Jeb Bush Continues to Shape the GOP in Florida

By: Jeff Henderson | Posted: February 25, 2014 3:55 AM
Jeb Bush

Jeb Bush

As was shown by his endorsement of Carlos Curbelo on Monday, Jeb Bush is starting to throw his weight around in Republican primaries across Florida.

Even as he has drawn fire from conservatives on Common Core and for supporting immigration reform, Bush remains one of the most popular Republicans from the Sunshine State. Bush has also shown no hesitation in using his position to shape the GOP in Florida and support candidates he favors.

So far, Bush has made some safe bets, to be sure, in the 2014 election cycle. Despite his support of Bill McCollum back in 2010, Bush gave Rick Scott an early endorsement this time out. Bush also fell in line behind David Jolly after he won the Republican primary in the special congressional election in Pinellas County. Most of Bush’s legislative endorsements, like his support of Fred Costello’s bid to return to the Florida House earlier this month, aren’t exactly long shots.

Bush’s endorsement of Curbelo is a bit of a deviation from this pattern. Republicans have high hopes for Curbelo to take down Joe Garcia in November and the Miami-Dade County School Board member is the clear favorite to win the GOP’s nomination. But, even though he is a strong favorite, Curbelo does have a primary with respectable foes like Ed MacDougall, Joe Martinez and Larry Palomares-Starbuck. Bush’s support only adds to Curbelo’s lead as the GOP looks to avoid a brutal primary and focus all its efforts on defeating Garcia.

But that’s not the only contested Republican primary Bush has waded into. Unlike Garcia, in his new comfortably Democratic district, Alan Grayson appears pretty safe for November. That hasn’t stopped Bush from endorsing Carol Platt over Republican rivals Jorge Bonilla and Peter Vivaldi as they fight in the primary over who challenges Grayson come November. It’s tough to characterize Platt as a favorite either over Grayson or her primary opponents. But Bush endorsed her pretty early in the process, anyway.

More than seven years after he left Tallahassee, Bush shows no signs of going away. He promised to “actively” support Scott in this campaign and has thrown a few barbs at Charlie Crist already in the campaign. Of course, Bush also continues to remain a presidential possibility for Republicans come 2016 and has given hints that he’ll make an announcement one way or another about his presidential plans this year.

As he continues to ponder whether to follow in father’s and brother’s footsteps with a presidential campaign, Bush remains active at the national level. On Monday, he gave a speech in Long Island which often backs Republican candidates with their votes and checkbooks even as New York remains deeply blue. But even as he tests the national waters, Bush continues to remain a major player for Republicans in Florida, as his support of Curbelo shows.

Tallahassee political writer Jeff Henderson wrote this story exclusively for Sunshine State News



Comments (8)

hey Frank
12:26PM FEB 26TH 2014
Hey Frank! You left out the best!!!!! SO truthful !!!!!

You write just like that old Judge with the Spring Hill ISP on the Topix.

You must really be an old Bush whacker paid shill from way back.

Everyone with brains knows what the Bush whackers are up too with their NWO. They might own and control most of the MSM, but the Al Gore revenge (the internet) has exposed these criminals for what they have been for centuries! Leeches!
3:16PM FEB 26TH 2014
You know, I think I'll mark this one up as just another SSN fanclub duplicate (i.e. UnFrank, Franc, Fran k, etc.) who may be a little too cute on his attempt to make this seem like it comes from anywhere but the far right . . . . maybe it's the classic right wing promotion of politics of personal demonization and destruction that gives it away . . . . . . even extending to moderate members of their own party . . . . . sad, puerile, and clearly . . . .

Pathetic . . . .
9:22PM FEB 25TH 2014
Hey Jeff,
I don't know why you think Jeb is still popular in FL. Must be wishful thinking on your part. I liked Jeb as Governor, but I will never vote for him as President. And after his support of Common Core, and his moderate views on amnesty, I would not vote for him as Governor again if he ran.
I don't think he is as popular in FL as he was when he was governor, not by a long shot!!
5:08PM FEB 25TH 2014
Frank, you must be one of those old reprobates from the Franklin Scandal days or perhaps one of Mel Sembler’s wardens from this house of horror’s with the Bush dynasty’s kiss of approval.
Folks don’t need to talk about old Bush [41 or 43] Jeb has a history of his own they can work with. For starters no real conservative would allow their children to go to school under the Common Core rules. Very Muslim leaning from Jeb’s friends Gary Grapo as well as the Guelen movement. The Bush family connections to Pearson Publishing and Neil, Momma and poppy and the Saudi Prince – IGNITE LEARING!
Rick Scott, Tom Hicks (Both partner’s with GW in the Texas Rangers) and Richard Rainwater (Partners with Rick Scott in Columbia / HCA) Second largest Medicare Fraud scheme in US History right behind Miguel Recarey and Jeb Bush IMC? International Medical Centers (financed by the Bush Family old Tampa, Fl born mobster Santo Trafficante, Jr. (Who along with Batista, Myer Lanski and the rest of the Mob Castro run out of Cuba in 1959) But, not to worry, Trafficante is dead; Recarey is still a fugitive from justice for the Medicare Fraud; Jeb’s Supreme Court 2002 appointee (Batista’ grandson - Raoul Cantero III resigned in 2008 represented convicted Cuban terrorist Orlando Bosch and with the help of the Bushes spring him from prison. Now Raoul Cantero III is representing the Bush machine aka the Florida legislature for their illegal re-districting lawsuit. And, Jeb Bush has planted Batista’s other grandson Carlos-Lopez Cantera (what’s an “o” or an “a” in Spanish dialect?) one heart beat from the governor of Florida.
Don’t think for “uno momento” that Jeb Bush is going to let CharLIE Crist win this governor’s “selection.” Between those funky little vote fixer chips Clint Curtis invented for Job Bush and Tom Feeney and those other little tricks they have – they might let Charlie and John Morgan win their “pot pouri” but they is far to much going on right now with garbage contracts and privatization of public school conversions to charters, more CAA and Geo Group prison contracts to let and wa to many kickbacks to let Charlie back in the game. Besides, CharLIE only wanted to play with his own marbles and he didn’t like to share.
Someone needs to ask Jeb what happened to Barry Seals and why Jr was flying around in his plane, not to mention all the others like his good friend Manny Diaz.
NO, Jebbie is a big boy now. He has been down in South Florida and South American pulling his schemes for decades now. He once said he didn’t want to be tied to the Bush dynasty he wanted to stand on his own two feet. Well, he has and he has left plenty of tracks while doing so.
Since the old man perfected the art of not allowing the people to put a label on him (his own words) Jeb Bush is not anything that resembles a real Ronald Reagan Republican (no one in the Bush family is, 41 just used Reagan to get into the white house) His actions speak louder that words and he is pushing the New World Order Common Core and Muslim takeover (charter) of out public schools. The people of Florida and the USA can name him, maybe Obama’s brother since Obama is rewarding those who accept Common Core with Race to the Top Grants – the Bushes are already calling Bill Clinton their step-son!
8:34PM FEB 25TH 2014
So articulate . . . . so coherent . . . .so logical . . . . so . . . .

Pathetic . . . .
1:26PM FEB 25TH 2014
Looks like the right wing feeding sharks are already out below on the next moderate GOP leader . . . . . even without bringing up his father's support for Agenda 21, New World Order, Trilateral Commission and all those other conspiracies imagined by the far right . . . .

Pathetic . . . .
Bill Bledsoe
8:04AM FEB 25TH 2014
And the not-so-conservative FL GOP continues to flirt with that Rino!
Jackie Grant
10:22AM FEB 25TH 2014
You are absolutely right Bill ---- we DO NOT need another RINO in FL politics or heaven forbid D.C. We need (and DEMAND) a true conservative and Jeb isn't it.

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