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Political Bits and Pieces

June 3, 2010 - 6:00pm

Despite his long friendship and political working relationship with Gov. Charlie Crist, U.S. Sen. George LeMieux has made it clear he is staying within the Republican Party. LeMieux has ripped into President Barack Obamas response to the spill in the Gulf and has backed GOP candidate Marco Rubio for the U.S. Senate despite Crists independent candidacy. LeMieux has also set up a leadership PAC called Protect Americas Future and has been helping Republican candidates in the state and across the nation. Two of the biggest recipients from LeMieuxs PAC in Florida have been U.S. Rep. Connie Mack and U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart Billionaire Jeff Greene, running for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate, has released an 8-page campaign brochure to voters across the state introducing himself to the electorate

Could a major immigration reform plan like the new laws in Arizona be coming to Florida? Rep. Ritch Workman, R-Melbourne, is talking about introducing a similar measure to Arizona's in the next session. Workman, one of the conservative stalwarts in the House, was born in Canada and has spoken with great passion on the House floor about how his father moved to the United States for better economic opportunity Four weeks after pulling out of the race for a Broward County Commission seat, Pembroke Pines Commissioner Angelo Castillo is back in the race. Castillo had bowed out, thinking his work for Broward House, a non-profit working on HIV/AIDS, would lead to a conflict of interest if elected to the County Commission. He has been advised by Florida Commission on Ethics that there would be no conflict of interest

U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek, the leading Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate election, spent the first weekend of June on the stump. Meek campaigned in Tampa, Lakeland, Melbourne and Titusville on Saturday before heading up to Orlando that night for the Orange County Jefferson-Jackson Dinner. Meek attended a senior issues roundtable on Sunday before heading to West Palm Beach for a campaign event that night Meek was not the only big-name Democrat hitting the campaign trail hard. Sen. Dan Gelber, D-North Miami Beach, currently running for the Democratic attorney general nomination, was in Orlando Friday and Saturday. Gelber spoke to the Florida Professional Firefighters on Friday morning and then the Police Benevolent Association Convention on Saturday. Saturday night saw Gelber at the Orange County Jefferson-Jackson Dinner with Meek

Orlando threw an event to honor the Magics run in the NBA playoffs and, while Mayor Buddy Dyer was there, none of the players on the team were Bud Chiles will be kicking off his campaign with a large event in Lakeland on June 12 ...The U.S. Department of Labor will be sending $15 million to Florida to help displaced workers who lost their jobs due to the NASA budget cuts

While attorney Scott Fortune remains a decided underdog in his challenge to veteran U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown for the Democratic nomination, the challengers focus on Browns opposition to the Fair Districts amendments that would change the way the Legislature redistricts seats at the state and congressional levels has become the central issue of the campaign so far Rep. Marti Coley, R-Marianna, will be holding a fundraiser in Tallahassee on June 16 which is being hosted by a number of prominent Republicans, including Bobby Brantley, who served as lieutenant governor under Bob Martinez.

Reach Kevin Derby at or at (850) 727-0859

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