Loranne Ausley: The cycling CFO candidate

7:32 PM, Oct 26, 2010   |    comments
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Tallahassee, Florida -- The memory of Lawton Chiles' famous walk across Florida in 1970 for a political campaign is being recalled by another Democrat, but this time on a bike.

Just call Loranne Ausley the cycling CFO candidate.

On Tuesday with her son Will at her side, Ausley strapped on her cycling cleats and started a bicycle trek from the Old Capitol in Tallahassee to her opponent's home turf in West Palm Beach.

She plans to ride more than 400 miles over four days.  Ausley calls it the "Cycle to End the Cycle" of corruption and pay-to-play politics in Tallahassee.

Ausley says her Republican opponent Jeff Atwater won't debate her and is relying on political ads to reach voters.  Atwater disputes Ausley's version of the breakdown over a debate.

Ausley hopes her cycling tour will show people that she's a fighter and she'll take that same fight to the office of CFO.

"We have a clear message for Jeff Atwater and the Florida Legislature: never underestimate the will of a Florida taxpayer and never underestimate the will of a triathlete mom.  Although one of my heroes 'Walkin' Lawton Chiles' was able to walk this state, the problems in Tallahassee right now are far too urgent for a walk, or even for a run.  I want Floridians to know exactly the type of fighter I am and I'll do whatever it takes to hold politicians like Jeff Atwater accountable.  If that means biking from these Capitol steps to Jeff Atwater's backyard, so be it."

Ausley has completed many triathlons, including one Ironman.  That's a race with a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, followed by a marathon.

She represented Tallahassee in the Florida House from 2000 to 2008.

The Atwater campaign commends Ausley's fitness, but says the fiscal fitness of Florida is what's at stake.

Spokesman Brian Hughes calls Ausley's bike trip a publicity stunt that won't create jobs or protect taxpayers from fraud and waste.

Dave Heller, 10 News

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