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Political Bits and Pieces

July 22, 2010 - 6:00pm

Although the details have not been announced, the White House Press Office revealed President Barack Obama, the first lady and their two children will spend the second weekend of August on the Florida Gulf Coast Former Miami Mayor Maurice Ferre continues to struggle in his bid for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate. Besides placing fourth in a poll this week, behind natural health educator Glenn Burkett, the Ferre campaign also had its financial figures posted by the FEC. Ferre has less than $9,300 cash on hand to catch up with U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek and billionaire financier Jeff Greene Attempting to shoot down rumors that Democrats will back independent candidate Gov. Charlie Crist in the U.S. Senate race, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Robert Menendez said his organization was ready to back whoever emerged from the primary, be it Meek or Greene. While the New Jersey senator said he expected Meek to prevail, he added the DSCC would also back Greene, though he warned that the billionaire should not expect the same level of financial support that Meek would receive

It is way too early for this, but Public Policy Polling, an outfit that usually works with Democratic candidates, has been revealing polls concerning the Sunshine State all week, and on Friday, it looked at possible battles for the U.S. Senate in 2012. PPP found that U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson is ahead of former Gov. Jeb Bush, 46-44. Nelson has a much larger lead when he is matched with current U.S. Sen. George LeMieux. Nelson leads that race 49-28. The poll did find more Floridians saw Bush and Nelson in a favorable light than an unfavorable one Speaking of Bush, he will be in Kentucky on Monday, backing Republican candidate Rand Paul for the U.S. Senate Ken Connor, who ran for governor in the 1994 Republican primary and is now chairman of the Center for a Just Society, wrote a lengthy piece attacking the Obama administration for suing Arizona due to its new laws on immigration. Bush, who beat Connor for the Republican nomination that year, has criticized Arizona for passing those measures

Attorney general candidate Dan Gelber's campaign team has called for 11 debates with state Sen. Dave Aronberg of Greenacres in the closing weeks of an increasingly contentious Democratic primary. Gelber, a state senator of Miami Beach, has a busy weekend with the campaign trail taking him through Marianna, Tallahassee, Malone and Punta Gorda Former Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Holly Benson, facing a close Republican primary, announced leadership for 16 of the largest counties in Florida. Bensons team included former Escambia County Commissioner Janice Gilley, former Rep. Carlos Lacasa in Miami-Dade, West Palm Beach City Commission President Kimberly Mitchell and former U.S. Rep. Joe Scarborough North Miami City Councilman Scott Galvin, running in a crowded Democratic primary to replace Kendrick Meek in Congress, had a number of his campaign signs vandalized with derogatory insults about the candidates sexual preference. These lawless and desperate tactics will not work, wrote Galvin in an e-mail to supporters. This hateful vandalism has had the opposite effect -- it has filled me with the passion and resolve to fight even harder over the next 30 days to win this campaign and make history

House Minority Leader Franklin Sands of Weston sent out an editorial to all interested media on Thursday attacking Republicans for the hours-long special session held on Tuesday afternoon The National Federation of Independent Business announced this week that it was endorsing Rep. Greg Evers, R-Milton, in the race to replace Sen. Durrell Peaden, R-Crestview Big endorsement for former Ruth's Chris CEO Craig Miller in his bid for the Republican nomination to take on U.S. Rep. Suzanne Kosmas: Miller won the backing of Jerry Braley, the former chairman of the Orlando Republican Party. Braley served as a co-chairmain of Jeb Bushs gubernatorial campaigns in 1994, 1998 and 2002. Braley also helped head up George W. Bushs presidential campaigns in Florida in 2000 and 2004.

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

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