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Money Flowing into Central Florida Congressional Race

July 13, 2010 - 6:00pm

Money is flowing into a congressional race in Central Florida where U.S. Rep. Suzanne Kosmas, a freshman Democrat, looks to hold off whoever emerges from a crowded field of Republican candidates.

Kosmas announced Wednesday that she had reeled in more than $335,000 in the second quarter of 2010 and now has more than $1.25 million in the bank to take on a challenge from former Winter Springs Mayor Paul Partyka for the Democratic nomination and whoever wins the Republican primary Aug. 24.

I have worked hard to stand up for the priorities and values of Central Floridians, and I am honored by the support they have continued to show for my efforts to create jobs, hold Washington accountable, and improve the quality of life in our communities, she said.

Three candidates have emerged as the leaders for the Republican nomination in the race: Rep. Sandy Adams, R-Orlando; Winter Park City Commissioner Karen Diebel, and former Ruth's Chris CEO Craig Miller from Seminole County.

Kosmas was not the only candidate who announced his/her second-quarter financial information Wednesday. Earlier in the morning, before Kosmas made her announcement, Miller revealed that he had raised more than $272,000 in the second quarter of 2010 and has more than $325,000 in the bank.

"I believe that we are building a lot of momentum heading into the final stretch," said Miller. "We have an aggressive get-out-the-vote strategy and our resources will allow us to continue to communicate our positive message based on sound conservative principles of fiscal restraint, growing our economy, and creating jobs. The voters understand that I am the best person to do that because I am a businessman and it is what I have been doing all of my life. Congress has let us down and it's time to give the power back to the voters to elect someone who shares their values. We intend to reach them through TV, radio, Internet, and in their mailbox."

"Craig's message of being a political outsider, a Vietnam veteran, and a businessman is really resonating throughout the district, said Miller spokesman Jon Miller, who is notrelated to the candidate. Voters are saying they are tired of career politicians. It's time for a businessman from the restaurant industry to write a new menu for Washington."

Craig Miller, Adams and Diebel continued to stress their conservative credentials as they duke it out for the Republican nomination.

While the Diebel campaign has not announced its second-quarter financial figures yet, it did announce the endorsements of two pro-life leaders in the district on Tuesday. Diebel won the backing of Mat Staver, chairman of the Orlando-based Christian conservative organization Liberty Counsel, and Art Ally who founded the Timothy Plan, a mutual fund organization that refers to itself on its Web site as America's first pro-life, pro-family, biblically-based mutual fund group.

"Our families, our economic security, and our Constitution are increasingly under attack, said Staver. Now more than ever, we need to elect strong conservatives who will fight for the founding principles of our country.

"We need to replace the band of characters in Congress with people of character, said Ally. America needs Karen Diebel -- a candidate whose credentials and practical experience stand head and shoulders above the rest.

Diebel has won the backing of many national and state pro-life leaders, including former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Bay Buchanan, Concerned Women for America PAC and Vice President Adam Goldman of Florida Right-to-Life -- though Florida Right-to-Life PAC backed Adams earlier in the month.

Reach Kevin Derby at, or at 850-727-0859.

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