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Political Bits and Pieces

April 24, 2014 - 6:00pm

Former Gov. Jeb Bush is running behind some of his chief potential presidential rivals in Colorado according to a poll released this week from Quinnipiac University.

The poll finds Bush losing by 5 percent to former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the undisputed favorite for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016. Clinton leads former Gov. Mike Huckabee, R-Ark., by 1 percent in Colorado while Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J., ties her. The Republican who does best against Clinton in Colorado is U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who beats her by 5 percent. ... Bush has a chance to turn things around in the Centennial State in the coming weeks. Next month he is scheduled to go to Colorado to help state Treasurer Walker Stapleton, who is facing a major challenge from former U.S. Rep. Betsy Markey, D-Col. ... Bush is not the only Florida Republican with the West on his mind, mulling over a presidential run. U.S. Sen. Marco Rubiowas in Washington this week where he met with former Microsoft executive Pedro Celis who is running for the Republican nomination to challenge U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene, D-Wash. While the Celis team said their candidate is very excited to meet with Rubio and has great respect and admiration for Sen. Rubio, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is looking to hit the Republican for it. The DCCC insisted Rubio is a tea party darling and Celis too divisive, with far-right views....

The battle between U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland, R-Fla., and Democratic challenger Gwen Graham is garnering attention from across the nation as its shaping up to be one of the most competitive congressional contests of this election cycle. But Graham no longer has an open shot at the Democratic nomination. This week Ali Salman, who worked as a claims representative after the BP oil spill in the Gulf, entered the race. ... The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) Action Fund is backing activist Corry Westbrook who is running for the Democratic nomination to challenge U.S. Rep. Bill Posey, R-Fla., in November. Westbrook faces Christopher Duncan Jr. and Gabriel Rothblatt in the Democratic primary. ... Jacksonville attorney Paula Moser-Bartlett filed to run against U.S. Rep. Ander Crenshaw, R-Fla., with no party affiliation. Challenging Crenshaw from the left on social issues, Moser-Bartlett becomes the third challenger looking to topple the congressman, joining retired Navy Capt. Ryman Shoaf and frequent write-in candidate Gary Koniz. ...

Gearing up to take on state Rep. Mike Clelland, D-Longwood, former Rep. Scott Plakon is growing increasingly more active as he looks to return to Tallahassee. Earlier this month, Plakon announced he had made the ballot by petition. Plakon will be holding a major fundraiser in Lake Mary on Tuesday. ...Florida Sen. Thad Altman, R-Melbourne, has drawn a foe as Monique Irene Miller has jumped in to run against him in the Republican primary. ... Democratic hopeful Daisy Baez is turning up the heat on state Rep. Erik Fresen, R-Miami, this week. Baez is pointing to a federal Department of Education regarding conflicts of interests in Academica and Mater Academy charter schools, which are owned by the state representatives brother-in-law and for which Fresen is a consultant. ...

The Miami Seaport Alliance is running a new television commercial in both English and Spanish, attacking the proposed soccer stadium at PortMiami. Miami Seaport Alliance President John Fox pointed to the port attracting 207,000 jobs in South Florida, generating more than $27 billion to the economy and insisting the soccer stadium could lead to logistics companies and cruise ships leaving the port. ...Sen. Dorothy Hukill, R-Port Orange, celebrated a win this week as her bill creating a poet laureate position passed both chambers of the Legislature and is now headed to Gov. Rick Scotts desk. ... Busy week for Florida Sen. Anitere Flores, R-Miami, as she went to bat for Scott and pushed a legislative effort recognizing democracy activists in Venezuela. Flores was featured by the Scott campaign this week, vouching for the governors efforts on education. She also teamed with Rep. Jeanette Nunez, R-Miami, championing a bill recognizing opponents of the Venezuelan regime.

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