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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rep. Ed Narain uses Facebook Live to critique campaign mailers

A screenshot from Rep. Ed Narain's Facebook Live video Monday in which he comments on different campaign mailers he has received.

Caitlin Johnston

A screenshot from Rep. Ed Narain's Facebook Live video Monday in which he comments on different campaign mailers he has received.



Rep. Ed Narain is getting riled up about campaign mailers -- and he’s venting his frustrations on Facebook Live.

Narain used the live video part of Facebook Monday night as he flipped through campaign mailers at his home. While there were several candidates included, most of his attention was focused on those from Augie Ribeiro, a lawyer who entered the Florida Senate District 19 race earlier this summer and has contributed more than $400,000 to his own campaign.

“Augie...Augie…,” Narain mused, pretending not to recognize the name of the candidate whom he has debated in several settings. “Oh, Augie Ribeiro. Oh yeah, that’s the guy, the new guy to the district. Thats right, the one that’s trying to buy the seat.”

Narain, who has served two years in the Florida House of Representatives, spent almost six minutes on the app, commenting on different mailers and taking jabs at Ribeiro.

“I've got to tell you guys, it’s embarrassing that this guy would drop into our community and try to pretend to be something he’s not by smearing candidates in the mail,” Narain said. “It’s unbelievable that someone who has this kind of money would actually spend it trying to smear us.”

Ribeiro has spent at least $141,000 on mailers, which is almost as much as his opponents have spent on their entire campaigns for the Democratic primary of a district that covers parts of both Hillsborough and Pinellas counties. Some of those mailers slammed Narain and opponent Rep. Darryl Rouson, St. Petersburg, framing them as Republican-backed candidates with questionable voting records. One called Narain "the darling of Republicans and big business" and said his donors include Republican political action committees and supporters of Gov. Rick Scott. 

"Ed Narain is angry and making jokes because I am telling the truth about where he is getting his money," Ribeiro said. "And he is being exposed."

Narain refrained from making comments about his other two opponents. He glossed over a mailer about former Florida Rep. Betty Reed, Tampa, and quipped “Ooh, not touching this,” when he came across a piece bashing Rouson as “Republican Rotten Rouson.”

“The reality of it is I have some differences with the representatives I’m running against, but we haven’t said bad things about one and other,” Narain said. “We’ve kept it about the issues. And I think the voters are smart enough to realize who Democrats are and who Republicans are.”

Narain ended the video by rattling off a long list of Democrats who support him and by stepping on the discarded mailers littering his floor.

[Last modified: Tuesday, August 16, 2016 9:22pm]


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