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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Political Connections Sun: Meet the Fla reporter running for Congress

It's hard to know who is held in lower esteem in today's culture, Washington politicians or journalists. But Alan Cohn, an award-winning former investigative reporter. for WFTS-Ch. 28 in Tampa Bay, is convinced that his reporting background could prove to be a big help challenging U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Lakeland.

"For 10 years I've uncovered political corruption and fraud. I'm a problem solver," Cohn said in a Political Connections interview airing today on Bay News 9 at 11 a.m. and 8 p.m..

Cohn, 51, who won a Peabody Award for outstanding journalism and broke the  story about former County Commissioner Jim Norman's wife receiving an undisclosed $500,000 from a Tampa businessman to buy a vacation home, is the clear underdog. Beating an incumbent is always hard, but Congressional District 15 leans decidedly Republican, with Barack Obama losing by more than six percentage points in 2008 and 2012. Cohn notes that the the majority of the district now includes his home base of Hillsborough County, unlike in 2010 when Ross initially won the seat, and that Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson overwhelmingly the district in 2012.

"Dennis Ross is part of that small beligerent tea party group that is saying no to anything, who would rather see the ship sink than reach across the aisle and solve problems," said Cohn, arguing that the right candidate with the right message can win the seat regardless of party affiliation.

Here's a clip of Sunday's interview.

[Last modified: Friday, June 6, 2014 6:08pm]


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