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Politics

Florida Right-to-Life PAC Releases Endorsements for Primaries

June 30, 2010 - 6:00pm


Florida Right-to-Life PACreleased its endorsements Thursday afternoon for the Aug. 24 primaries -- and while the pro-life political groupbacked some candidates,the PACalso sat out or passed on others, refusing to endorse either of the two leading Republican gubernatorial candidates.

At the federal level, the PAC backed former House Speaker Marco Rubio for the U.S. Senate. It backed Republican candidate Dean Black to take on U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown; Republican candidate Dennis Ross to take the seat that U.S. Rep. Adam Putnam is vacating; Republican candidate Karen Harrington to take on U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz; Rep. Sandy Adams, R-Orlando, who is in a close GOP primary against U.S. Rep. Suzanne Kosmas; and Rep. David Rivera, R-Miami to take the place of U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart who is seeking the congressional seat that his brother Lincoln is vacating.

The PAC also backed re-election efforts of two sitting Republican congressmen -- U.S. Rep. Cliff Stearns and U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan. While the PAC gave high marks to Eddie Hendry, David Scholl and Steve Southerland, all running in a crowded Republican primary to take on U.S. Rep. Allen Boyd, no endorsement wasmade. The PAC gave high ratings to two Republican candidates -- Rep. Kurt Kelly of Ocala, and former House Speaker and Senate Majority Leader Daniel Webster -- seeking to knock off Democratic U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, but did not endorse either candidate over therest of the field.

While giving high marks to Attorney General Bill McCollum and health-care executive Rick Scott, who are waging a fierce battle for the Republican gubernatorial nomination, the PAC did not endorse either candidate. The only candidate the PAC backed for a state Cabinet office was Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp for attorney general over former Assistant State Attorney Pam Bondi and former Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Holly Benson.

The PAC backed Sen. John Thrasher, R-Jacksonville, and Sen. Thad Altman, R-Melbourne, for re-election. The PAC endorsed Rep. Greg Evers, R-Baker, and Rep. Anitere Flores, R-Miami, incontests for open Senate seats. The PAC backed Rep. Ellyn Bogdanoff, R-Fort Lauderdale, over Rep. Carl Domino, R-Jupiter, in the Republican primary for the Senate seat being vacated by Senate President Jeff Atwater, R-North Palm Beach, who is the Republican candidate for state CFO.

In House races, the PAC backed a number of House members seeking re-election, including Rep. Bill Proctor, R-St. Augustine; Rep. Dorothy Hukill, R-Port Orange; Rep. John Tobia, R-Melbourne; Rep. Rachel Burgin, R-Brandon; Rep. Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel; Rep. Mike Horner, R-Kissimmee; and Rep. Debbie Mayfield, R-Vero Beach. The PAC backed eight challengers seeking House seats of retiring members, and Republican challenger Paul Watson who is looking to take on Rep. Debbie Boyd, D-Newberry. The PAC offeredhigh marks to candidates in eight other races but withheld endorsing in those races.

The PAC did back one Democrat -- John Patrick Julien who is running for the seat that Rep. Yolly Roberson, D-North Miami Beach, is vacating to run for Congress.

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com, or at (850) 727-0859.

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