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Brown-Waite to Retire, Wants Sheriff to Replace Her

Citing health concerns, Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite (R-Fla.) announced Friday that she will retire from Congress this fall after four terms.

“As I have prepared for my campaign, I have been troubled by persistent health problems and have come to the disappointing and sad conclusion that I cannot run for reelection,” Brown-Waite said in a statement. “There are simply too many unresolved issues around my health and my pancreas in particular. As of this morning, my doctors are still undecided about what course to pursue next for my treatments.”

Brown-Waite said she has encouraged Hernando County Sheriff Richard Nugent (R) to run for her central Florida seat this fall.

“This past week Rich told me he would stand in my place for election to Congress,” Brown-Waite said. “On Monday I will to ask the Secretary of State to withdraw my name from the ballot. As I go forward with my medical treatments, I would continue to ask for your prayers for my family and me.” 

The district gave Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) 56 percent of the vote in the 2008 White House election and isn’t likely to be very competitive in the fall, meaning Nugent is the frontrunner to replace Brown-Waite unless another strong Republican candidate emerges before the filing deadline Friday night.

“I am deeply honored by the trust Ginny has placed in me,” Nugent said. “As [my wife] and I discussed beginning this campaign and what it would mean for our family, we could not turn down this call to duty at such a serious time for our country.”

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