Candidates' Forum Stirs Up Contention; Crowd Heard Debate around Unseating Rep. Corrine Brown

By Hunt, David | The Florida Times Union, April 27, 2010 | Go to article overview

Candidates' Forum Stirs Up Contention; Crowd Heard Debate around Unseating Rep. Corrine Brown


Hunt, David, The Florida Times Union


Byline: DAVID HUNT

ORANGE PARK - Clay County voters got a look at several of the Republican candidates trying to unseat U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, but they also got a ringside seat as three of the candidates went at it.

About 75 people packed into a meeting room at Orange Park Town Hall for the Monday evening forum, which was hosted by the Republican Party of Clay County. The candidates were Mike Yost, Dean Black and Anthony Paul Penoso, each of Jacksonville; and LeAnne Kolb, of Green Cove Springs.

Penoso had run a write-in campaign against Brown in 1992. Black was quick to point that out after he'd attacked Penoso for commending Brown for her work in the 3rd Congressional District, a Democrat-heavy geography of some of the poorest voters in Florida.

Penoso said it was a tactic: Talk about the high points and hit people with the low ones. A flat-out negative campaign, he said, will not work.

"You have to educate people on what's happened in the last 18 years," he said, turning to Black. "Corrine Brown will beat this gentleman."

Black went tough on Penoso for going light on Brown.

"When I beat Corrine Brown, I will go up there and fight the socialists. I never thought I'd have to fight them in this room," Black said.

Later, Yost jumped in.

"Mr. …

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