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Blue Dogs Endorse First Candidate of the Cycle

The Blue Dog Coalition on Tuesday announced its first endorsement of the 2010 cycle by throwing its support behind Polk County Supervisor of Elections Lori Edwards (D) in the race to replace Rep. Adam Putnam (R) in Florida’s 12th district.

The endorsement from the fiscally conservative Democratic group gives Edwards, a former state Representative, some political cover in a socially and economically conservative district that narrowly voted for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in 2008. In fact, the 12th has backed Republican presidential candidates since 1992.

“Having worked closely with Lori in the Florida State Legislature, I know she will be a strong, independent voice for the people of Florida’s 12th Congressional District,— said Rep. Allen Boyd (D-Fla.), a Blue Dog, in a news release Tuesday. “Throughout her years representing central Florida, Lori has advocated for fiscally responsible policies that protect and strengthen our economy.—

Edwards said she was honored by the endorsement in a statement.

“I will fight for fiscally responsible solutions that strengthen our economy and create opportunities for hardworking Floridians to get ahead,— she said.

Edwards faces 2008 nominee Doug Tudor in next year’s Democratic primary.

While there will also likely be a primary on the Republican side, former state Rep. Dennis Ross is the early favorite to win the GOP nomination. Ross, who has already secured endorsements from several Members of the Florida delegation and former Gov. Jeb Bush (R), has become the favorite of party leaders in Washington.

The Florida attorney turned some heads in Washington by raising more than $100,000 in four weeks of campaigning before the first-quarter filing deadline. He raised $135,000 during the second quarter, his spokesman Fred Piccolo said Tuesday.

Piccolo added that he was not impressed with Edwards’ Blue Dog endorsement.

“Support from folks who push [Speaker Nancy] Pelosi’s plans for bailouts, cap-and-tax, and trillion-dollar deficits won’t play well in the district, with anyone,— he said. “The real shame is Blue Dogs used to be independent but are now Pelosi’s puppies.—

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