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Activist group targets Republican Dennis Ross for ‘Putin us off’

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Polk County Republican Dennis Ross handily won his Congressional District 15 seat each of the four times he’s been on the ballot since 2010, but Democrats seem particularly energized about challenging him in 2018.

As previously reported by FloridaPolitics, no fewer than five Democrats have already filed to run in a primary next year with the winner getting the opportunity to take on Ross in November of 2018.

Indivisible East Hillsborough County is an activist group formed after last year’s presidential election. Frustrated by what they say is Ross’ inattention to that part of the district (which also includes Polk and Lake counties), the group placed a billboard in Brandon on State Road 60 across from the Westfield Mall, criticizing him for his lack of attention with the statement, “Congressman Ross, stop PUTIN us off!'”

“Republican Dennis A. Ross, has refused to hold a public town hall since the first congressional recess, especially following his crucial vote in favor of the AHCA, which critics argue could cause millions to lose their health coverage,” read a statement sent out by the group. “In addition many feel that Ross, known for his support of President Trump, has not adequately addressed his constituents concerns over the growing scandal involving Trump and Russia.”

The group says that it has extended invitations to all candidates who plan to run for the District 15 seat in 2018, regardless of party affiliation, including Congressman Ross, on to a forum this Monday June 5 at 6:30 p.m. at the Lakeland Public Library.

However, they don’t want the candidates to speak at the event. Instead they say the goal is for “constituents to voice their concerns and talk to the candidates about the issues that matter most to them and to the future of their district.”

A second billboard is now up in Lakeland, located a block from his office ​at South Florida Avenue and Schoolhouse Road.

A spokesperson for Ross declined to comment.


Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at

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