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Bob Graham's daughter Gwen becomes candidate for Congress

Gwen GrahamGwen Graham, daughter of former Gov. Bob Graham, said this morning she will challenge U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland in Florida's 2nd Congressional district.

“It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that Congress is a dysfunctional mess," she said in a news release. "They'd rather fight each other with the goal of scoring points on cable news instead of focusing on creating jobs and balancing the budget – in fact, Congress hasn't even passed a budget since Bobby Bowden was coach at FSU."

Southerland was elected in the 2010 tea party wave, defeating longtime Rep. Allen Boyd. He held off a challenge in 2012 by former state Sen. Al Lawson.

Graham, 50, has lived in Tallahassee since her father became governor and works in the Leon County School District. A news release casts her -- as is common for congressional candidates - as a Washington outsider who will work with both sides.

"Growing up, my dad told me, citizenship requires us to do more than complain about our problems – we have to work together to fix them. Our problems can’t be blamed on only Republicans or only Democrats – we need more people in both parties committed to working together and finding real solutions.

"I’m running for Congress to represent you with an independent voice in Washington. I will work with anyone, regardless of party affiliation, to create jobs, invest in education and balance our budget – with a plan that stands up for the middle class, keeps taxes low and protects Medicare and Social Security."

-- Alex Leary, Tampa Bay Times

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