Out of Right Field, a Republican Primary for Congress?

Jeff Stabins.
Jeff Stabins.

A Republican county commissioner in Florida says he’s quitting his seat and moving back to the county where he grew up so he can run for Congress.

Jeff Stabins, according to the St. Petersburg Times, said he has bought his dream house in Sackets Harbor and is moving there to run for the Republican nomination to take on Democratic incumbent Bill Owens.

Owens represents the vast 23rd Congressional District, which stretches from Hannibal to Plattsburgh and includes all of Oswego County.

Stabins, according to the paper, has been a colorful member of the county commission:

He has been known to break into song at board meetings or simply get up and wander the room. His dog Rusty has his own blog and has been known to dream about events and people oddly similar to real Hernando County events and personalities.

Stabins has tried unsuccessfully to get his own show on Government Broadcasting. And he pulled a stunt that had some in the audience at a board meeting believing a cryptic note he sent explaining his absence meant that he had harmed himself. He later apologized.

In June, County Commission Chairman Jim Adkins filed a complaint with the Florida Commission on Ethics over employees’ concerns including that Stabins had used the f-word in front of the employees.

Those allegations came out of another Stabins project, this time having county workers produce a DVD designed to focus on how poorly their boss, County Administrator David Hamilton, has performed his job.

Stabins would provide at least a tiny obstacle on Matt Doheny’s path to a rematch against Owens if he forces Doheny to fight a primary election.

Doheny is the North Country native who made his fortune in Wall Street investment banking.  He lost a three-way contest to Owens last year, as conservative Tea Party favorite Doug Hoffman split away enough votes to give Owens a narrow win.

A potential Tea Party challenger backed out of a primary fight after meeting with Doheny, giving him, until now, a clear path to raise money only for a general election battle.