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Political Bits and Pieces

August 7, 2014 - 6:00pm
Longtime Republican activist Sharon Day, who is currently serving as the co-chairwoman of the Republican National Committee (RNC), can expect a major challenger as she looks to run for another term. RNC SecretaryDemetra DeMonte is looking to follow Days path of using her current position to move up to co-chairwoman. DeMonte, who is based out of Illinois, has been RNC secretary since 2011, the same year Day moved up to her current post. ...

Miami-Dade Democrats have a new chairman to replace Annette Taddeo, who gave up the position to become former Gov. Charlie Crists running mate. Florida Sen. Dwight Bullard, D-Cutler Bay, was selected to replace Taddeo on Thursday. The longtime legislator and political scion represents parts of Miami-Dade in the Senate. ... Bullards new position could be a plus for former Florida Senate Minority Leader Nan Rich as she tries to catch Crist in the Aug. 26 primary. Rich has been able to count on Bullards support as she continues her dark-horse bid. ...

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., continues his efforts to get the Obama administration to send funds to Gulf Coast communities from the RESTORE Act, which fined BP and other companies in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Nelson was in Pensacola on Wednesday, talking to leaders from the area, including Escambia County Commissioner Grover Robinson and former state Rep. Buzz Ritchie, on how they can get the funds moving to the region. ...U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., sounded the alarm on President Barack Obamas health-care law this week. On Friday, Rubio penned an essay that appeared on Fox News website. In the piece, Rubio warned that the federal government would bail out insurance companies through the health-care law. ...U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., will be looking to raise his profile this weekend. Deutch is the keynote speaker at the Womens Equality Day Bruncheon which the National Womens Political Caucus of Florida is holding in Deerfield Beach on Sunday. In his speech, Deutch plans to speak about House Democrats position on womens issues and their economic agenda. ...

From her perch as chairwoman of the U.S. House Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., came out swinging this week against Nicaraguan leader Daniel Ortega who said Pope Francis should perform an exorcism on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Ros-Lehtinen tore into the Obama administration for continuing to work with Ortega, accusing him of human rights violations and standing against democracy. The congresswoman also took exception to Ortegas claim that Israel is committing genocide with its actions in Gaza. ...U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia, D-Fla., is holding a contest for residents in his South Florida district to submit ideas for hurricane-related bills. Garcia stressed it was important to be proactive and search for common-sense, meaningful policies that ensures all Americans are kept as aware, prepared, and protected as possible when confronted with storms. ... Garcia remains a top target for Republicans in November. This weekend, Miami Dade School Board member Carlos Curbelo and his allies at SunPAC intend to work the district in advance of the Aug. 26 primary. Curbelo and his team will be holding walks across the district on Saturday morning. ...

Conservatives and Republicans continue to place their bets in the GOP primary to see who replaces Rep. Daniel Davis, R-Jacksonville, in the Florida House. This week, attorney and GOP leader Paul Renner announced the backing of Republican leaders former Sen. Steve Wise and former Jacksonville City Council Presidents Ronnie Fussell and Alberta Hipps.... But Renners rival, banker Jay Fant, also trotted out a big endorsement this week. The Associated Builders and Contractors of Florida announced on Thursday it was backing Fant in the primary. ... Staying on the First Coast, Jacksonville City Councilman Bill Gulliford decided in recent days not to challenge Mayor Alvin Brown in next years elections. Former Republican Party of Florida Chairman Lenny Curry continues to rank as the biggest threat to Brown, the first Democrat to win a Jacksonville mayoral race since Ed Austin did it back in 1991.

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