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Political Bits and Pieces

June 5, 2014 - 6:00pm

Former Gov. Jeb Bushs 2016 presidential prospects got a boost this week as a new poll shows him leading the pack of Republican presidential hopefuls in a key primary state. A Palmetto Poll released this week shows Bush rolling in South Carolina which traditionally holds its primary after Iowa and New Hampshire have their say.

The poll finds Bush leading with 22 percent followed by Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J., in second with 10 percent. U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., tied for third with 9 percent followed by U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., with 6 percent. Gov. Bobby Jindal, R-La., lags with 3 percent. ...

If Bush got good news about South Carolina, he also received bad news in Pennsylvania. A Quinnipiac University poll released this week found Bush trailing former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by 16 percent in the Keystone State. Clinton leads all of the Republicans in the poll, beating Christie by 4 percent, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., by 12 percent, Paul by 14 percent and former Gov. Mike Huckabee, R-Ark., by 15 percent. ... Democratic-aligned Public Policy Polling (PPP) also released a poll looking at Pennsylvania this week which shows Clinton beating Bush by 14 percent in the Keystone State. The poll finds Clinton leading Christie by 10 percent, former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., by 11 percent, Paul by 14 percent, Huckabee by 15 percent and Cruz by 19 percent. ... Looking at the Republican primary, PPP shows Christie leading in Pennsylvania with 23 percent followed by Huckabee with 14 percent, Paul with 12 percent and Bush tied with Cruz for fourth place with 10 percent. Santorum follows with 8 percent while Rubio picks up 6 percent, Ryan garners 4 percent and Gov. Scott Walker, R-Wis., trails with 3 percent. ...

Gov. Rick Scott is having a wager with Gov. Rick Perry, R-Texas, over the NBA finals. If the Miami Heats wins, Perry will have to give Scott a cinnamon roll from Lulus Bakery and Cafin San Antonio. But if the San Antonio Spurs win, Scott will have to cough up a box of Whetstone Chocolates from St. Augustine. ... Scott toured Florida this week focusing on small-businesses issues. While its certainly not a surprise, lost in the shuffle was Scott reeling in the endorsements of prominent Republican legislators including Florida Senate President Don Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach. ... Liberal group American Bridge continues to take aim at Scott. On Friday, American Bridge launched a new video accusing Scott of being a hypocrite on focusing on veteran health care. The video criticizes Scott for not supporting Medicaid expansion. ...

U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., took a loss at the national level this week. Grayson was a last-minute backer of new age writer Marianne Williamsons bid to replace retiring U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif. But Williamson didnt make the top two in Tuesdays primary, finishing in fourth despite a good deal of media attention and exposure. ... Former heavyweight boxing contender Jameel McCline is hoping to knock out U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., in the Democratic primary. On Thursday, McCline unveiled his plan to grow solar energy, arguing that corporate interests are looking to keep that form of alternative energy down. ...U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland, R-Fla., held a round-table event at the Jackson County Agriculture Conference Center in Marianna on Friday. Southerland and local leaders tackled the topic of rural poverty. ... At the other end of the state, two Florida Republican congressmen --Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart-- were part of a forum on immigration reform at Miami Dade Colleges Wolfson Campus this week. ...

A Republican candidate jumped in against Sen. Maria Sachs, D-Delray Beach, and its not former Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff. Conservative Karin Hoffman of Lighthouse Point, best known for her Republican activism and launching the tea party group D.C. Works for Us, filed on Friday to run against Sachs. ... Republican Mo Pearson continues his bid against Rep. Linda Stewart, D-Orlando, but, even if he loses, he will stay active in state affairs. Scott reappointed Pearson to the Florida Acquisition & Restoration Council this week. Pearsons term on the council ends on March 1, 2018. ... Keep an eye on North Miami Councilman Scott Galvin who is calling for a state audit to examine his citys books. Galvin will be making his case on Tuesday at a City Council meeting. Galvin has shown more than a hint of ambition to move higher up the political ladder. He was in the crowded Democratic primary to replace U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek, D-Fla., in Congress back in 2010 but he came up short against Frederica Wilson.

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