Political Bits and Pieces
Florida Republicans in Congress hit Obama administration on different fronts
Around the State
This week, veteran Republican leader and fundraiser Brian Ballard was named a state finance co-chairman for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. Ballard served as chief of staff for Gov. Bob Martinez and helped lead fundraising efforts for John McCain’s presidential campaign. Romney also named Ballard as part of his national leadership team ... More presidential campaign comings and goings that impact the Sunshine State. Earlier in the year, Spencer Geissinger jumped from Gov. Rick Scott’s team to join the presidential campaign of former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman. This week, Geissinger left the Huntsman team due to a family emergency. Geissinger had been in charge of operations for Huntsman’s campaign ... Former state Transportation Secretary Mark Kaplan will resign from the state Board of Education effective July 20. Kaplan also served as chief of staff under Gov. Jeb Bush and Lt. Gov. Toni Jennings ...
If the Democrats want to take back the U.S. House in 2012, they need to pick up seats in Florida. Looking at the political map, Kyle Kondik, a political analyst at the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, argued in an essay released this week that the Democrats need to carry some seats in the Sunshine State if they want to wrest the gavel from John Boehner. Leaving the two new seats Florida gets from redistricting on the sidelines, Kondik listed four Florida Republicans as vulnerable. He thought Allen West’s seat was currently a “tossup” while David Rivera’s seat was “lean Republican.” The seats held by Sandy Adams and Dan Webster were “likely Republican” ... While his team had been open to running in a special election later this year for the state Senate that had been held by Tony Hill, open-carry advocate John Strifler has decided to skip it while leaving the door open to running in the regular election in 2012. Strifler, who has vowed to help pass “Caylee’s Law,” until the campaign was planning to run for the First Coast seat with no party affiliation ... The Florida Developmental Disabilities Council (FDDC) presented their “2011 Outstanding Legislator Awards" this week. The FDDC selected Rep. Matt Hudson, R-Naples, for his work in the House, and Majority Leader Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando, for his efforts in the Senate ...
Two Florida Democrats will be joining members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus as part of the "Speakout for Good Jobs Now" tour on Saturday. U.S. Reps. Ted Deutch and Frederica Wilson will join Democratic colleagues Keith Ellison of Minnesota and Raul Grijalva of Arizona at Miami-Dade College’s North Campus ...Two Florida Republicans in Congress -- Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and David Rivera -- sent a letter to President Barack Obama on Thursday asking for him to meet with Reina Loina Tamayo, the mother of Orlando Zapata Tamayo, a leading opponent of the Castro regime in Cuba who died after a hunger strike earlier in the year ... U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood will be in Orlando on Monday for the signing of the SunRail Full Funding Grant Agreement. Signing the agreement will be state Transportation Secretary Ananth Prasad and Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff.
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (850) 727-085.