the state, the two men disagree on everything from transit to prison privatization but both agree on Florida’s “stand your ground” law.
Both said the law needs reworked so criminals aren’t protected when a killing occurs during a crime.
Voters should expect the contest to get even nastier in the coming weeks. Thousands more will be spent on television advertisements. Mail carriers will deliver hundreds of fliers.
Frishe and Brandes are boasting online about endorsements from politicians across Florida. However, the endorsements that matter will come from voters in the Aug. 14 primary.

[Last modified: Thursday, July 5, 2012 5:02pm]


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