Florida congressman drops out of debate because of cameras

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- Florida Congressman Tim Mahoney's campaign says it feared there would be a circus-like atmosphere if national TV was allowed to cover the first-term Democrat's debate with his Republican challenger today.

So, Mahoney has dropped out of the debate.

Mahoney committed to the debate before news broke last week of his adulterous affairs. The FBI and a House ethics panel are investigating potential legal and ethics violations.

Mahoney has admitted to at least two affairs. One was with a former staff member whom he paid to keep quiet about it. Still, he's refused to drop his bid for re-election, and a spokesman says Mahoney is "taking it one day at a time."

Mahoney ran on a family values platform in 2006. He replaced Republican Congressman Mark Foley, who resigned amid revelations that he sent lurid Internet messages to teenage male pages who had worked on Capitol Hill.

%@AP Links

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TIM MAHONEY headshot, as US Representative of Florida, on texture with lettering, finished graphic

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Tim MAHONEY and Joe NEGRON framed headshots, as candidates for US Representative of Florida, on 2006 Election background, with FLORIDA HOUSE 16th lettering, finished graphic

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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