GOP Lands Recruit to Run Against Kosmas

June 9, 2009

Winter Park City Commissioner Karen Diebel (R) filed with the Federal Election Commission on Tuesday to challenge freshman Rep. Suzanne Kosmas (D-Fla.) in the Orlando-area 24th district.

Diebel has been touted by national GOP officials who hope to return the seat to their column in 2010. Although Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) won the district in last year’s presidential race, Kosmas cruised to victory last cycle over then-Rep. Tom Feeney (R), who was plagued by his ties to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

“I am not a career politician,” Diebel said in a news release. “I am a mother who wants to ensure a bright future for my three children. I am a businesswoman who wants to create local jobs. … After just a short time in public service, I have learned that with determined optimism and hard work, I can make a difference for families in our community.”

In addition to her city commissioner post, which she has held since 2007, Diebel is an executive director for Verizon Business. She is also a widow whose husband, Donald was killed in a car accident on Florida¹s Turnpike in 2002 after he pulled over on the side of the road to help a newlywed couple in an overturned pickup truck.

In memory of her husband, Karen Diebel founded the N. Donald Diebel Jr. M.D. Good Samaritan Fund in 2004. The fund provides medical care to uninsured women and children.
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