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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

A happy house - minus one

Housephotooriginal0518 Over the past few weeks, outgoing members of the Florida House have given farewell speeches. There have been tears and jokes and copious applause. But when Sine Die falls today, one man will stand silent: Rep. Don Brown, R-DeFuniak Springs.

Brown, 56, has refused to share his final thoughts. The sometimes pugnacious, sometimes charming, always interesting Brown has run afoul of his party over the years and hard feelings remain.

In January 2007, Brown and Rep. Dennis Ross were the only two Republicans to vote against a sweeping property insurance legislation (turns out most everyone else came to see the bill as junk) and were forced from committee chairman spots by House Speaker Marco Rubio. Brown also was one of the first Republicans to criticize some of the moves of Gov. Charlie Crist.

Ross is also passing on a good-bye speech, but he gave one last year, when it looked like he was leaving. (Photo: Florida House) Rep. Stan Mayfield, R-Vero Beach, is also taking the silent route, but he got a sendoff of sorts yesterday when Rubio praised his leadership and friendship.

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 10:55am]


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