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Ron DeSantis will run for re-election in CD 6

Now that Marco Rubio is going to run for re-election for the U.S. Senate, Ron DeSantis is running for re-election in Florida’s 6th Congressional District.

“Marco Rubio’s announcement changes the contours of the U.S. Senate race in Florida,” DeSantis said.

“As a well-known incumbent, Senator Rubio is a strong bet to win what will be a pivotal U.S. Senate race in a challenging political environment.  Casey and I are grateful for the support we have received across Florida and throughout the country and plan to continue the fight for limited government principles and a strong national defense.”

“In light of the Rubio development, I can best advance the cause by running for reelection to the U.S. House in the 6th Congressional District, where I can continue protecting taxpayers, promoting economic growth, helping our veterans, and supporting our military.”

DeSantis’ first-quarter financial reports show he has $3.2 million in the bank toward his re-election bid, which would make a challenge to him a fool’s errand for any Republican.

Questions remain as to the near-term political futures of Brandon Patty, a rising start in the Florida GOP who had a fundraiser, hosted by Marco Rubio, scheduled for him today in Washington D.C.

As well, David Santiago will run for State House again in HD 27, in light of the news.

Fred Costello, as of now, faces a similar decision: to lose to a well-funded DeSantis, or to run again for State House.

Patrick Murphy and Alan Grayson blast Marco Rubio’s decision to run for re-election to his Senate seat

Patrick Murphy and Alan Grayson are reacting to the news that Marco Rubio intends to run for re-election to his U.S. Senate seat.

“Marco Rubio abandoned his constituents, and now he’s treating them like a consolation prize. Unlike Marco Rubio, I love working hard every single day for the people of Florida,” Murphy said early Wednesday. “From missing the most votes of any Florida Senator in nearly 50 years, to seeking to ban abortion even in cases of rape or incest, to repeatedly voting against closing the terrorist gun loophole, Rubio is proving he is only out for himself.”

David Damron, a spokesman for Grayson’s Senate campaign, said, “While Rep. Grayson is busy passing good, progressive legislation, he welcomes the chance to beat basically two Do Nothing Republicans in Patrick Murphy and No Show Marco this fall. But it’s shameful that Marco is trying to use the Orlando tragedy to further his 2020 presidential ambitions from a Senate seat that he’s barely sat in. Floridians will see through it. The Trump-Rubio ticket will fail.”

The Washington Post reported early Wednesday Rubio would announce his decision sometime Wednesday, anonymously quoting three people familiar with Rubio’s thinking.

The Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, which has already endorsed Murphy in the race, blasted Rubio’s decision.

DSCC Communications Director Sadie Weiner said in a statement:

“Sen. Rubio simply couldn’t be bothered to show up for work, and when he asked Florida voters for a promotion in the presidential primary, they swiftly shut him down and handed him a nearly 20-point loss to Donald Trump. That’s the same Donald Trump who Rubio called a “con artist” who couldn’t be trusted with the nuclear codes who he has now heartily endorsed and will be forced to run alongside. Unfortunately for Florida voters, when Marco Rubio did decide to show up for work, he voted to turn Medicare into a voucher program, defund critical women’s health services, and keep open a loophole that allows terrorists to purchase guns. Now, he is cravenly using the deadliest mass shooting in American history as the springboard to go back on his word and further his political career. They said it couldn’t be done, but Marco Rubio’s actions, words and votes reveal one of the more self-serving Washington politicians who has always put his political career above the people he represents.”

The Democratic Party opposition group American Bridge immediately linked Rubio to Donald Trump, saying, “With reports confirming that Marco Rubio will run to retain his Florida Senate seat, Donald Trump must be ecstatic. Rubio quickly supported Trump despite their personal and petty sniping in the GOP primary, so the two will make a fine pair on the Florida ticket — if Rubio can even get through the messy Republican primary.” They then linked to a Trump tweet calling on Rubio to run late last month.

A poll released by Quinnipiac University Wednesday shows Rubio would immediately become the front-runner in the race this fall against either Murphy or Congressman Alan Grayson, the other major Democrat in the race. The poll showed that Rubio leads Murphy, 47 percent to 40 percent, and leads Grayson, 48 percent to 40 percent.

That same poll also shows Murphy and/or Grayson defeating every other Republican in the race, which right now includes Congressman Ron DeSantis, Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, Manatee County developer Carlos Beruff, and Orlando businessman and former combat veteran Todd Wilcox. 

Beruff responded: “This isn’t Marco Rubio’s seat; this is Florida’s seat. The power brokers in Washington think they can control this race.  They think they can tell the voters of Florida who their candidates are. But the voters of Florida will not obey them. Like Marco Rubio in 2010, I’m not going to back down from the Washington establishment. They are the problem, not the solution.”

Lopez-Cantera has indicated he would drop out of the race if Rubio were to re-enter the contest, something Pinellas County Congressman David Jolly did last week.


Because of Donald Trump, ‘Winter is Coming’ for down-ballot Florida Republicans, new poll shows

If yesterday’s new Quinnipiac poll of the presidential race in Florida was a foreboding sign for the Donald Trump campaign that Winter is Coming, these polling numbers out of Congressional District 27 in Miami should be proof positive; Whitewalkers are already here.

Even a seemingly safe incumbent, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, should be stricken with fear. had obtained a poll, conducted back in May, right when Trump effectively clinched the nomination and well before the recent firestorms over his latest racially tinged remarks and his bizarre reaction to the Pulse shooting in Orlando.

Respected pollster Keith Fredricks interviewed 400 likely voters in Miami’s 27th Congressional District and found, to start with, Hillary Clinton leading Trump by 23 points. (Obama won the district by 7 in 2012.)

Dig a little deeper, and the results are even worse for Trump and fellow Republicans down the ticket.

Trump has a 54 percent negative rating with Cubans, with fully a third saying they won’t vote for him, brutal numbers in a critical voting bloc for any statewide Republican coalition in Florida. He’s likewise losing by almost 35 points (57-23) with independent voters, many of whom are Hispanic in this district.

And the news doesn’t get much better for the rest of the ticket. Patrick Murphy beats Ron DeSantis — who many thought was the likely nominee pre-Rubio’s recent moves — by 11 points, a margin more striking for the fact that 28 percent of voters are undecided. And a generic Democrat beats a generic Republican 40-37 in a hypothetical congressional horse race. In that matchup, with an evenly divided sample of Democrats and Republicans, 42 percent of Cubans aren’t voting for the Republican. Non-Cuban Hispanics and whites both favor the Democrat by 20-plus-point margins.

These numbers should give pause to Trump, Ros-Lehtinen, and Marco Rubio.

Not only is the Republican brand damaged badly with Hispanics, but Democrats are also actually quite popular as well. Obama has a 62 percent favorable rating, and Hillary is right behind him with 59 percent.

Little Marco, meanwhile, is barely keeping his head above water at 51-46. (I was frankly surprised Rubio’s numbers were as high as they were.)

So where does that leave Ros-Lehtinen, the longest-serving member of Congress in Florida and the “dean” of our congressional delegation? She’s in a better spot than the rest of her party, pulling a slight majority of 53 percent against an unknown, named Democrat. She’s undoubtedly well-positioned, but her re-election doesn’t occur in a vacuum where her race is the only one on the ballot either.

Ros-Lehtinen must be hyperventilating, considering the likelihood of winning re-election as a Republican when the top of the ticket is just getting demolished in your district.

Sure, she outpolled Obama in 2012, and pretty significantly, but she also spent over $1 million on a campaign in which her opponents spent a combined zero dollars.

If there’s anyone who might survive a year that’s shaping up to be a poor one for Republicans, especially in swing districts with big Hispanic populations, it’s Ros-Lehtinen. But she can’t be sleeping easy at night, especially given what appears to be a serious challenge from political newcomer and possible self-funder, Scott Fuhrman.

Fuhrman was heavily recruited by the DCCC to run in this seat, and he’s already put up $250,000 of his own money to take on Ros-Lehtinen.

Winter is coming for Florida Republicans in close districts.

We’ll see soon enough whether incumbents like Ros-Lehtinen can hold the door and live to fight another cycle.

Fuhrman Poll Results 6.9.16_Page_1Fuhrman Poll Results 6.9.16_Page_2

Why John Rutherford is winning the CD 4 race right now

On Friday evening, at his new Congressional campaign headquarters, former Jacksonville Sheriff John Rutherford was beaming with happiness.

His friends and family were on hand, and the small room, full of people there to pick up yard signs and wish him well, felt more like a house party than the opening of a campaign office.

That surge of popular support belied the assertion by at least one primary opponent: that Rutherford was a “coronated” candidate by the elites. He diverges from that take.

“I was picked by the people. Look at the polls,” Rutherford said. “I’m blessed to have the support of the people … it goes back to the fact that people know John Rutherford.”

Throughout our conversation Friday afternoon, the former sheriff exuded confidence in his chances – and did not shy away from even the tough questions.

One such question related to the distinct possibility that Rep. Ron DeSantis, whose home is now in the 4th Congressional District, may enter the race in lieu of running for Senate if Marco Rubio decides to run for re-election.

“I’m prepared to go against anybody in the race,” said Rutherford, who described himself as “in it to win it” and not worried about what might happen if “someone wants to parachute in.”

Another such question related to the possibility, floated by some consultants, that a line of attack against Rutherford might involve critiques of increased budgets at the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office during his tenure.

The budget did indeed go up, Rutherford said; personnel was needed to fight a wave of murder and violent crime.

“By 2011,” Rutherford said, “the lowest rates of violent crime and murder since 1970” prevailed.

“We were woefully understaffed,” Rutherford added, quoting an independent “Matrix” audit that said that the JSO was efficient, effective, and responsive, and that staffing insufficiencies were central to the crime problem last decade.

Along those lines, Rutherford also weighed in on the pension tax referendum.

“If that does not pass,” Rutherford said, “nothing else matters in Jacksonville. If we don’t take care of this, we are the Detroit of the South.”

Rutherford noted that the development of St. Johns County commuter communities for Jacksonville has been happening for some time, eroding a potential tax base going back to 1990.


Those who don’t know John Rutherford have a fixed impression: a sheriff who knew well how to use the bully pulpit of the media to serve up “tough on crime” messaging, an authoritarian voice.

That’s not the John Rutherford of 2016. A reflective man, enthralled with his life, his wife of 43 years, and his grandchildren, he seems intent on running a race his friends and family can be proud of.

His brief remarks to supporters at his headquarters Friday lacked pyrotechnics, instead referencing consensus-building and collaboration.

“In the legislative process,” Rutherford said, “you’ve got to have good relationships on both sides of the aisle.”

Rutherford spoke of coalition-building and the need to “build relationships,” saying that “if you’re looking for an ideologue to [go up to DC and] blow things up, that’s not me, that’s not [in] my character.”

“People want to know you care about them,” Rutherford continued. “Being here to help with your problems … that’s why people trusted us, worked with us.”


Rutherford countered the assertion of certain critics that it takes a long time to get into leadership in Washington.

“Got to be there 15 to 20 years to get into leadership? That’s not true. If it takes you 15 to 20 years, we don’t need you.”

He also asserted his commitment to the race, citing the impact he knew it would have on his family.

“It really takes a lot from them when you run. For me to take time from them, you know I’m committed.”

Carlos Lopez-Cantera commends David Jolly for decision to run for re-election

Carlos Lopez-Cantera is applauding his one-time opponent’s decision to run for re-election in the U.S. House.

Lopez-Cantera, the state’s lieutenant governor and one of several Republicans running for the U.S. Senate, commended Rep. David Jolly for “doing the right thing and taking on Charlie Crist.”

Jolly, an Indian Shores Republican, announced Friday afternoon he was dropping his U.S. Senate bid and running for re-election in Florida’s 13th Congressional District instead. Crist, a Democrat, is also running in CD 13.

“Charlie has proven over and over again that he only cares about himself as the ultimate narcissist. He will say anything and try to be everything to everyone,” said Lopez-Cantera in a statement. “I look forward to helping beat Charlie again and hopefully we will be done with talking about Charlie once and for all after this election cycle.”

Jolly could be the first of several Republicans to bow out of the U.S. Senate race in the coming days. Sen. Marco Rubio, who had long said he wouldn’t run for re-election, is reconsidering that decision, saying he plans to take the weekend to consider his options.

“Obviously, I take very seriously everything that’s going on, not just in Orlando but in our country,” he said in a press briefing in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday. “I’ve enjoyed my service here a lot, so I’ll go home later this week, and I’ll have some time with my family, and then if there’s been a change in our status, I’ll be sure to let everyone know.”

Those remarks came shortly after Marc Caputo with POLITICO reported that Lopez-Cantera encouraged Rubio, his longtime friend, to reconsider his seat. In an email to supporters Wednesday, the lieutenant governor again said he asked Rubio to “reconsider his decision and enter the Senate race.”

Lopez-Cantera has kept a low profile for much of the week, leading some to wonder if he was preparing to get out of the race. But a spokeswoman for his campaign said Friday, that until Rubio reaches his decision Lopez-Cantera remains a candidate for the U.S. Senate.

“Carlos has been focused on performing his duties as lieutenant governor,” said Courtney Alexander, a spokeswoman for Lopez-Cantera’s campaign. “The POLITICO story stands as the correct story. Until Sen. Rubio reaches his decision, Carlos is a candidate for the United States Senate.”

Rubio doesn’t have much time left to make a decision. The qualifying period officially opens at noon on Monday, and runs for a week. If he gets in, Lopez-Cantera has already said he won’t run.

His decision could also have an impact on Rep. Ron DeSantis’ future. DeSantis, a Ponte Verde Beach Republican, said Rubio’s indecision has made it difficult for candidates. DeSantis told radio host Hugh Hewitt this week that he hopes Rubio makes his decision quickly so others can respond.

Two candidates who likely won’t be leaving the race — Carlos Beruff and Todd Wilcox. Both have said they will continue to run regardless of Rubio’s decision.

The deadline to qualify for the U.S. Senate seat is noon on June 24.

David Jolly drops Senate bid, will seek re-election to CD 13; Charlie Crist, Dems respond

 U.S. Rep. David Jolly has unfinished business.

After weeks of pressure from local officials, bolstered by rumors of Marco Rubio seeking re-election, Jolly is dropping his bid for the U.S. Senate, opting instead for a re-election bid in Florida’s 13th Congressional District.

“David Jolly’s passion is to serve the people of Pinellas,” former St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker confirmed in a statement to the Tampa Bay Times. “He learned at the side of Congressman Bill Young, and he has effectively served all parts of our county.

“I strongly endorse his candidacy and his re-election.”

With the possibility of Rubio entering the race, the prospects for Jolly — a Harbor Bluffs Republican — in the crowded Senate GOP primary had worsened somewhat. The decision to run for re-election indicates his feeling that there is a better chance against former Gov. Charlie Crist, who is running as a Democrat for the Pinellas County-based seat.

“Unlike what my new opponent did when I announced,” Crist said in a statement.  “I’m not going to start name calling like [Republican presidential front-runner] Donald Trump – everyone should do what’s in their heart. Pinellas needs less Donald Trump and more civility to tackle issues like the rising cost of health care, gun violence, failing schools, and protecting our environment –  that’s why I’m running, for the people.”

As for Jolly’s Senate aspirations, the challenge for him and the other GOP Senate candidates in Florida was Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority leader who has openly backed Rubio entering the race.

McConnell, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other leaders, lobbied for Rubio to run for re-election.

According to Marc Caputo of POLITICO Florida, McConnell’s move chilled many donors by casting doubts on the viability of the five Republicans already in the Senate race. June was expected to be a strong fundraising month for all the candidates.

Jolly entered the Senate race last year after Rubio, the incumbent, launched his bid for president. However, after exiting the race earlier this year, Rubio told reporters last week he would consider a return to the Senate in the wake of the tragedy in Orlando, which gave him the inspiration on how he could best serve the nation.

If Rubio decides to run, he must do it by June 24, the filing deadline to qualify for the ballot.

As for the remaining Republican field, both Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera and U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis also stated they would not run against Rubio if he seeks re-election.

Manatee County homebuilder Carlos Beruff and Orlando businessman Todd Wilcox — two outsider candidates who have officially filed to run — have maintained that they will continue their campaigns, despite Rubio.

Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee’s Sadie Weiner blasted Jolly’s decision to run for his old House seat as the result of “lackluster support” for his “ill-prepared” Senate campaign.

“David Jolly wanted any excuse to end his Senate campaign that was defined by lackluster support and pathetic attempts to scrub his lobbying career from his public biography,” Weiner said in a statement. “He was ill-prepared to run a statewide race, let alone represent Florida in the U.S. Senate.  We wish the NRCC the best of luck with their former lobbyist candidate who they accused of lying after he brought a secret camera crew into their office.”

Florida Democratic Party Chair Allison Tant argued that Jolly “abandoned” Pinellas County voters when he decided to run for the Senate, and only returned to the CD 13 race when he saw that no Republican could win statewide.

“One year after abandoning the job the people of Pinellas County elected him to do, David Jolly has changed his mind and is returning to run in the district he argued ‘no Republican can win,’” Tant said in a statement Friday. “Jolly’s lack of commitment and principle are exactly what Pinellas County residents would expect from a Washington lobbyist who is only interested in furthering his political career. Florida Democrats look forward to sending David Jolly back to K Street in November.”

In new ad, Carlos Beruff says ‘we are all simply Americans’

Carlos Beruff is out with a new campaign advertisement, calling on Floridians to reject what he calls a hyphenated county.

The release of the 30-second spot, called “Simply American,” comes as Marco Rubio prepares to announce whether he will run for re-election.

In his new ad, an announcer is heard saying: “Ever get tired of all these hyphens? Separating American with all these divisions. America is strongest when we are united.”

“We all owe America; it’s not the other way around. Some call me a Cuban-hyphen-American. I reject that. I don’t believe in hyphenated Americans,” Beruff is then heard saying. “We are all simply Americans. Let’s put America first. I’m Carlos Beruff. I approve this message, with no hyphen.”

Beruff is one of five Republicans currently running for the U.S. Senate. But political insiders widely expect to see a shift in the race in the coming days, as Rubio decides whether to run again.

Rep. David Jolly is set to hold a news conference this afternoon to announce his plans. Many expect him to drop out of the U.S. Senate race and run for re-election against Democrat Charlie Crist.

Rubio’s longtime friend Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera has already said he would bow out if Rubio gets in. He even told supporters this week he encouraged Rubio to reconsider. Rep. Ron DeSantis may also be forced to consider his options if Rubio enters.

Rubio is expected to talk with his family over the weekend about whether he should run for re-election.

Beruff has said he would stay in the race even if Rubio gets in. So has Republican Todd Wilcox.

The qualifying deadline is noon on June 24.

Might Ron DeSantis run in Florida’s 4th Congressional District?

The GOP race in Florida’s 4th Congressional District right now is John Rutherford’s to lose.

The former Jacksonville sheriff has high name ID and endorsements throughout Duval County and beyond.

He has a great team working for him.

And, despite his penchant for voicing support at his own fundraising events for embattled State Attorney Angela Corey — a longtime political ally who is opposed in her re-election bid by many of his supporters, such as Peter Rummell — he has the clearest path to earned media, and every other meaningful metric.

The big story in Florida’s political scene right now boils down to four words: What will Marco do?

Will Rubio jump back into the Senate race to reclaim his seat?

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry, a very early Rutherford supporter, has been urging Rubio to do so, via interviews with and other outlets.

Curry likes and trusts Rubio, on a personal and a policy level.

If Rubio does jump into the Senate race, we can reasonably infer a lot of Republicans will jump out.

Rep. David Jolly and Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera have already indicated they would step aside.

Here’s a third possibility: Rep. Ron DeSantis.

The Ponte Vedra congressman currently is at the northern edge of Congressional District 6.

But the new maps take him out of CD 6. And into CD 4.

DeSantis is a smart politician, with smart advisors who know two months would not be enough time to compete statewide with Rubio.

They have ideological, demographic, and other meaningful types of overlap.

And, it would be hard to make the case to replace Rubio, who has meaningful experience and credibility nationally, even with a good congressman.

It would be less hard to make the case to run for an open House seat in the Jacksonville Republican district.

DeSantis would instantly be in the frontrunner conversation: as of his Q1 fundraising report, he has $3.2 million of hard money.

How much soft money does he have? Unknown. But it’s easy to imagine the Club For Growth spending what is needed to help out.

DeSantis has the House experience. He has an increasing national profile. He has a telegenic wife who has been a fixture on Jacksonville TV screens for a decade. He can talk national security, and finds a way to craft the message to everyone from the gilded rooms of Capitol Hill to the hicks in the sticks.

Nothing is for certain, while we wait for Marco Rubio to announce his next move.

But if you’re Ron DeSantis, waiting your turn to run statewide, why not try to re-up in the House, taking advantage of a big media market in Jacksonville, a national profile, and credibility with Republicans?

There is an irony in this speculation.

Before the re-mapping, with DeSantis in the Senate race, Rutherford was looking at CD 6.

The question was one of logistics: would he have to move to do it?

The names were linked last year. And now, if dominoes fall a certain way, they would be linked again, in a clash of two high-profile Republicans — both unimpeachably conservative, yet presenting meaningful contrasts in age, demographic, and life experience.

DeSantis would provide a significant and electable alternative to the so-called “coronation” of Rutherford some in the Duval GOP grouse about.

If it’s Rutherford against DeSantis, this CD 4 primary battle becomes a race of national interest.

Todd Wilcox releases national security and foreign policy proposal

Todd Wilcox rolled out his national security and foreign policy plan on Wednesday, saying the country needs to “examine the context” of the current foreign policy and national security strategy.

In his proposal, Wilcox said the nation should “first and foremost defend the homeland” from threats of Islamic terrorism. The country, he said, also needs to shield itself from the potential of strategic ballistic missile threats by rogue nations. The United States, he said, needs a “comprehensive foreign policy approach to ensure stability and avoid the need to go to war.”

On Tuesday, Wilcox kicked off a three-day campaign tour focused on national security. The tour had been in the works before the shooting in Orlando, where 49 people were killed and 53 people were injured.

The plan touches on steps Wilcox thinks the country should take to eliminate ISIS, how to build up a strategic missile defense system, and military force structure and modernization.

“A robust national security posture is only one side of the coin and is unsustainable if we do not have a long-term, comprehensive foreign policy,” said Wilcox in his proposal. “Our foreign policy needs to emphasize stability and influence instead of the ideologically driven concept of spreading democracy through failed policies such as regime change.”

Wilcox, a combat veteran and former CIA operative, is one of five Republicans running to replace Marco Rubio in the U.S. Senate. Wilcox faces Rep. Ron DeSantis, Rep. David Jolly, Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera and Carlos Beruff in the Aug. 30 primary.

On Wednesday, the Orlando Republican formally filed the paperwork to run for the seat.

“Now more than ever, we need experienced voices in Washington to protect and defend the American people from growing threats around the world and here at home,” he said in a statement. “This President and this Congress are failing to protect us from an enemy who lacks basic human decency, and if we don’t take this fight to them, they will continue to slaughter innocent Americans.”


Mitch Perry Report for 6.15.16 — What will Marco do?

Is Marco Rubio ready to do the (almost) unthinkable, and announce he will be running again for the U.S. Senate seat he renounced a year ago?

We’ll find out soon enough — the deadline to make such a decision is just nine days away.

The man who runs this website, Peter Schorschwrote last night a deal is in the works where Rubio’s Miami-Dade County ally, Carlos Lopez-Cantera, would drop out and announce he’s running for CFO in 2018. Dealing with CLC is important, since Rubio has made such an issue of their friendship. Well, Lopez-Cantera has sounded pretty contemptuous of all things Washington during his campaign for Senate, so it wouldn’t be a radical thing for him to say it works better for him to keep his current day job until 2018.

David Jolly would also drop out, while outsider candidates Todd Wilcox and Carlos Beruff would no doubt stay in the race. Wilcox told us yesterday Rubio’s entry back into the race would only magnify the difference between a career politician like Rubio and himself. It’s uncertain what Ron DeSantis might do.

Whether this is a great move by Rubio will be for others to decide. Personally, I think it’s a good move if it’s to be believed that Rubio aspires to run again for president in 2020. It seems to me much better to still be in the game (in Washington) than coming from the private sector (a la Jeb Bush, Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney).

Whether he can actually win in November is in dispute, but not that he would be the nominee.

That’d be a comeback, of sorts, if you consider how badly he was humiliated in the state’s March presidential primary, when he won all of one of Florida’s 67 counties.

In other news …

Tom Lee has finally made a decision regarding his political future in Hillsborough County.

Rick Baker has endorsed Rebecca Smith in the House District 60 contest.

Kevin Beckner raises more than $11K in his battle to dethrone Hillsborough Clerk of the Court Pat Frank.

Former Plant City Mayor John Dicks had the most robust month of fundraising in the Hillsborough County Commission District 6 contest last month, but he still trails two other Democrats in overall fundraising.

Boca Raton Democratic Representative Ted Deutsch says lifting the loophole that allows those on a terror watch list to still buy guns should be a priority in Congress in the wake of the Orlando massacre.

And the Tampa Bay business elite is calling on the Hillsborough County MPO to approve the TBX in its TIP next week.


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