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Browning Wins Tea Party Poll; Has a ‘Puncher’s Chance’

As voters in Clay and Duval counties prepare to go the polls on Tuesday, conservative insurgent Don Browning appears to be gaining momentum in his seemingly improbable bid to unseat eleven-term U.S. Rep. Cliff Stearns in the 6th congressional district.

At least one newspaper in the district concedes that the little-known challenger has at least a “puncher’s chance” against the longtime incumbent.

If you like a good underdog, Browning is definitely your candidate.

Stearns, who was first elected to Congress in 1988 and is one of only two Republican lawmakers in the 25-member Florida congressional delegation facing primary opposition on Tuesday, probably isn’t too worried, but stranger things have happened.

Particularly in a volatile election year like this, when voter discontent appears to be at an all-time high.

Browning’s long-shot candidacy received a last-minute boost on Saturday when he won an overwhelming 93.2 percent of the vote in a straw poll conducted by the Gainesville Tea Party, a non-partisan organization committed to fiscal responsibility, limited government and the free market.

The group is about as conservative as one can imagine and shares Browning’s disdain for the Washington establishment and his oft-repeated assertion that Stearns, long considered invincible, has spent most of the past 22 years “increasing the nation’s debt” — saddling future generations with a debt of nearly $13.4 trillion.

According to the group’s leader, 62 members participated in Saturday’s straw poll, which gave GOP U.S. Senate frontrunner Marco Rubio an almost identical percentage of the vote. Rubio faces two little-known challengers in Tuesday’s primary.

“Based upon our straw poll results, our members clearly support Don Browning over Cliff Stearns,” said Karianne Wilkins, leader of the Gainesville Tea Party, which currently boasts 1,000 members on its e-mail list.

“Likely the main reason behind this is that Cliff Stearns has been in office for over 20 years and people feel that is long enough,” Wilkins told the Jacksonville Observer. “They are ready for a change and someone who is willing to shake things up in Washington. That’s what Don Browning represents.”

A tireless and indefatigable campaigner, Browning has been vastly outspent by Stearns, but refuses to acknowledge the long odds facing his candidacy.

A former pugilist — Browning was an amateur boxer when he was in the Navy — the 68-year-old retired Weirsdale businessman and citizen-activist knows what it will take to KO his entrenched rival.

It’ll take more than a lucky punch.

Browning knows his way around the ring, and some would argue that he’s outclassed the incumbent in terms of both stamina and speed.

Having crisscrossed the sprawling district more times than he can remember over the past several months while Stearns has rarely been seen, the colorful, white-haired challenger will be looking to land that one powerful punch on Tuesday, the unexpected blow that every boxer hopes to deliver against an otherwise heavily-favored opponent.

Stay tuned. This should be an interesting match.

Read more about Don Browning in this interview at Battleground Blog.

7 Responses »

  1. Don Browning will be a great Congressman! I voted for him and so has everyone I know. I am glad he has the support in the Gainesville area too! Go Don! Keep swinging! We need you in Washington.

  2. I think Don Browning will "deliver the unexpected blow that every boxer hopes to deliver". First KO to Cliff Stearns and the 2nd to the establishment in Congress and the Special Interests. He has my vote.

  3. No likely. Browning the boxer sounds punch drunk on the stump to me.

    • You are pretty smart Truman. What you missed is that Browning hits the issues straight on. He is NOT A PROFESSIONAL POLITITIAN. He is NOT AN INCUMBENT. He will serve two terms only if we elect him for the job. Browning wants change because he knows full well what is going on behind the scenes. If you were truly aware, you would not have made a thoughtless comment such as that. Browning does things in our community that he does not brag about. Browning works and doesn't schmooze the people to get elected. The "People" are used to being cajoled by sweet talk and sweet apple pie. I never got any of that B.S. Rhetoric from Browning. I told him that if he fails to honor the U.S. Constitution while on the job, I will come and take him out of Washington. Thinkers do NOT become punch drunk since they will not waste their time arguing issues that do not represent the people of District 6, Florida and the United States. Don Browning is an accomplished businessman and loving family man. He is 100% man and loves his wife of many years. He is a "SERVANT to OTHERS" and never fails to return phone calls. Don Browning is not condescending toward anyone. Don Browning is going to change things in Washington. Don Browning is not going to fall asleep at the helm just because everyone else is. Truman, you know that the Washington, DC climate of power has to change! Don Browning is one of the most important fighters you need to back and stand behind. Don Browning will make you proud that you did, I promise. Remember this Truman, Money and Power may change some things in life, but if that Money and Power controls the mind of a man and he forgets about the people he serves, he is not worth anything. If a man repent and turn from his wicked ways through service to mankind, he will have earned my respect. Take care Truman. You GO Don Browning.

  4. Now I speak to the Readers. First off, I want to thank the JaxObserver for exposing the information that does not normally reach MainStreamMedia or MSM. Don Browning has done nothing to benefit the paper. It is the paper that has been willing to be good reporters of issues and news that is important to the people. Don Browning has spent his entire life studying science and other subjects that require critical thinking. Thinking is not unpopular. Not thinking is foolish. Washington, DC politicans are not thinking. They are responding in ways that may help them get re-elected even if it is against their core beliefs as an American. I, Art K am an American first. Then I am one of the people, one of those represented in the U.S. Constitution. I am an important part of my community and the United States. I have a brain that loves to work and think! When things are wrong and I feel I can offer a solution, I do so with the hopes that someone listens. If the same insanity continues and nothing changes, I guarantee the powers that be are not listening. I guarantee that Don Browning listens! If you call or contact him in Washington with a concern for District 6, he will respond. I have pushed Don Browning's butttons by being critical of the party and other unattended needs of District 6. He responded harshly at times and was not at all fearful of defending those I criticized. Don Browning said to me "We all have made mistakes in our lives. The most beautiful part about life is that we can change and improve our life situation in a constructive manner. America is a strong people that really cares for its people. I want to serve the people and get things done during my two terms. I want to pass the baton to someone willing to carry on with high integrity, utmost honesty, strong family values and care for humanity. I want to be one of those guys that changes Congress for the good. I am tired of seeing the people lied to and abused. It's always about what is best for all the people, not the few in power." So tell me people, how can you not love a guy like Don Browning? Remember, he is on top in the voting booth, that sacred place that makes you and I Proud Americans! Vote for Don Browning tomorrow! Art K

  5. Don Browning has the ability to represent the citizens of District 6 in a responsible and professional manner. He has run an honorable campaign covering District 6 North,South,East and West......Please do your homework ..... VOTE FOR DON BROWNING......HE WILL BE THE CONGRESSMAN FROM DISTRICT 6 YOU CAN COUNT ON TO REPRESENT YOU.......

  6. If you are still undecided in your vote, please stop and take a moment to think about this: What would our forefathers think if they could see us today? I am certain that when they saw Don Browning they would say, "Eureka! Now this is Democracy at work." Certainly Stearns, the no show, would be as grave a disappointment to them as he has been to me and to my family. Browning has impressed me with his energy and enthusiasm. He has earned my vote. It is my hope that when you take your moment , he will have earned yours as well.