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Political Bits and Pieces

February 27, 2014 - 6:00pm

Word in Dem circles is Karen Castor Dentel, a teacher before she was a state representative, is on Charlie Crist's short list for lieutenant governor. Makes sense.

She is virtually Democratic royalty and could give him the party creds he's been looking for. Castor Dentel's mother Betty Castor served as education commissioner and as president of the University of South Florida. Her stepfather, Sam Bell, was a future state House speaker until he was defeated and now is a Tallahassee lobbyist. Her sister Kathy Castor serves in the U.S. House. ...U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., reached out across party lines this week to introduce a resolution in the Senate condemning the Venezuelan regimes crackdown on protesters demanding more democracy. Rubio joined two Democrats -- Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., and U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill -- to introduce the measure. A member of the Foreign Relations Committee, Rubio has been front and center condemning the Venezuelan regime in recent weeks, taking to the floor of the Senate and hitting the national airwaves to weigh in on the matter. ... On Friday, Rubio joined Gov. Rick Scott and Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera in Doral to meet with Venezuelan families and discuss how the political chaos in that South American nation impacts Florida. ... Lopez-Cantera stayed on his Miami home turf on Friday to tour the Port of Miami as it continues to prepare for the Panama Canal expansion. ...

The Washington Post looked this week at which potential Republican presidential candidates in 2016 can benefit from former Gov. Mitt Romney's, R-Mass., donors and found a Florida politician stands the most to benefit. Former Gov. Jeb Bush, R-Fla., was the top beneficiary with every Romney backer telling the Washington Post he was their No. 1 choice for 2016. Rubio did not crack the top five. ...Bush and another potential Republican presidential candidate with ties to the Sunshine State are doing well in Iowa, home of the first presidential caucus. Democrat-leaning Public Policy Polling (PPP) released a poll of the Hawkeye State on Thursday which shows former Gov. Mike Huckabee, R-Ark, who moved to Florida after his 2008 presidential bid, leading the Republican pack with 17 percent followed by U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., in second with 14 percent and Bush in third with 13 percent. Rubio lags far behind in ninth with 3 percent. Huckabee edged Romney to win the Iowa caucus in 2008. ... One place where Bush is not polling strong for 2016 is Pennyslvania. A poll from Quinnipiac University released on Thursday shows former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the favorite for the Democratic presidential nomination, blowing out all her Republican rivals in the Keystone State, though Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey comes closest, losing to her by 10 percent. Hillary takes 53 percent when matched up against Bush who musters 36 percent against her. ...

U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., celebrated a win on Friday as the U.S. House passed his amendment to the Consumer Financial Protection and Soundness Improvement Act. DeSantis amendment moves rulemaking from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and lends more judicial oversight to that body. DeSantis insisted his amendment would provide a solid check and balance to the agency. ... DeSantis was not the only Florida congressman who was concerned about the CFPB this week. U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Fla., took to the floor on Thursday to back refroming the CFRB. Ross called it unaccountable to Congress. ...U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., doubled down on his support of raising the federal minimum wage. Deutch signed a discharge petition on Wednesday to force a floor vote on President Barack Obamas proposal to raise the minimum wage bill to $10.10 an hour. Fittingly enough, the bill number is HR 1010. ...

With a seat opened by the death of Ed Taylor,Gov. Rick Scott named Lawrence Harvey to the Putnam County Commission. The former CEO of an insurance agency, Harvey has been active in the county, serving on the boards of the Putnam County Chamber of Commerce and Communities in Schools of Putnam County. Harveys term ends in November. ... Staying in North Florida, U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., met with farmers in his district this week about the federal farm bill. Yoho expressed major concerns with how the legislation will impact peanut farming in the region. ... A former Yoho staffer is challenging U.S. Rep. Ander Crenshaw, R-Fla., in the Republican primary. Former Navy Capt. Ryman Shoaf filed his paperwork on Thursday to challenge Crenshaw. Shoaf worked for Yoho for two months back in 2013. ... Former Florida House candidate Rick Minor, who served as Tallahassee Mayor John Marks'chief of staff, is running for the Tallahassee City Council spot currently held by fellow Democrat Andrew Gillium who is not running for re-election.

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