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Political Bits and Pieces

May 24, 2010 - 6:00pm

The race to replace Rep. Nick Thompson is getting crowded. Realtor Deanna Casalino has entered the race for the Republican nomination, joining Matt Caldwell, Jason Moon and John Schultz who are already in the race. Democrat Cole Peacock, who has a long history in business and Florida politics, waits to take on the winner. Count incoming House Minority Leader Ron Saunders as a fan of Peacock. Saunders was talking up Peacocks chances at the recent AFL-CIO meeting in Jacksonville Billionaire U.S. Senate candidate Jeff Greene has been hitting the campaign trail with stops in Davie, West Palm Beach and Delray Beach this week President Barack Obama named Democrat Bob Graham to co-chair the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. The former governor and U.S. senator from Florida will head the commission along with former EPA head Bill Reilly, a Republican ...

Jerry Rehm, best known for his tenure as mayor of Dunedin and stints in both houses of the Legislature, endorsed Pasco School Board member Kathryn Starkey to replace term-limited Rep. Tom Anderson. Stareky faces challenges from Fabian Calvo and Richard Corcoran in the Republican primary David Hart has been named executive vice president of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. This means Hart will be leaving the Florida Home Builders Association Conservative businessman and Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott will hit the campaign trail in Central Florida for the first time, speaking in Winter Haven on June 14 ...

U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson crafted a bill to make the first $35,000 of an individuals income free from federal taxes and, oddly, calling to slash the defense budget. Grayson is calling this the War is Making You Poor ActTed Shaw, interim CFO for the Jackson Health System, is saying that his organization has lost $30 million while outside agencies continue to debate whether to help. Speaking of Jackson, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez has been very critical of how much the financially strapped system has spent on consultants

While Mike Prendergast is still the Republican frontrunner to take on U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, Eddie Adams, who took on the congresswoman in 2006 and 2008, won a straw poll held by the Hillsborough County GOP and the Brandon and Fishhawk Republican Clubs. Adams won 82 votes, with Prendergast in second with 75 votes. Tony Buntyn won 50 votes and Tommy Castellano limped way behind with 2 votes. Bill McCollum crushed Scott in the gubernatorial straw poll, 218-34. And while it is way, way too early for this, Mitt Romney won the presidential straw poll with 153 votes, followed by Sarah Palin at 57. Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota with 25 votes beat out Newt Gingrich, who had 22 votes, for third place

Speaking of straw polls, Rep. Sandy Adams is gaining momentum in her bid for Congress by winning yet another one. A week after winning the Seminole County GOP straw poll, Adams crushed the field in the North Orange Republican Womens Federated Club straw poll. Adams pulled 44 percent of the vote while the rest of her rivals lagged in the teens. Adams needs to increase the pace in assembling a war chest as she trails both Karen Diebel and Craig Miller.

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