The Buzz

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

No serious challenger to Brown-Waite

BROOKSVILLE -- Just weeks ago area Democrats salivated at the opportunity to take on Republican Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite in this fall's congressional campaign.

They sensed an unparalleled chance at unseating the three-term incumbent by riding a generally optimistic feeling among Democrats and highlighting Brown-Waite's latest gaffe where she called Puerto Rico and Guam residents "foreign citizens."

But, as the field solidified after Friday's filing deadline, it appears no party-backed Democrat will challenger her for the District 5 seat.

Three longshot Democratic candidates made the ballot -- John Russell, a controversial candidate who lost big against her in 2006; Carol Castagnero, known as "Grandma" from her failed bid for governor last election; and David Werder, a perennial opponent from Hudson.

But political observers don't give them much of a chance. Hernando Democratic Party Chairman Jay Rowden said any candidate has a shot but acknowledged that it is "hard to imagine" that one of them could win in November.

Brown-Waite's toughest contest will likely come from her own party. Republican Jim King of Land O'Lakes has already started running political advertisements against her and plans to mount a strong campaign.

The Brooksville resident comes into the race with all the advantages of incumbency, most notably campaign coffers burgeoning with $350,000 cash on hand, according to her campaign.

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 11:55am]

    

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