Richard Corcoran – Page 7 – Florida Politics

Primary texting-while-driving ban teed up in House

Sponsors of a measure that would make texting and driving a primary offense in Florida on Wednesday continued their fight for the bill’s passage, even though it appears dead in the Senate.

The House bill (HB 33), which has the support of House Speaker Richard Corcoran, was heard on the House floor. The measure is sponsored by Reps. Emily Slosberg, a Boca Raton Democrat, and Jackie Toledo, a Tampa Republican.

“It will change behavior and save lives,” Toledo said Wednesday.

Proponents want to give law enforcement officers the right to pull over motorists when they see them texting behind the wheel.

Now, texting while driving is a “secondary” violation, which only comes into play if drivers are stopped for another reason.

Supporters say it needs to be a primary offense, pointing to 50,000 distracted-driving crashes in Florida in 2016, resulting in 233 deaths.

Slosberg’s twin sister, Dori, died i

She told fellow House members she visited some 30 cities and counties to explain the bill to local officials and was often greeted with applause.

But Senate Appropriations Chairman Rob Bradley and some House Democrats have expressed concerns about the legislation.

It could increase “the likelihood of pretextual stops and certainly increases government-citizen involvement tenfold potentially, by that simple act of making it a primary offense versus a secondary offense,” said Bradley, a Fleming Island Republican and former prosecutor.

Sean Shaw, a Tampa Democrat, said he’ll be concerned if enforcement data, assuming the bill takes effect, shows that blacks are disproportionately pulled over, for instance.

The bill was rolled over for third reading, at which time it will be debated and voted on; that could be later this week.


Background for this post provided by the News Service of Florida.

Senate panel backs teachers’ union requirements

The Senate Appropriations Committee on Tuesday approved a far-reaching education bill that would let bullied students transfer to private schools and could force teachers’ unions to disband if they don’t meet new membership standards.

The proposals are part of a House bill (HB 7055) that is a priority of Speaker Richard Corcoran, a Land O’ Lakes Republican. In part, it contains a new state-funded “Hope Scholarship” program that would let bullied public-school students transfer to private schools or other public schools.

The scholarship program would be funded by letting Florida motorists voluntarily agree to contribute money to the program when they buy or register vehicles. The donations would act as a credit against the sales taxes motorists normally pay in vehicle transactions.

But the most contentious part of the debate Tuesday was over an amendment, sponsored by Sen. Dennis Baxley, an Ocala Republican, that would result in teachers’ unions losing state certification if their membership falls below 50 percent of the employees they represent in the collective-bargaining process.

A similar provision was stripped out of the bill last week in the Senate Education Committee. But Baxley’s amendment was approved Tuesday in the Appropriations Committee in a largely party-line vote, with Democrats calling it a “union busting” measure.

Sen. Bobby Powell, a West Palm Beach Democrat, said the measure would hurt teachers and the public education system.

“We say that we are for our teachers,” Powell said. “Then we try to get rid of a unit that fights for the rights of those individuals. I don’t think we’re moving in the right direction.”

Baxley said the measure was aimed at revising the way teachers pick organizations to represent them in the collective-bargaining process, where unions negotiate with local school boards over issues like pay and working conditions. Under Florida’s “right to work” policy, teachers do not have be members of unions, although the unions represent them in the negotiating process.

“This is looking at, how do we choose that representation? And it’s simply saying, what’s wrong with having a majority of that work group if that’s what they want?” Baxley said. “If you represent the majority of that workforce, then you’re the right people, with strong credibility, to be negotiating on their behalf.”

Rich Templin, representing the Florida AFL-CIO, warned that allowing local teachers’ unions to lose their certification would lead to “chaos” because it would invalidate existing employment contracts.

“Teachers will not know their work conditions. School boards will not know how to interact with their teachers,” he said.

Melissa Faust, representing Americans for Prosperity, spoke in support of the measure, noting it would require unions to report on how many dues-paying members they have and how many overall employees they are representing in the negotiations.

“We just believe that this amendment language comes down to creating additional empowerment for teachers and accountability for unions,” Faust said.

The legislation contains a number of other changes for the public-school system, including some revisions in a controversial “schools of hope” program that was approved last year. That program is aimed at creating more charter schools in areas served by “persistently low-performing” schools.

The bill also would strengthen state oversight and requirements for publicly funded private-school scholarship programs, including the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program.

The bill would create a separate category in the school funding formula for mental health funds.

It also would require students entering high school in the fall of 2018 to take a financial literacy course before they graduate.

The bill next moves to the Senate floor.

House, Senate start negotiations on tighter budget

House and Senate leaders Tuesday night kicked off formal negotiations on a new state budget — but face hundreds of millions of dollars in unexpected costs and less tax revenue than originally thought.

Leaders held an initial conference committee meeting after announcing earlier in the day they had reached agreement on “allocations,” which are big-picture numbers for the various parts of the budget such as education, health care and criminal justice. House and Senate negotiators will use those numbers as they hammer out details of each budget area in the coming days.

The House and Senate have a week to finish the budget if the Legislative Session is going to end as scheduled March 9. A legally required 72-hour “cooling off” period means the budget will have to be done March 6. House Appropriations Chairman Carlos Trujillo, a Miami Republican, expressed confidence the Session will finish on time.

While numerous details still need to be worked out, Senate Appropriations Chairman Rob Bradley, a Fleming Island Republican, said, in part, that lawmakers plan to provide $80 million in tax cuts and will fund an expansion of the Bright Futures scholarship program, a priority of Senate President Joe Negron, a Stuart Republican.

Also, the agreement means that $543.6 million in more funding will be available in the health and human services section of the budget, which includes five agencies. Bradley, however, stressed that policy differences between the House and Senate still need to be negotiated on issues including how the state will reimburse hospitals and nursing homes in the Medicaid program.

Both chambers on Feb. 8 passed budget plans for the fiscal year that starts July 1, with the Senate proposing to spend $87.3 billion and the House proposing to spend $87.2 billion. While the overall numbers were similar, the House and Senate disagreed on myriad details.

But in announcing the allocations Tuesday, Bradley said lawmakers are grappling with unexpected costs and a lower estimate of corporate tax revenue than when the House and Senate approved their budget proposals.

The biggest change stems from lawmakers’ plans to spend at least $400 million in response to the mass shooting Feb. 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland that left 17 people dead. The House and Senate are quickly moving forward with bills that include taking steps to boost school safety and mental-health services.

“The tragedy in Parkland changed everything,” Bradley said.

Bradley said leaders have agreed to spend $400 million and that additional money could come through the state’s school-funding formula.

“That is something that we do because you cannot put a price, obviously, on the safety of our children,” he said.

Bradley said, however, that will affect other parts of the budget, which lawmakers are required to balance each year.

“When you take $400 million and put it towards necessary efforts, that creates challenges in other areas of the budget, and we’re up to that challenge, and we will meet those challenges,” he said.

To help pay for the issues stemming from the school shooting, Bradley said lawmakers will take $200 million out of a reserve fund known as the “working capital fund” and will take money from trust funds that are normally earmarked for other purposes such as affordable housing. Also, the budget likely will include a reduced number of projects requested by lawmakers.

“We’re going to be lean on projects this year,” he said. “It’s necessary.”

The budget also will be tighter than originally thought because of a revised estimate last week of the state’s corporate income-tax revenue. Analysts said the state is expected now to bring in $167 million less in corporate taxes than estimated earlier.

Also, Bradley said lawmakers are faced with paying $100 million more in Medicaid expenses than what had been anticipated.

“These are bills that need to be paid. This is not a discretionary choice,” Bradley said. “These are bills that health providers have incurred pursuant to our obligations under law to provide these services to individuals. And so these are bills we will pay, because we pay our bills.”

Senate pitches health care alternative for veterans

A state Senate proposal would authorize Florida to begin negotiations with the federal government to see if the state could offer managed health-care programs to veterans and their families as an alternative to the health system provided by the federal Veterans Administration.

The Senate could vote on the proposal (SB 440) as soon as Wednesday.

Sponsor Rene Garcia, a Hialeah Republican, agreed Tuesday to add an amendment to make clear the proposal is not designed to expand Medicaid for veterans in Florida. Instead, he said the proposal would authorize discussions with the federal government to discuss opening access to the Medicaid managed-care infrastructure of health plans and physicians.

The bill would authorize the state Department of Veterans’ Affairs, the Agency for Health Care Administration and the Department of Children and Families to jointly negotiate with federal agencies to seek approval for a waiver, a state-plan amendment, or other approval for federal funding for the “Florida Veterans Care” program.

The amendment was intended to provide comfort to House members who thought the proposal was an attempt to expand Medicaid, Garcia said.

House Speaker Richard Corcoran, a Land O’ Lakes Republican, has been steadfast in his opposition to expanding Medicaid.

The federal Veterans Administration system serves more than 1.5 million Floridians, which is the third highest population of veterans in the country. Over half of the state’s veterans are age 65 and older, according to a staff analysis of the bill.

Garcia made a plea to members of the Florida House of Representatives and Corcoran to “not stand in the way” of negotiations.

“Our veterans deserve better,” Garcia said. “Enough with using our veterans as political pawns. The time is now to ensure that we take care of our veterans.”

House committees have not heard the House version of the bill (HB 403).

Mike Fernandez leads letter signed by scores of business leaders opposing sanctuary cities bill

Miami health care magnate and longtime Republican supporter Miguel “Mike” Fernandez and more than 100 other business leaders and other prominent figures have signed and published online a letter declaring the “sanctuary cities ban” effort in the Florida Legislature to be a “misguided and potentially dangerous path.”

The letter is addressed to Gov. Rick Scott, House Speaker Richard Corcoran, and Senate President Joe Negron, declaring opposition to House Bill 9,  and its counterpart Senate Bill 308, but its appearance is mainly a rebuttal of Corcoran, the principal power, money, and face behind the effort to ban sanctuary cities in Florida.

With Corcoran’s backing of it as a top priority, HB 9 was approved along party lines in the House in early January. The Senate version, though, is close to dead this Session.

The business leaders declared in their letter, published Tuesday morning on the Immigration Partners and Coalition (IMPAC) Fund home page, that the legislation is anti-immigration, could cripple portions of the state’s economy, could force schools and universities to act as immigration enforcers, and would “erode public trust in our communities between immigrants and law enforcement authorities by turning Florida into a ‘show me your papers’ state.”

They compared it to Arizona’s experience, saying that state lost $141 million in direct tours spending and suffered a 2 percent annual reduction in the state’s gross domestic product after passing similar legislation 10 years ago.

Among the signers of the Florida letter are Fernandez, chairman, MBF Healthcare Partners; Steve Ross, chairman and chief executive officer of Related Companies and principal owner of the Miami Dolphins; Narendra Kini, president of Miami Children’s Hospital; Bob Dickinson, retired chief executive officer of Carnival Cruise Lines; and more than 110 others.

“Now is not the time to push anti-immigrant policies that will disrupt our workforce, hurt job growth, and tear innocent families apart,” Aida Levitan, chairwoman of US Century Bank, stated. “Now is the time to focus on policies that will protect our state’s children to ensure the horror they experienced last week is never repeated.”

Corcoran has spent, through his Watchdog PAC political committee, more than a half-million dollars on television commercials in Florida demonizing sanctuary cities, pushing for passage of the legislation, and, presumably, expanding his own political profile as a probable Republican gubernatorial candidate who is making sanctuary cities opposition a top campaign issue.

Just Tuesday, Corcoran lashed out at Florida senators, declaring that they are “not real conservatives” for failing to move forward with SB 308.

With less than two weeks remaining in the Legislative Session, SB 308 has not gotten through committees, and the Senate sponsor indicated he does not expect it to pass.

Corcoran, a Land O’ Lakes Republican, appeared Tuesday on Laura Ingraham’s nationally syndicated talk-radio show to discuss legislative efforts in response to the Feb. 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. Corcoran cited the stalled “sanctuary cities” measure as an example of difficulties he’s faced in trying to eliminate “gun-free” zones in places like schools.

In the past couple of decades, Fernandez has donated or arranged for millions of dollars of contributions to Republican candidates, the party, and causes. In the past year or two, however, he has broken with the party on several points, including its support of President Donald Trump, the current assault weapons fight, and now the sanctuary cities debate. He has contributed to Democrats.

The letter declares that “Florida’s business leaders and job creators depend on the entrepreneurship, optimism, and innovative spirit of our hardworking immigrants. Immigrants are significant contributors to the Florida economy. They currently represent over 25 percent of our workforce and employ over 500,000 fellow Floridians,” and notes that immigrant labor is particularly important for reconstruction efforts in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

“Anti-immigrant legislation in any form is a threat to Florida’s reputation, our public safety, our ability to welcome tourists and recruit new workers, and ultimately, our economy,” the letter declares. “We encourage you to bring all stakeholders to the table to find common ground and address our state’s challenges in a way that promotes pro-business, pro-immigrant, and pro-public safety policies.”


Some material from the News Service of Florida was used in this post

On Fox News, Richard Corcoran boasts of ‘marshal program’

Despite the outcries of parents and educators, the House appears poised to pass a school defense program that Speaker Richard Corcoran calls a “game-changer.”

The “Marshal Program,” as it’s been dubbed, would allow law enforcement to train and deputize someone who would be allowed to have a concealed weapon while on campus.

“If we have the Marshal Program, now you have 10, 15, 20, 30 people, you have signs out front that say, ‘Hey, these children, these precious resources, they’re being protected by sworn law enforcement officers with greater training than the policemen and the sheriff’s deputy we have out there right now,” Corcoran told Fox News’ Bill Hemmer Tuesday morning.

Corcoran also once again blasted Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, who is now being investigated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

He reportedly failed to follow up on information provided to his department about the Parkland shooter. There have also been reports that more than one of Israel’s deputies may have failed to engage the shooter while he was inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

The Broward County Sheriff’s Office is also conducting an internal investigation into its response to the shooting.

Corcoran seemed to compare that deputy, Scot Petersen, with, well, some other people unidentified people in Tallahassee (he didn’t specify whom) that he claimed were ducking leadership.

“Leadership is everything. Especially in a crisis. When you have a crisis like this, it’s when leaders should step up, work with all parties and figure out a way to solve the problem,” Corcoran said.

He added about Israel: “He’s showing abject failure in leadership.”

“We see it even in the state. We’ve got people ducking down hallways, running into their office. Nobody wants to be on record on how do you solve this problem. (What) we, Gov. (Rick) Scott, President (Donald) Trump, we’re saying here is, the solutions of how we can fix it so that every school child in Florida is safe from here to forward. That this never happens again.”

House to subpoena information in school shooting

The state House is preparing subpoenas demanding information from five South Florida government agencies about the confessed killer of 17 people at a Parkland high school in an investigation that will run separate from a review ordered by Gov. Rick Scott.

The House investigation comes amid continued calls by Speaker Richard Corcoran, a Land O’ Lakes Republican, and other GOP lawmakers for Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel to be suspended from office.

Nikolas Cruz, 19, a former student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, is charged with using a semiautomatic rifle Feb. 14 to go on the shooting spree at the Broward County school.

The House Public Integrity & Ethics Committee will look at issues involving the Broward Sheriff’s Office, the Broward County School Board, Broward County government, the Coral Springs Police Department and the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. It will look at policies, interactions with Cruz before the shooting and reactions as the massacre unfolded.

The state Department of Children and Families will be asked for similar information through regular legislative channels.

The subpoenas are expected to be ready to go before the House for approval on Wednesday.

The goal, committee Chairman Larry Metz said, is to review timelines and local decision-making so lawmakers can propose changes to “prevent this from ever happening again.”

“Once we get the information in we’ll analyze it and see what we have to do,” Metz, a Yalaha Republican, said. “I’ve been reading a lot of articles before today in the media coverage. And there’s been a lot of good journalistic investigative reporting. But we shouldn’t be relying on that for our decision-making.”

The Broward Sheriff’s Office had numerous previous encounters with Cruz, who also briefly resided in Palm Beach County. At least some of the law-enforcement encounters were deemed by Broward authorities as “routine” parenting issues.

Meanwhile, the Department of Children and Families decided that Cruz, who admitted to cutting himself and planning to purchase a gun in Snapchat posts, was a “low” threat to harm himself or others in late 2016.

Scrutiny also has focused on the reaction of Broward deputies during the shooting. A Broward County school-resource officer resigned Thursday after it was determined he failed to enter the school while the shooting was ongoing.

Corcoran, who is expected to run for governor this year, called Friday for the legislative investigation due to an “abject breakdowns at all levels.” Two days later he asked Scott to suspend Broward’s sheriff.

Scott has not suspended Israel but announced Sunday that he has directed the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to review the response of law-enforcement authorities to the shooting.

Corcoran appeared Monday on CNN, reiterating his call for Scott to remove Israel from office, while disputing the attempt is a political effort to distract from pressure to increase gun regulations.

“The (state) Constitution says if you have neglect of duty, malfeasance, misfeasance, or incompetence, that we have the right to ask the governor to remove you from office,” Corcoran said. “And he (Israel) scores high on all four points.”

Israel has called Corcoran’s request “politically motivated” and full of “misinformation.”

However, Rep. Emily Slosberg, a Boca Raton Democrat who sits on the Public Integrity & Ethics Committee, lent support to Corcoran’s request.

Slosberg said she’s heard from parents and teachers who are upset with Israel for his “failure on a bunch of different levels.”

“Students want more protection at their school, but they don’t trust the Broward County Sheriff’s Office to provide that protection, given just what just happened,” Slosberg said.

With less than two weeks remaining in the Session, Metz said his goal is to have each agency respond early next week. The committee investigation isn’t expected to be completed by March 9, the end of the regular Session. Metz couldn’t give a timeline for the investigation.

Rep. David Richardson, a Miami Beach Democrat, failed to get the Department of Children and Families included among those getting subpoenas.

“I think it’s fair to say that there was a colossal failure of government at many levels,” Richardson said.

Metz said it didn’t appear the department needed to be subpoenaed as “it’s part of state government.”

“We have sufficient oversight responsibility with the budget, we feel we can get the information from them,” Metz said.


AFP-FL mailers thank lawmakers for supporting House education plan

Americans for Prosperity-Florida announced Monday it would send out direct mail in support of state lawmakers who backed the “school choice” package favored by House Speaker Richard Corcoran.

The group said it would amp up digital outreach in addition to the mailers to support lawmakers who supported HB 7055, which cleared the Senate Education Committee with a unanimous vote Monday.

The front of the mailer reads, “It’s time to stand up to union bosses and help Florida teachers” alongside a picture of a caped student ripping off his shirt a la Superman.

The back features a picture of Corcoran, and the following text: “fighting union bosses to give teachers more power and transparency.”

“Florida has excellent teachers, and they deserve the right to choose who represents them,” said AFP-FL state director Chris Hudson in the mailer announcement. “We want the House and Senate to pass legislation that provides more freedom for teachers by creating more accountability and transparency requirements for their union.

Hudson also stuck with the “union bosses” messaging and attacked the leadership at Florida Education Association as out for themselves rather than their membership.

“The FEA exercises a top down approach to dealing with its membership, which often means the union is pursuing aims that benefits the union bosses instead of the teachers they are supposed to serve. Florida teachers deserve better accountability and transparency from their union, so we commend the Florida lawmakers that are fighting to give teachers their power back.”

AFP-FL also said its post-Session report cards would be based in part on how lawmakers voted on HB 7055, though the weight the bill carries on the overall grade will be determined depending on how it’s amended in the final stretch of the Legislative Session.

The copy of the mailer going out in Corcoran’s district is below.

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New bills propose gun controls, school law enforcement frameworks, Sunshine exemptions

A set of three new proposed bills in the Florida House announced Monday seek to make significant changes in the state’s gun laws.

Among the proposals: Raise the minimum age for buying a gun in Florida to 21, expand the three-day waiting period to cover the purchase of all firearms, ban “bump stocks,” and create new frameworks of law enforcement, educational, social, and mental health programs to address school safety.

The bills also would create a “restraining order” provision in Florida law that would allow law enforcement officers to seize firearms from individuals who have been deemed to have made “credible threat of violence against another person.”

The proposals also would ban anyone committed for mental health treatment from possessing firearms.

The bills also rewrite many of the requirements for how law enforcement agencies and schools share and track information and respond, and create wide-ranging exemptions to Sunshine Laws, keeping secret the identities of school marshals, school shooting victims, and activities of the special commission investigating the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mass murder.

The bills, Proposed Committee Bills 18-06, 18-07, and 18-08, were filed with the Florida House Appropriations Committee, as the legislative framework to the school safety reform packages announced last Friday by state House Speaker Richard Corcoran. On Friday he and Senate President Joe Negron, Gov. Rick Scott, and others announced the packages in response to the Feb. 15 crazed-gunman mass shooting at Douglas High that killed 17 people and upended Florida.

PCB APC 18-06 is the omnibus bill, running 67 pages. It addresses gun control measures, and creates frameworks for schools and law enforcement, including new units within the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Florida Department of Education, including a Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Commission, and provides for student crime watch programs and other societal responses to potential threats to school safety.

PCB APC 18-07 and PCB APC 18-08 deal with creating Sunshine Law exemptions for meetings of the Douglas High commission, and identities of school marshals, reporting parties in school safety matters, or victims in any acts of mass violence.

Under PCB APC 18-06, bump stocks, used to turn assault weapons into rapid-fire guns, would be banned. The minimum age for anyone to buy a firearm in Florida would be raised to 21. The state’s three-day waiting period for the purchase of handguns would be expanded to include all firearms.

Law enforcement would be given the power to temporarily seize firearms from people deemed to have threatened others, with the opportunity to extend that seizure if a judge can be convinced to issue a restraining order.

Anyone adjudicated as being mentally defective or court-ordered into hospital treatment for mental illness would be banned from possessing firearms.

The bill also would make a number of changes in the responsibilities of law enforcement agencies and schools. The position of school marshals would be created for someone given extensive training and then authorized to act “to the extent necessary to prevent or abate an active assailant incident on school premises.”

Sean Shaw: Second Amendment silent on assault weapons

The Second Amendment has already surfaced as an issue in the Attorney General race, although a different perspective will likely emerge once Sean Shaw hits the campaign trail full-time.

The Tampa Democrat hasn’t done much campaigning since he officially entered the contest last month, but, undoubtedly, he will transition into candidate-mode when the Legislative Session concludes.

Speaking to parishioners Sunday at Bethel African-American Episcopal Church in East Tampa, Shaw was incredulous that House Republicans rejected a proposal to discuss banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, despite the pleas from students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

The vote came just six days after a former student killed 17 people at the Broward County school.

“I don’t care what you hear, I don’t care what you see, or who you speak with, that is a fact, and it’s very upsetting,” Shaw said.

Speaker Richard Corcoran and other House Republicans say it would have been unprecedented to address the bill (HB 2019) since it had not been passed out of committee.

Republicans in the Legislature will have a chance to vote on gun regulations this week, beginning Monday, when the Senate Rules Committee will discuss provisions which include raising the legal age for purchasing any firearm, imposing a three-day waiting period for most gun purchases, and increasing school safety measures. A similar package will be taken up by the House Rules Committee on Tuesday.

Shaw says he supports those proposals and will vote for them in the House. But he also says the proposals do not address assault weapons, a common denominator in the Parkland and Pulse massacres.

“People should not have access to these weapons of war,” he said angrily. “I don’t care what (people say) the Second Amendment says and I read it and I’m a lawyer and it does not give you the right to have an assault rifle. It’s not what the Second Amendment does. The Second Amendment allows the government to regulate gun laws and that’s what we intend to do.”

In the early stages of the Republican race for Attorney General, Jacksonville state Rep. Jay Fant accused former Hillsborough County Judge Ashley Moody of being insufficiently supportive of the Second Amendment, and challenged her to a debate on the subject (Moody declined).

While the political fallout from Parkland may rejigger the calculus for some Republicans on gun regulation matters, Fant does not appear to be in any sort of retreat, tweeting just days after the Parkland massacre that “liberals on fake news” were driving the gun control debate.

Shaw was elected in 2016 to represent the heavily Democratic-leaning House District 61 in Tampa and other parts of Hillsborough County, but he says that constantly being on the losing end of party-line votes like last week’s bill on discussing an assault weapons bans is in large part what has compelled him to run for Attorney General this year.

“I worked very hard for this seat, but you can hear the frustration in my voice, and that’s one of the reasons why I decided to run for attorney general, because, as one of 120 members of the Florida House, I can’t do anything but vote in the minority to address those kids that we’re standing up at that gallery,” he said, “but I know what I can do as Attorney General. I don’t have to ask nobody for nothing! If I want to do something, it gets done.”

Ryan Torrens is the other Democrat in the race. Pensacola state Rep. Frank White and Dover state Rep. Ross Spano fill out the Republican field.

(Photo credit: Kim DeFalco).

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