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Politics

Political Bits and Pieces

February 13, 2014 - 6:00pm

U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Fla., came out swinging at Floridas Stand Your Ground law this week. The First Coast congresswoman accompanied Lucia Davis McBeth, the mother of Jordan Davis, a teenager killed in an altercation in Jacksonville back in November 2012.

Michael Dunn said he believed Davis was going for a shotgun and fired his gun at the teen. Brown called the law heinous and said it should be repealed. ... Speaking on Hugh Hewitts national radio show on Wednesday, former U.S. Rep. Joe Scarborough, R-Fla., said he was open to running for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016. While Scarborough is best known for hosting Morning Joe on MSNBC, he served as a congressman representing the Panhandle. ... Former Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll will be hitting the campaign trail on Monday, almost a year after Gov. Rick Scott asked for her resignation when her name surfaced in an investigation of gambling. Carroll will be speaking at a fundraiser for former state Rep. Carl Domino who is running for the Republican nomination to challenge U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Fla. ...

Gainesville attorney Jake Rush, who used to work in the Alachua County sheriffs office, is gearing up to offer a primary challenge to U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla. Rush has already set up a campaign website. ... From her perch as chairwoman of the U.S. House Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., sent President Barack Obama a letter this week demanding more transparency on the deal to keep Iran from becoming a nuclear power. ... U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland, R-Fla., drew a new challenger this week as Tallahassee businessman Luther Lee filed to run against him with no party affiliation. ... Democrats have high hopes for Gwen Graham, daughter of former U.S. Sen and Gov.Bob Graham, against Southerland but another party is also gearing up for the race. The Reform Party has been showcasing website designer William Cleave Drummond, promoting him in its national newsletter and other party material. Drummond ran as a write-in candidate against U.S. Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., in 2012. ... Southerland was front and center for Republicans this week, bashing former Gov. Charlie Crist who came to Tallahassee on Thursday as he continues his book tour across Florida. Despite spending most of his political life as a Republican, Crist is the Democratic favorite to challenge Scott. ...

Florida Rep. Debbie Mayfields, R-Vero Beach, bill to ensure Florida does not enact Common Core standards isnt making much progress through committees though another co-sponsor jumped behind it this week. Rep. Travis Hutson, R-Palm Coast, became the fourth co-sponsor of the bill. He joins Rep. Doug Broxson, R-Milton, Rep. Dane Eagle, R-Cape Coral, and Rep. Charlie Van Zant, R-Palatka, in co-sponsoring the bill, ... Speaking of Mayfields Common Core bill, it still lacks a Senate counterpart. ... U.S. Rep. Bill Posey, R-Fla., has education on his mind. Posey will meet with Brevard County students on Wednesday at Bayside High School in Palm Bay and Florida Tech in Melbourne to talk about opportunities in the STEM (Science. Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) areas. ...

Incoming House Democratic Leader Mark Pafford, D-West Palm Beach, was named as CEO of the the Arthur R. Marshall Foundation for the Everglades. Pafford, who does have considerable experience in the nonprofit world, is expected to start the position in the spring, though he is waiting on a legal opinion on whether there would be a conflict of interest between the new job and his legislative duties. ... Speaking of Pafford, he drew a Republican opponent last month in Stuart W. Mears. A fiscal conservative with deep family roots in South Florida, Mears has served in the Army and as a teacher and worked in real estate. ... Scott named Thomas Bean to the Childrens Services Council of Palm Beach County on Thursday. Bean is the director of public and community engagement at Florida Power & Light Co. and will hold his new post until November 3, 2017.

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com.

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