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Republican Ginny Brown-Waite of Florida to Retire

Back to the beaches.

1:50 PM, Apr 30, 2010 • By MARY KATHARINE HAM
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Rep. Brown-Waite is citing health problems as she becomes the 20th Republican to announce retirement this year, on filing day in Florida.

"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. 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."

She backed Sherriff Richard Nugent, whom she calls a "strong conservative." A man who donated to Democratic candidates was just arrested two weeks ago for threatening to murder Brown-Waite. This undoubtedly had nothing to do with her retirement, and as such, you won't hear much about it. I only bring it up to point out that, at the time of Rep. Bart Stupak's retirement, newscasters wondered aloud whether threats against him had proven effective in pushing him out of Congress. Stupak denied that threats had anything to do with his retirement, but that didn't keep NPR hosts, in particular, from gasping at the implications.

Evidence suggests, as do the retiring Members themselves, that threats had nothing to do with the retirement of Stupak or Brown-Waite, but only in Stupak's case were the threats an integral part of the story of his retirement. I wonder why that is, and why the news-consuming public might get the idea that all violent, political misbehaviour happens on the right.

Best wishes to Brown-Waite in getting better.

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