Less than a week after filing papers to run, former North Miami Mayor Kevin Burns announced at Wednesdays Democracy for America meeting in Coral Gables that he is ending his campaign for the U.S. Senate and will instead run for the state Senate seat that Dan Gelber, D-Miami Beach, is vacating to run for attorney general.
While Republican Congressman Jeff Miller has supported expanded offshore oil drilling in the past, the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has changed his mind.
With the session over, Sen. John Thrasher, R-St. Augustine, wants to focus on his responsibilities as chairman of the Republican Party of Florida as well as his legislative ones.
Having taken over the RPOF after a number of financial scandals under previous chairman Jim Greer, Thrasher now heads the party as it responds to Gov. Charlie Crist leaving Republican ranks to continue his bid for the U.S. Senate as an independent.
While billionaire Jeff Greene has been in the Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate for less than a week, he has already shaped the race tremendously --forcing Congressman Kendrick Meek to focus on his new rival instead of on newly independent Gov. Charlie Crist or former House Speaker Marco Rubio, the likely Republican nominee.
Troy Stanley is the anti-Crist.
While Gov. Charlie Crist left the Republican Party to continue his run for the U.S. Senate as an independent running to the GOPs left, Stanley left the Republicans to continue running for Congress against Ander Crenshaw from the right. With no Democrat in the race, Stanley is Crenshaw's chief opponent in the race.
On Monday, as Floridians wondered what impact the massive oil spill in the Gulf would have on Florida, former Tallahassee Mayor Scott Maddox called on all gubernatorial and cabinet office candidates in Florida to sign a pledge opposing any offshore oil drilling in state waters.
Maddox, the leading Democratic candidate running for commissioner of agriculture and consumer services, held a media event to unveil his pledge and reiterate his opposition to any offshore drilling.
I urge each candidate to sign this pledge, said Maddox.
While U.S Sen. George LeMieux and Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp have vowed to support the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate, some Republicans are sticking with Gov. Charlie Crist even though he is now continuing his campaign as an independent. Former Senate President Ken Pruitt and Rep.
Friday marked the deadline for federal candidates to make the November ballot. While there are some competitive races, most of the congressional incumbents appear safe. Some of them have not even drawn an opponent from the other major party.
The Legislature Friday settled on a $70.4 billion state budget and sent it to Gov. Charlie Crist before calling an end to the 2010 Legislature and heading off for home. The final figure increased the cost of state government by more than 5 percent over last year.
It is the most expensive state spending plan ever, the result of weeks of open haggling.
We did it in the most open and transparent process in the history of budget transactions, said Rep. David Rivera, R-Miami, the chief budget negotiator for the House.
On the last day of session, the House tackled a health-care measure passed by the Senate which included an amendment requiring that most pregnant women considering an abortion have an ultrasound in the first trimester. The House passed the amendment 72-46, almost mirroring party lines.
Both pro-life and pro-choice advocates maintain that ultrasounds are one of the chief reasons that abortions are on the decline in Florida, with 2009 seeing the lowest number of abortions since 1997.