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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Gov Wannabe Brooks: Friend to Cats and Dogs



In the age of multi-million-dollar gubernatorial campaigns where even third-party 527's can raise a million bucks in roughly a month, you gotta enjoy meeting a neophyte like Austin K. Brooks, Republican candidate for governor hailing from Altamonte Springs.

In the sea of candidates crowding the meeting of the Hillsborough Republican Executive Committee Tuesday night, Brooks -- earnest, clean cut and likely somewhere shy of 30 -- was there with his modest one-page flyer, business cards and a simple request: "Can you contribute to my campaign," the University of Central Florida graduate asked the Buzz reporter there to hear Tom Gallagher address the group. And when that query failed: "Do you know anyone who can contribute money?"

Brooks could use the cash, with qualifying for statewide offices ending Friday. As of June 30, he had received just $677. We think his candidacy may be a little too narrowly targeted at animal lovers. A news clip search shows just two references to his campaign thus far: An Orlando Sentinel article featuring his support (and that of his Lhasa apso named "Little Dog") for the state's new doggie dining law; and his anticipated attendence in February at Big Cat Rescue's Kids, Cats and Candidates Day.

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 3:07pm]


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