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Political Bits and Pieces

March 27, 2014 - 7:00pm

Time to put the kibosh on talk that Adam Hollingsworth, Gov. Rick Scotts chief of staff, will run against Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown in 2015. Reports emerged this week that Hollingsworth is selling his house in Jacksonville to continue his career in Tallahassee. Hollingsworth had been mentioned as a possible Republican challenger to Brown next year though he did not poll as well against the Democratic incumbent as other GOP hopefuls. ...Former state Senate Democratic Leader Nan Rich had a hectic schedule this week. The Democratic gubernatorial candidate continued hitting former Gov. Charlie Crist for backing school choice options during his time in office. Rich also made the rounds in Tallahassee, including testifying at a Senate Education Committee backing a bill against the academic boycott of Israeli schools. Rich also celebrated her 52nd wedding anniversary this week. ... New Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera continues to help Scott rally the Republican faithful. On Friday, Lopez-Cantera spoke at the Martin County Lincoln Day Dinner in Stuart. ...

U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., continues his busy pace during his freshman term in Congress. The former Navy JAG Corps officer visited the U.S.Naval Academy in Maryland this week where he met with midshipmen from Florida. DeSantis also turned up the heat on the Obama administration, ripping the IRS for not releasing Lois Lerners emails. ...U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla., no longer serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee but he spent the week focusing on international issues. Bilirakis raised concerns about Turkeys record on human rights and backed imposing sanctions on Russia afters its actions in the Crimea. ...U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Fla., turned up the heat on Republicans controlling the House on Wednesday. Castor tore into the House leadership for not allowing a vote on the immigration reform bill that passed the U.S. Senate last summer. ...

A week after reeling in the endorsement of U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., unveiled the support of a politician much closer to home. Ed Braddy, the mayor of Yohos home town of Gainesville, announced he was backing the Republican congressman as he seeks a second term. ... Staying in North Central Florida, this week, Scott reappointed Kathryn McInnis to the Florida Gateway College District board of trustees. McInnis is the president of the Dixie Education Foundation and the Future Farmers of America Alumni. She also once led the Cross City Chamber of Commerce. ...U.S. Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., has a new opponent. Mark Wichern is running against Miller with no party affiliation. John Krause and Travis Miller are running against the congressman in the Republican primary while Jim Bryan is the only Democrat in the race so far. ...

Former Gov. Jeb Bush has increasingly opened the door to running for the Republican presidential nomination in recent weeks, but he didnt receive good news in a poll released this week of a major swing state. Bush is slightly upside down in Virginia which remains a swing state in presidential elections despite recent Democratic gains there. A poll from Quinnipiac University released this week finds 35 percent of Virginia voters approve of Bush while 36 percent disapprove of him. ... When matched up against former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the favorite for the Democratic nomination, Bush trails by 8 percent, the same margin as former Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas. Clinton beats Paul by 6 percent. Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey comes closest to topping Clinton but he still trails by 4 percent. ... New Mexico is pretty solidly Democratic in presidential contests and a poll from Democratic-firm Public Policy Polling (PPP) released this week shows Bush will have a tough time reversing that trend. Clinton blows out Bush by 16 percent. The Republican who does best against Clinton in New Mexico is favorite daughter Gov. Susana Martinez,but even she trails the Democrat by 14 percent.

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