When state Rep. Jose Felix Diaz proudly shared with the Miami Herald editorial board earlier this week that that he had been recognized by the Florida Association for Insurance Reform (FAIR), his opponent interrupted him.
"So was I," state Rep. Ana Rivas Logan piped up. Diaz and Logan, both incumbent Republicans, are pitted against each other in a nasty race after redistricting threw them into the same district.
"They did not recognize you with the same award," responded Diaz, who said he was named the "2012 Policy Holder Defender."
Responded Logan: "Yes, but they recognized me, too. They recognized me, too."
Except, they didn't.
"I can say definitively we have never given her award. She never shows up to vote," said FAIR Executive Director Jay Neal.
That's a line Diaz has also used against his opponent, pointing out that Logan wasn't there to vote on last session's House Bill 245, dealing with insurance regulations.
Logan said she missed the vote because she was busy working her own bill to allow hearsay evidence -- such as a 911 call -- in domestic violence cases. That bill passed. She recorded her "no" vote on HB 245 after roll call.
"It was more important for me to work on that bill, because my bill saves people," Logan said.
She said she was referring to a different award, "for being a fighter for the little guy," when she interrupted her opponent to tout her own credentials. "I thought that's what he was referring to," she said.
But she couldn't remember the name of the award or the organization.
Logan pointed out that she was the only representative to be named legislator of the year by the Florida Retail Federation, and downplayed her opponent's recognition by FAIR.
"That's the insurance companies, all right? The insurance companies gave him the award," she said.
FAIR is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that tries to find "balance" between the public and private insurance companies, said Neal, the executive director. He said the organization gets funding from an array of sources, with no one industry giving a big percentage.