Public Service Commission Chairwoman Nancy Argenziano says she believes that she -- along with state Sen. Mike Fasano -- was the target of U.S. Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite's surprise announcement to retire and be replaced by her hand-picked successor, Hernando County Sheriff Richard Nugent.
Argenziano formerly held the state Senate and House seats included in Brown-Waite's district and, when she heard two weeks ago that Brown-Waite was considering retiring, she inquired about the seat. She was then approached by a Republican Party official and asked if she would challenge state Democratic U.S. Rep. Allen Boyd instead, she said.
"I knew something was up,'' she said, adding that both she and Fasano could have been a contender in that district. "This is another example of the
Republican Party cutting its own throat. What they did is a disservice not only to Fasano and myself but to the people of the district.''
Argeniano, who has been under fire by legislative leaders for her role on the PSC, said she is deeply disappointed in the leadership of the Republican Party these days. "My kind of Republican, which was Goldwater Republican, is not the kind of Republicanism they practice anymore.''