Political Bits and Pieces
Around the State
Former Gov. Charlie Crist, the favorite for the Democratic nomination to challenge Gov. Rick Scott despite spending most of his political life as a Republican, opened the door to visiting Cuba this summer. Crist also reiterated his call for ending the embargo with Cuba. As late as 2010, when he was seeking the Republican nomination in the U.S. Senate race before leaving the GOP to run with no party affiliation, Crist had been a supporter of the embargo.
Scott and his allies quickly fired back at Crist. The governor said Crist would be a “puppet” of the Castro regime if he visits that communist nation. The Scott team also featured Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera's strike at Crist for his comments about the embargo and visiting Cuba. … Former U.S. Rep. Jim Davis, D-Fla., said he hoped Crist would visit Cuba and perhaps learn from the experience. During the 2006 gubernatorial contest, Crist, the Republican candidate, went after Davis, the Democratic nominee in the race, for visiting Cuba. …
Lee County Republican Executive Committee Chairman Terry Miller announced this week that he would resign his position. Miller, who works as a poltiical consultant, has drawn fire from prominent Republicans, including former U.S. Rep. Connie Mack, R-Fla., and former state Rep. Trudi Williams, for putting his clients’ interests ahead of the party’s needs. With Miller resiging, Vice Chairman Chuck Quackenbush steps up to become interim chairman. ... For his part, Mack, who had called for Miller’s resignation, released a statement on Thursday saying he did the “right thing” for the party by giving up his position. After losing to U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., in 2012, Mack has been active in Southwest Florida politics in recent weeks, endorsing businessman Curt Clawson in the Republican primary and in the special election for the congressional seat held by former U.S. Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla. … The shadow of the former congressman continues to shape the special election for Radel’s old seat. Democrat April Freeman challenged Clawson to take a drug test this week. …
The U.S. House and the U.S. Senate reached an agreement this week over the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA), ensuring agreements between Alabama, Florida and Georgia over water resources. U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland, R-Fla., weighed in on Friday, insisting the oyster industry around the Apalachicola Bay area will do well under the agreement. … At the other end of North Florida, U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Fla., insisted on Friday that the WRRDA will help the First Coast, including dredging at Mile Point on the St. Johns River. Brown also said the WRRDA would help improve JaxPort ready for the Panama Canal expansion. … Busy days ahead for U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla. On Monday, Bilirakis will be hosting a Senior Resource Fair in Zephyrhills. Next Saturday, he will be hosting a Veterans Resource Fair in Tarpon Springs.
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