PALATKA, Fla. – U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho spoke out Wednesday as he nears the end of his term and will not be up for reelection.
This came weeks after a nationally publicized dispute with U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who accused Yoho, R-Fla., of using a vulgar and sexist insult during what was said to be a confrontation on the steps of the U.S. Capitol. According to the Associated Press, a reporter who witnessed the incident confirmed the language as Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., described it, though Yoho maintained he did not use the words cited.
“I never said that, and she’s admitted that in two news reports. She goes, ‘I never heard him say that.’ So she’s taken a false news report and twisted it as an attack not on her but women and women of color all over the world, and it was strictly a challenge on her policies,” Yoho said.
While speaking with Yoho at an event in Putnam County, News4Jax also asked him about the status of the next stimulus package in Congress.
“They’ll have one coming out. I’ll have to see what’s in it,” Yoho said. “It’ll come out, and they’ll want to vote on it in a day or two.”
Yoho — who represents Florida’s 3rd Congressional District, which includes Alachua, Bradford, Clay, Putnam, Union counties and northern Marion County — is about to leave Congress, with 10 Republicans and three Democrats vying to take over his spot. Ads and campaign signs are hard to miss.
“I can tell you right now who’s going to win. It’s the one with the most votes. There are some great candidates,” Yoho said. “What I recommend to the constituents, the voting public — including myself and wife — vet the candidate. Which ones are going to stand on principles?”
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Yoho also told News4Jax his one regret during his time in office is never getting the deficit under control since he went to Washington in 2013. He said both the Obama and Trump administrations share responsibility for that.
Masks donated to Putnam County
News4Jax caught up with Yoho on Wednesday when he was at an event involving Taiwan. A Taiwanese delegation traveled to Putnam County to donate thousands of masks to Putnam County and the city of Palatka.
The delegation was flanked by Putnam County leaders at the event in Palatka. Yoho has developed a relationship with Taiwan. Members of the delegation said the country has strong ties to Florida, wanted to help a local community and chose to donate 10,000 masks to Putnam County.
Palatka Mayor Terrill Hill was grateful for the donation, saying the personal protective equipment will be put to good use.
“There are definitely needs in our community, economic concern. But as we look at the numbers here in this community, there’s definitely a need for us to start to concentrate on masking as a method to start to curb the climb,” Hill said. “We’ve had 1,000 cases in the last 30 days.”
Taiwan has been donating masks in other areas around the country, as well. Yoho said the country recently donated around 200,000 to 250,000 masks to the American Legion in Washington, D.C.