Political Bits and Pieces
Around the State
Joe Gruters, the chairman of the Sarasota County GOP, is not running to replace Lenny Curry as the chairman of the Republican Party of Florida (RPOF), but he continues to remain active in shaping the party. Gruters is backing Clay County GOP Chairwoman Leslie Dougher to replace Curry.
Earlier this week, Gruters announced that he is hosting a fundraiser for Gov. Rick Scott later this month. ... Newly minted Democrat former Gov. Charlie Crist continues to try to appeal to liberals as he seeks his new party’s nomination to challenge Scott. Crist welcomed the Legislature passing a bill giving undocumented aliens in-state tuition at Florida universities and insisted “if the people are gracious enough to give me a chance to serve as their governor, moments like this will be the norm, not just an election-year exception.” The RPOF noted that outside groups backing Crist hammered Marco Rubio during the 2010 U.S. Senate contest for being soft on immigration, including backing in-state tuition for illegals. ... Former Florida Senate Democratic Leader Nan Rich also slammed Crist on the issue this week, pointing to her record in the Legislature on in-state tuition for illegals and noting Crist had opposed the DREAM Act during his term as governor. Rich bashed Crist, insisting he cost “thousands” of “young people the chance to go to college.” Keeping on the attack, Rich called for Democrats to “elect a governor who supports our values all of the time not just during election season.” Clearly a shot at both Scott and Crist. ...
Count former U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., as one of the winners as Mia Love won the Republican nomination for an open congressional seat in Utah. Through his Allen West Guardian Fund PAC, West has backed Love both this time out and in her 2012 congressional bid. Love is expected to win a congressional seat for Republicans, increasing their majority in Congress. ... Looking at an increasingly crowded field of Republican opponents, which now includes scandal-plagued former U.S. Rep. David Rivera, R-Fla., U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia, D-Fla., is opening his first campaign office in Miami on Saturday. Garcia and Rivera are very familiar with each other. Rivera beat Garcia back in 2010 to win an open congressional seat but the Democrat won the rematch in 2012. ... Rubio teamed up with U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., to demand U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry eliminate funding to the Palestinian Authority if it fails to follow the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act of 2006. ...
U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), continues to double down on her support of President Barack Obama’s federal health-care law. Wasserman Schultz continues to insist the law is a success, pointing to the fact that 980,000 Floridians enrolled in it and noting that 487,000 of them came from South Florida. ... Two Florida congressmen took part in a panel discussion on disaster mitigation at BuildStrong Coalition’s National Thought Leaders Forum on Building Codes for a Stronger and Safer America on Thursday. Both U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Fla., and U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., served on the panel. ... On Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland, R-Fla., took part in a discussion on minority health backed by INSIGHT America. Southerland, who was there in his role as the Republican caucus’ Anti-Poverty Initiative chairman, joined former U.S. Rep. J.C. Watts, R-Okla., on the panel.
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