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Alan Cohn is posting some impressive numbers in his bid to unseat Ross Spano.


Alan Cohn to host pair of fundraisers in Sarasota

Cohn is a former newscaster in Sarasota.

Alan Cohn is hosting a pair of campaign fundraisers this month in Sarasota for his campaign for Congressional District 15.

Neither of the fundraisers are located in the district, but are central to what could be a large base of financial support for the former newsman.

The first fundraiser is at the Mandeville Beer Garden, 428 N. Lemon Ave., Sarasota, 5-7 p.m. Nov. 11. The event is scheduled as “a night of political conversation with former panelists” from Cohn’s former television show, The Trapezoid.

Cohn’s host committee for that fundraiser includes:

— Former Florida Rep. Keith Fitzgerald.

— Former Sarasota Democratic Party Chair Rita Ferrandino.

— Former Sarasota Mayor Fred Atkins.

— Manatee County School Board member James Golden.

— Attorney and former State House candidate Tracy Pratt.

— New College of Florida Political Science professor Frank Alcock.

— Political consultant Barry Edwards.

— Psychotherapist Eddy Regnier.

— WSLR radio host Cathy Atunes.

— Sarasota Democratic Party member Mary Clupper.

— University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee economics professor Michael Snipes.

— Activist Wayne Washington.

— Former Sarasota County Commission candidate Ruta Jouniari.

— Public relations manager Steve Sabato.

The second event is a luncheon at the Renaissance, 750 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Nov. 18.

That event features former North Dakota U.S. Sen. Kent Conrad, Former Rhode Island Congressman Patrick Kennedy and Bruce Lehman, a former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Commissioner of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

The host committee includes author and addiction recovery activist Leslie Glass, LGBTQ activist and former Sarasota City Commissioner Ken Shelin, Fitzgerald, government relations consultant Susan Nilon and Ferrandino.

Both host committees are still under formation, the invitations to the fundraisers note.

Cohn is running in the Democratic Primary for Congressional District 15 against Rep. Adam Hattersley. Both men are vying for the Democratic nomination to run against incumbent Republican Ross Spano.

The Democratic Congressional Committee hasn’t endorsed a candidate in the race, but is spending heavily to oust Spano regardless of the nominee.

Spano has served an embattled first term after admitting that he may have broken campaign finance laws by accepting large loans from two friends and using that money to fund his 2018 campaign. Candidates are bound by individual contribution limits and the loans far exceeded those limits. Spano is under investigation for the loans.

Cohn is a former journalist for ABC 7 in Sarasota where he hosted political conversations on topics in local, state and national politics.

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a die-hard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics, including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and contentious issues surrounding transit. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also a devoted wife and mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder.

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