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Political Bits and Pieces

March 13, 2014 - 7:00pm

Possible Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson will be hitting the Sunshine State next week. Carson made headlines for speaking against Obamacare at the National Prayer Breakfast last year despite President Barack Obama being in attendance. With buzz growing that he could run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, Carson will be heading to Palm Beach County on Thursday to speak at an event for the Area Agency on Aging. ... Carson is not the only possible Republican presidential candidate hitting Palm Beach County this week. U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., will be speaking to the Palm Beach Republican Club on Wednesday. ... A poll from Quinnipiac University released on Thursday finds former Gov. Jeb Bush, R-Fla., not doing well in Iowa when matched against former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the heavy favorite to be the Democratic presidential candidate in 2016. The poll finds Clinton taking 51 percent in the Hawkeye State while Bush garners 37 percent. Clinton leads U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., by 10 percent, Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J., by 13 percent and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, by 16 percent in the poll. ...

Tuesday marked a year and a half since the attacks on the American compound in Benghazi which claimed the lives of four Americans including Ambassador Christopher Stevens. U.S. Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., sent off a letter to Obama signed by 55 Republican members of Congress, demanding action. Unfortunately, those who committed these murders remain at large, Mica wrote. The United States of America cannot allow terrorists to kill its citizens with impunity, and it is long overdue that those responsible are held accountable. We ask that you act immediately and use whatever necessary resources to find, arrest and bring to justice those responsible for these attacks. ... Six Florida Republican congressmen signed on to Micas letter: Gus Bilirakis, Vern Buchanan, Mario Diaz-Balart, Bill Posey, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Dan Webster....U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., highlighted his support of the Farmers Undertake Environmental Land Stewardship Act (FUELS) which passed the House on Tuesday. Yoho co-sponsored the measure which cuts back EPA regulations on farm fuel storage. ... Speaking of Yoho, he drew another opponent this week in Howard Lawson who is running with no party affiliation. ...

Navy veteran and Republican congressional hopeful Jorge Bonilla is turning up the heat against U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla. Bonilla celebrated Graysons birthday by sending the congressmans Orlando office a cake with the Angry Birds logo on it. I look forward to debating your embrace of job-killing disaster that is Obamacare, Bonilla tweeted at Grayson. ...Former state Rep. Carl Domino went on the attack on Friday as he continues his bid for the Republican nomination to challenge U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Fla. Domino pointed to outside money going to former state CFO Alex Sink in her unsuccessful bid in Tuesdays special congressional election and insisted Murphy would get even more support. Looking to link Murphy to the Democratic leadership, Domino painted him as Nancy Pelosi's favorite congressman. ... Sink has been talking to the media and has left the door open to a rematch against new U.S. Rep. David Jolly, R-Fla., in November. Jolly beat her 49 percent to 47 percent on Tuesday. U.S. Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), told the media on Wednesday that he hopes Sink runs again. ... Posey got a third Democratic opponent this week as Christopher Duncan Jr. joined Gabriel Rothblatt and Corry Westbrook in the primary field. ...

Florida Sen. John Thrasher, R-St. Augustine, continues to garner buzz as a possible candiate to be the next president of Florida State University. But Thrasher also faces a re-election battle in November and, this week, he drew his first opponent. Greg Feldman of Palm Coast filed his paperwork on Monday to run against Thrasher with no party affiliation. ... State Rep. Alan Williams, D-Tallahassee, has apparently decided to run again for the Florida House instead of turning his attention toward other offices in Tallahassee or Leon County. Williams raised more than $19,000 for his House campaign in February while most of the Democrats who entered the race, assuming it would be for an open seat, dropped out. But Williams has not cleared the decks as Dianne Williams-Cox is still offering him a primary challenge. Despite raising more than $4,600 in cash and loaning her campaign $1,000, Williams-Cox is barely above water with less than $800 on hand at the end of February. ...Incoming House Democratic Leader Mark Pafford, D-West Palm Beach, drew a second Republican opponent this week. Charles Punches joined Stuart Mears in running against Pafford.

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