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U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland says he was targeted by environmental groups over fishing issues

U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland, left, poses with state Rep. Jimmy Patronis after the House organizational session on Tuesday. Both are Panama City Republicans. Photo by Bruce Ritchie.

U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland said this week he was targeted for defeat by environmental groups who want to create "catch shares" for fisheries that can be bought or sold.

The Panama city Republican defeated former state Sen. Al Lawson, D-Tallahassee, by a 53 to 47 percent margin. Southerland was targeted as "Ocean Enemy #1" by the group Ocean Champions, which said in an email to supporters that it spent $350,000 to try to defeat him. 

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