Kevin Derby's blog

Republicans in Southwest Florida hit the polls on Tuesday to find a replacement for former U.S. Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla., and selected businessman Curt Clawson who prevailed over Florida Senate Majority Leader Lizbeth Benacquisto, R-Fort Myers, former state Rep. Paige Kreegel and conservative activist Michael Dreikorn in the primary. Radel resigned earlier this year after pleading guilty to cocaine possession.

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On Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., announced he was backing a challenge from U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Fla., against the Office of Personnel Management exempting members of Congress from being included in President Barack Obama’s federal health-care law.
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Having launched a TV ad in Spanish earlier this week, Gov. Rick Scott’s team has unveiled a website in Spanish.

The website, rickscottporlaflorida.com, went live Tuesday.
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On Tuesday, the James Madison Institute (JMI) released a study entitled “Florida Retirement System Reform: Why Now?”which argues that the current pension reforms in the Legislature are needed.
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Former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, R-Kansas, is not a fan of some of the leading Republican presidential possibilities in 2016. The Huffington Post is reporting that Dole thinks the likes of U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who Dole called that “extreme-right-wing guy," don’t have enough experience to go toe-to-toe with former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2016.
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Former Gov. Gary Johnson of New Mexico, who was the Libertarian Party’s presidential nominee in 2012, is looking ahead to 2016, calling for more inclusion for third party candidates in presidential campaigns, including being included in the debates.
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The Coalition for Medicare Choices, which represents more than 121,000 Floridians, honored more than 20 members of Florida’s congressional delegation for opposing President Barack Obama’s call to take funds from Medicare Advantage to fund his health-care law.
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U.S. Rep. Bill Posey, R-Fla., offered his thoughts on public funding for All Aboard Florida (AAF) on Friday. While Posey said he did not back federal funding of All Aboard Florida, he said the U.S. Department of Transportation was ready to give them the green light and did not need additional congressional authorization.
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Florida will mark Taypayer Independence Day on Tuesday according to Florida TaxWatch. This means every cent Florida workers earned until Tuesday, on average, goes to pay taxes.  

"This symbolic day puts taxpayers' responsibility in perspective, showing us how much of a presence government, at different levels, has in our lives." said Dominic Calabro, the president and CEO of Florida TaxWatch. "It has taken Florida taxpayers 111 days, or more than three and a half months, to finally stop paying off their 2014 tax burden."   
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On Monday, Gov. Rick Scott announced that DaVita Labs is expanding in DeLand, bringing 100 jobs and adding almost $32 million to Volusia County over the next five years.

“This expansion will create 100 new jobs, which is important to families in DeLand,” Scott said. "By cutting taxes and empowering job creators, Florida’s statewide unemployment rate has been below the national unemployment rate since August 2013, and 540,700 private-sector jobs have been added since December 2010. Let’s keep working to make Florida the best state in the nation for business.”
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