Florida: Holtz Pitches In to Help Diebel March to Victory

Posted September 9, 2009 at 6:32pm

A month after deciding against challenging freshman Rep. Suzanne Kosmas (D), famed former Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz appears to be throwing his support behind Winter Park City Commissioner Karen Diebel in the 24th district’s crowded GOP primary.

Holtz will be the special guest and speaker at a reception honoring Diebel on Sept. 20, according to an invitation from Diebel’s campaign. The $250-per-person event is taking place at a private home in Winter Park.

Republican operatives in Washington have been keen on Diebel — who also works as an executive director for Verizon Business — due in large part to her fundraising abilities. After filing for the 24th district in early June, she brought in more than $100,000 in about three weeks before the mid-year Federal Election Commission filing deadline.

Diebel’s ability to land Holtz only adds to her fundraising credentials. But unless the primary field starts to narrow, she’ll still have to beat a half-dozen other Republicans, including a pair of state representatives, to land the Republican nomination.

Although Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) won the 24th district in last year’s presidential race, Kosmas cruised to victory last cycle over then-Rep. Tom Feeney (R), who was plagued by his ties to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff. The Congresswoman had over a half-million dollars in cash on hand as of June 30.