Published August 15, 2012
In a stunning upset, the 12-term Florida congressman who led the Republican charge in Congress against Solyndra and Planned Parenthood conceded to a Tea Party-backed primary opponent Wednesday in his race for re-election.
Republican Rep. Cliff Stearns conceded to Ted Yoho, who won by slightly more than 800 votes -- about 1 percentage point.
Stearns had spearheaded GOP investigations into the failed solar-panel firm Solyndra and abortion provider Planned Parenthood.
His congressional probe into Planned Parenthood was cited by breast cancer research group Susan G. Komen for the Cure when the charity decided to break ties with Planned Parenthood. The organization later reversed course.
Federal Election Commission records show that Stearns had 16 times more cash on hand than Yoho -- $2 million versus $129,000.
But Yoho criticized Stearns for being in office too long and pledged that he would leave the House after eight years.
He ran a television ad where actors dressed as politicians in suits ate from a trough alongside pigs and threw mud at each other.
Stearns was first elected to Congress in 1988 and has been serving as the chair of an investigations subcommittee for the House Energy and Commerce committee.
District 3 covers the Gainesville area and other parts of north-central Florida.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.