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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Florida Congressional delegation on Brown win



Washington is all about Scott Brown today, with Republicans feeling emboldened and Democrats rethinking their agenda, or at least conceding they need to better communicate plans for health care and the economy.

Members of the Florida delegation had mixed views on the effect Brown's victory in Massachusetts could have on the Sunshine state.

“People are finally to the point where they’re not going to take it anymore,” said Rep. C.W. Bill Young, R-Indian Shores. “If it’s in Massachusetts, it’s everywhere.”

”I think Democrats in the House and Senate should really pay attention,” Young added. “They’ve been getting this message from the people last summer. People oppose so many things that the radical left is trying to get us to do.”

Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite, R-Brooksville, said Brown's showing among independents should hearten Republicans in Florida and predicted her party would pick up some of the congressional seats lost to Democrats last cycle.

But Rep. Adam Putnam, R-Bartow, and a candidate for Florida agriculture commissioner, was more cautious.

“Democrats should be extraordinarily concerned, but Republicans shouldn’t be taking a victory lap at all. They shouldn’t read into that that America is in love with Republicanism. They should read into it that they have fallen out of love with the Obama agenda.”

Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa, said the harsh public reaction transcends party. “Incumbents better pay attention,” she said.

Castor said special interests and Republican attacks hurt public perception of the health care bill but said one lesson her party must take from Tuesday’s election is the economy. “It’s not lost on me that people are hurting. We’ve got to take that lesson and really fight for middle class families,” she said.

Sen. George LeMieux said yesterday's victory was a repudiation of "back-door" politics that resulted in the health care legislation. "This administration and this Democratic Congress are out of touch with the American people."


[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 1:15pm]


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