Alan Cohn takes on Adam Hattersley in Democratic primary to oust Ross Spano

Alan-Cohn (Medium)
It's Cohn's second bid for the district.

Former Tampa Bay Area news anchor Alan Cohn will run for Congress, he announced Monday.

Cohn is a Democrat and will challenge Adam Hattersley for the nomination to run against Ross Spano in District 15.

Cohn worked for WFTS Channel 28 before running for the same district unsuccessfully in 2014 against former Congressman Dennis Ross who Spano later replaced.

After losing that bid, Cohn began working for ABC 7 in Sarasota as an anchor and managing editor. He now runs a communications firm.

“I’ve made my living investigating corrupt politicians from Washington, to right here at home,” Cohn wrote in an announcement. “I’ve won one of the nation’s highest honors, the George Foster Peabody Award, for uncovering that defective parts were being installed on Blackhawk helicopters flown by our troops.”

Cohn went on to cite a number of professional accolades that translate into public service including helping a Vietnam veteran obtain benefits he was wrongly denied.

Cohn is running for a similar reason as Hattersley. He criticized the former state lawmaker for accepting what he later admitted were illegal loans to fund his 2018 campaign.

“I’m running because while our current Congressman is mired in a federal investigation into illegal loans to his campaign, 60-percent of our friends and neighbors still don’t earn what they did before the economic collapse. 40-percent of Americans live paycheck to paycheck,” Cohn said.

Cohn is promising not to take any money from political committees, a.k.a. “PACs.”

“For too often politicians have put the interests of big business in ahead of the values of their constituents,” he said.

Cohn is running to protect veterans, provide access to affordable health care and support women’s pay equality.

“You deserve more than a Congressman mired in scandal and a Congress incapable of doing anything about anything,” Cohn said. “You deserve a member of Congress that not only shares your values and dreams for your family, but has actually fought for them.”

Cohn’s entrance into the race could be good news for Spano. It forces both Hattersley and Cohn to fund a primary campaign before one of them takes on Spano next November.

The primary also splits the pool of campaign donors.

“Now both candidates will duke it out and be forced to embrace the Democrats’ socialist agenda of eliminating employer-based health care and defending rampant anti-Semitism,” the National Republican Congressional Committee wrote about Cohn entering the race. “This will surely be entertaining in a district President Trump won by double digits.”

Both candidates come to the race with strong name recognition, Cohn as a television newsman, Hattersley as an elected representative.

Janelle Irwin Taylor

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at [email protected]


  • yanni

    September 9, 2019 at 2:14 pm

    While it’s not the law that you live in the district, Mr. Cohn will have to answer why someone who lives in Congresswoman Castor’s district is the right person to represent them.

  • Milo

    September 10, 2019 at 11:13 am

    I don’t think a piece of investigative journalism compares to Hattersley’s Navy service and his Bronze Star. Cohn needs to be very careful when claiming he has “fought” for Americans when running against someone who really has.

  • Tom

    September 11, 2019 at 1:06 pm

    Cohn is going to kick ass!

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Renzo Downey, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Kelly Hayes, Joe Henderson, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Scott Powers, Gray Rohrer, Aimee Sachs, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Andrew Wilson, Wes Wolfe, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Sign up for Sunburn