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Political Bits and Pieces

July 10, 2014 - 6:00pm

Former Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) Chairman Lenny Curry had an eye-opening first month as he angles to defeat Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown next year. Currys team announced this week that they had brought in $568,730 in June, claiming that was twice the amount they had hoped to bring in. With Brown being the first Democrat to win that office since Ed Austin back in 1991, Curry is hoping his showing can give him a leg up over Republican rivals like Omega Allen and Jacksonville City Councilman Bill Bishop. Just as important, Currys haul could keep other potential Republican candidates on the sidelines. ...

Currys list of supporters includes some prominent Florida Republicans. Former Gov. Jeb Bush sent $500 to Curry. Other supporters include former RPOF Chairman Tom Slade, a longtime GOP leader on the First Coast, and Wayne Weaver who brought the National Football League (NFL) to Jacksonville as the first owner of the Jaguars. ... While its not getting the publicity of the Jacksonville mayoral race, there is an interesting election developing on the undercard as Duval County Sheriff John Rutherford isnt seeing re-election. Four Republicans --Jay Farhat, Jimmy Holderfield, Rob Schoonover and Mike Williams-- have already filed along with Democrat Ken Jefferson and Mark Kerrin who is running with no party affiliation. Schoonover is already starting to launch some high-profile advertising, including a banner at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville to get the attention of minor league baseball fans. ...

U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Fla., continues to try to claim the center as he looks to win his second term in office come November. After backing the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, Murphy and 17 other members of the New Democrat Coalition formed a working group focused on the changing labor market. ... Besides working with the New Democrats, Murphy also reached out across the aisle this week to team up with a Republican congressman to introduce a bill to increase transparency and add additional cyber security for the U.S. Department of the Treasurys Office of Financial Research (OFR). Murphy teamed up with U.S. Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., to unveil the Office of Financial Research Accountability Act on Tuesday. Both Murphy and Royce sit on the House Financial Services Committee. ... In the meantime, the Republicans trying to chase Murphy down continue to maneuver for position in next months primary. The six Republican hopefuls --former state Rep. Carl Domino, conservative activist Beverly Hires, businessman Brian Lara, former Connecticut state Rep. Alan Schlesinger, former Tequesta City Councilman Calvin Turnquest and businessman Nick Wukoson-- will be on center stage in Martin County on Monday night. They will be part of a candidates forum at Martin County Republican Headquarters in Stuart. ...

Florida Planned Parenthood PAC unveiled around 40 endorsements for legislative offices across the Sunshine State as parts of its Women are Watching (WAW) campaign. The PAC focused on endorsing Democrat incumbents or former legislators like former state Rep. Evan Jenne trying to get back to Tallahassee. ... In the meantime, the Florida Medical Association endorsed incumbents in the Florida Senate this week, including Sen. Thad Altman, R-Melbourne, Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto, R-Fort Myers, Sen. Joe Negron, R-Stuart, Sen. Geri Thompson, D-Orlando, and Sen. John Thrasher, R-St. Augustine. ... Negron, who is still keeping his eye on becoming Senate president after the 2016 elections, unveiled some major endorsements of his own this week. The National Rifle Association and the United Sportsmen of Florida got behind Negron this week with their endorsements. ...

Public Policy Polling (PPP), a firm with connections to prominent Democrats, released a poll this week which shows Bush is in the hunt in the Republican presidential primary in Louisiana, beating out a favorite son from the Pelican State. Bush ties for second with former Gov. Mike Huckabee, R-Ark., among the possible Republican presidential candidates. U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, leads with 19 percent followed by Bush and Huckabee with 17 percent each. Gov. Bobby Jindal, R-La., is in fourth in his home state with 12 percent, followed by U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., with 10 percent. Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J., garners 6 percent while U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., takes 4 percent, tying him with U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. Gov. Scott Walker, R-Wis., lags with 3 percent. ... Bush runs slightly ahead of former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the overwhelming favorite for the Democratic nomination, in a possible general election match-up, edging her 46 percent to 45 percent. Huckabee leads Clinton by the same margin. Clinton flips that around against Cruz, leading him 46 percent to 45 percent. She beats Christie and Jindal by 4 percent. ... A national poll from Quinnipiac University released Tuesday shows no favorite for the GOP nomination, with Paul leading with 11 percent but Christie, Huckabee and Bush all taking 10 percent each. Cruz, Walker and Ryan are right behind them with 8 percent while Rubio takes 6 percent. Gov. Rick Perry, R-Texas, takes 3 percent followed by Gov. John Kasich, R-Ohio, and former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., with 2 percent each, and Jindal is last with 1 percent.

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