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Political Bits and Pieces

May 2, 2010 - 6:00pm

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. Marcelo Llorenente attended a Crist fundraiser this weekend. Jacksonville City Councilman Art Shad and Sen. Thad Altman are also backing the governor. Crist can also count on the support of Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez ...

U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek continues to reel in endorsements of leading Democrats across Florida for his bid for the U.S. Senate. On Monday, Meek was backed by Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Craig Lowe, who was just elected as mayor of Gainesville. Dyer and Meek served together in the state senate. Meek will hold an event Tuesday where he will be endorsed by former Florida First Lady Rhea Chiles and her two sons Bud and Ed Billionaire U.S. Senate candidate Jeff Greene may have to answer questions about why he gave Meeks campaign $500 before jumping in the race himself. Greene also gave the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee more than $30,000 before launching his campaign Despite trailing Meek and Greene, former Miami Mayor Maurice Ferre intends to stay in the Senate race and even launched a revamped website.

Former Suwannee County Commissioner Randy Hatch, now running in the Democratic primary for commissioner of agriculture and consumer services, is coming out swinging at the RPOF financial scandal. Hatch also took a shot at Scott Maddox, the frontrunner in the Democratic primary field, for financial problems during his tenure as chairman of the Florida Democratic PartyThe 2010 Legislature had to patch up a $3 billion deficit members they crafted the budget, but they may have had it easy. The 2011 Legislature could be facing a $6 billion deficit DCs Political Report is including only one major party candidate for lieutenant governor and its Rep. Anitere Flores. The Miami Republican would make sense as a running mate for Attorney General Bill McCollum and conservative businessman Rick Scott. Our Campaigns is including Flores with four other Republicans as potential lieutenant governor candidates.

While Republican Rep. David Rivera had an excellent start in his bid for Congress, Democrats are now looking hard at the race in the 25th Congressional district and see an opportunity to pick up a seat. Rivera reeled in more than $700,000 for his congressional bid and kept some prominent Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Alex Diaz de la Portilla, out of the race. But Democrats in Washington have made the seat one of their Red to Blue races as former Miami-Dade Democratic Chairman Joe Garcia left the Obama administration to run for the seat. Garcia gave Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart a close race for the seat in 2008...

Musical chairs in the Legislature? A large number of House members are running for the state senate. Reps. Greg Evers and Dave Murzin, both Republicans, are looking at the senate seat that retiring Durell Peaden is vacating. Rep. Kevin Ambler is running for the senate seat that Victor Crist is leaving. Rep. Alan Hays is running for the seat that Sen. Carey Baker is giving up. Rep. Julio Robaina is gunning for the seat that Diaz de la Portilla now holds. Flores has targeted the seat that Alex Villalobos is vacating...

Some state representatives are running for seats that state senators are vacating to run for other offices. With Ted Deutch having given up his state senate seat to serve in Congress, Rep. Maria Sachs is running for the spot that he vacated. Rep. Kelli Stargel has expressed interest in the seat currently held by gubernatorial candidate Paula Dockery. With Senate President Jeff Atwater running for chief financial officer, three state representatives have jumped in the field for the seat he would be vacating, including Republicans Ellyn Bogdanoff and Carl Domino and Democrat Kelly Skidmore.

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