Ginny Brown-Waite responds to critics of her last hour announcement that she will not run for re-election

Brown-Waite has been blasted in the press for choosing to virtually annoint Nugent as her successor by her last minute announcement, prompting the Tampa Tribune to editorialize that it was an act of "political arrogance" and "an offensive end-run around the democratic process."

But Brown-Waite, responded Monday in an e-mail to the St. Petersburg Times that her critics "belong to the Charlie Crist wing of the Republican Party, adding:

"Not one of the politicians who made a negative comment inquired about my health. How callous and uncaring of them to think only of their next political step." She didn't give specifics about her health problems Friday but has said her pancreas is involved.

A followup question asking whether the move cheated voters out of a broader range of candidates went unanswered.

This is why people hate politics.  I'm reminded of attending a recent debate with the four Republicans running for Congress in Florida's 11th Congressional District - the seat that Democrat Kathy Castor currently sits in.

At that forum, candidate Mike Prendergast said at one point, "It's not Kathy Castor's seat.  It's your seat!"to hearty cheers from the audience.

Contrast that with the comment yesterday from the anointed one, if you will, Sheriff Nugent, who told the Times:

"It was her seat," Nugent said. "Out of respect to her, we did it her way."

Brooksville area GOP Congresswoman Ginny Brown-Waite has responded to the criticism that has rained down on her in the wake of her stunning last hour announcement Friday that she would not run for re-election in Florida's 5th Congressional District seat.

Citing health concerns, Brown-Waite announced on the day all candidates must declare their candidacy that she would not run again.  But the only person she told who might have a desire for the seat was Hernando County Sherriff Richard Nugent, who then filed the $10,440 fee just minutes before the noon deadline, angering other well known Republicans who had their eyes on the seat.

One is Nancy Argenziano, a former state senator from the area who currently is the chair of the Florida Public Service Commission.  Argenziano told the Orlando Sentinel that she and other Republicans, like state senator Mike Fasano, were advised not to run against incumbents "unless it's entirely necessary out of respect and ethics." More from the Sentinel:

Argenziano said Brown-Waite's actions – which she called a "scheme" – are a sign of the GOP changing for the worse.

"It was insidiously designed," she said. "I think people can see through that."

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