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Updated: Ginny Brown-Waite drops out of congressional race, citing health reasons, immediately endorses Hernando Sheriff Richard Nugent

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Hernando Sheriff Richard Nugent is running for Congress. His target: U.S. Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite.

Nugent, a Republican, filed Friday, the last day for Congressional candidates to qualify for the Aug. 24 primary.

He had not been listed on the state’s Division of Elections as a qualified candidate by 11:30 a.m.

“It’s not a mistake,” Nugent said during a brief phone call with the St. Petersburg Times on Friday before excusing himself to return to a staff meeting. “I’ll have more to say about that later.”

In her fourth term in the District 5 seat, Brown-Waite has won re-election with ease, with little challenge from candidates within her own party and handily defeating Democratic challengers.

Jason Sager, a Brooksville Republican, has qualified for the race by midday. So has Democrat Jim Piccillo.

Update: Congresswoman Ginny Brown-Waite, R-Brooksville, is abandoning her re-election bid.

“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 re-election. 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.”

Brown-Wait immediately backed Hernando County Sheriff Richard Nugent.

“I encouraged Sheriff Nugent to run because I know him to be a strong conservative who will continue my fight for veterans and seniors.  This past week Rich told me he would stand in my place for election to Congress.  On Monday I will to ask the Secretary of State to withdraw my name from the ballot.

As I go forward with my medical treatments, I would continue to ask for your prayers for my family and me.”

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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