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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Dean a 'D' in disguise, or shady attack victim?

Deanattack1_2Deanattack2A group calling itself Floridians for Traditional Values is taking a shot at SD3 candidate Charlie Dean by bringing up his old party affiliation.

Dean, who faces Dennis Baxley in the June 5 Republican primary, was once a Democrat and sued the opposing party for libel during his 1996 state Senate race against Anna Cowin. (He later switched parties and was elected to the House) The mailer seeks to turn off Republicans to Dean by citing his support for Lawton Chiles and Bill Clinton.

It is unclear who is behind Floridians for Traditional Values. The group's paperwork has not yet been posted online. Dean's campaign staff discovered today that the papers provide a wrong address. The campaign also said there is radio ad by this group that accuses Dean of being beholden to trial lawyers.

Baxley said Tuesday evening that he was not familiar with the groups but is aware such organizations were involved. Dean's Republican record, he said, is fair game. "I don't know the group but I'm thankful for their help."

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 2:24pm]


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