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Jacksonville Bold for 6.21.16 — If this, then that

The watchword in Florida Politics: WWMRD?

What will Marco Rubio do?

Weeks back, Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry called on Rubio to run for the U.S. Senate again.

He wasn’t alone: his fellow Senators wanted him in, as did many Florida Republicans, and even the presumptive GOP nominee, Donald Trump.

As this week started, so did the guessing game.

When would Rubio get in the Senate race?

And if he does, questions emerge for regional politicians, especially those in Northeast Florida.

Will Ron DeSantis, a rising star in the national Republican Party, want to run against Rubio in 2016?

Short answer: no.

Long answer: Hell no.

DeSantis, whom many say is just biding his time in the House until he can run for Attorney General in 2018, will be looking for a landing place if he gets out of the Senate race.

Where will that landing place be?

The obvious choices are just two: Florida’s 6th Congressional District, where DeSantis is the incumbent, or Florida’s 4th Congressional District, where DeSantis actually lives after the latest round of redistricting.

There is a case to be made for DeSantis in either of those.

DeSantis is well-liked in CD 6. Other candidates’ operatives will tell you: as they drive to REC meetings throughout the district, they hear nothing but good things about their incumbent.

Word on the street is that DeSantis has called those running in CD 6 to gauge their support should he decide to serve another term.

His political base is there; even if his current residency is not.

Of course, redistricting has made the seat a bit less safely Republican than it was before.

Forty-one percent of voters in CD 6 are Republican. 39 percent Democrat.

DeSantis, as an incumbent with $3.2 million banked as of the end of March, certainly has the money to run in the district.

But in a year with a dumpster fire atop the ticket, he could get dragged down by an anti-Trump current.

CD 4, meanwhile, is an interesting proposition.

It is an open seat, with former Jacksonville Sheriff John Rutherford as the only candidate who has broken 15 percent in any poll.

Rutherford is very well-known in Jacksonville. He has the bulk of the establishment support. He also is over 60 and vying to be a rookie in the United States House of Representatives.

Rutherford’s fundraising, we are assured, is strong. But is it $3.2-million strong? In a year when the Jacksonville elite is pushing to get a pension tax referendum through, there are meaningful questions about how much money the usual suspects are going to want to put into a competitive House race … especially if DeSantis, a Ponte Vedra Republican, checks all of the appropriate boxes.

People in Jacksonville and throughout Northeast Florida are watching intently. If Marco Rubio gets in the race, what happens next?

Rubio to fundraise for Brandon Patty Wednesday” – Rubio will headline a Washington fundraiser for 6th Congressional District candidate and Navy Reservist Brandon Patty. Also scheduled to attend are former RNC Chair Ed Gillespie, who also worked with Patty in previous campaigns. The fundraiser is set for 6-7:30 p.m. at the Veterans of Foreign Wars at 200 Maryland Ave., N.E. in Washington D.C.

“Why John Rutherford is winning the CD 4 race right now” via Florida Politics –  On Friday evening, at his new Congressional campaign headquarters, former Jacksonville Sheriff John Rutherford was beaming with happiness … 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’ … regarding the distinct possibility that Rep. 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 not worried about what might happen if ‘someone wants to parachute in.’

Happening Thursday – State Rep. Paul Renner of House District 24 and Sen. Travis Hutson of Senate District 7 will be holding a joint fundraising reception in support of their re-election efforts. Event begins 4 p.m. at the Olive Garden at Palm Coast Landing, 5294 FL-100 in Palm Coast. Suggested minimum contribution is $40 per person ($20 to Renner; $20 to Hutson).

“Janet Adkins’ campaign sign defaced with swastika” via Florida Politics — Janet Adkins is in a contentious race for Nassau County School Superintendent … unsavory campaign tactics from someone opposed to Adkins’ campaign have surfaced, as evidenced by a Facebook post in which a sign of hers was defaced with a swastika and a Hitler-esque mustache painted above her upper lip … ‘The political “hate speech” is an effort to vandalize and deface my campaign signs and is part of the organized smear campaign directed by my opponent’s campaign operatives … The online cyberbullying that has been allowed by the administrators on ‘Nassau County Rants and Raves’ has fueled the hate speech that my opponent and her operatives have approved.”

“State Attorney candidates spar at Fleming Island forum” via Florida Politics – Incumbent Angela Corey and challengers Wes White and Melissa Nelson participated in what turned out to be a heated discussion. Of the three candidates, Nelson seemed the most interested in making her case for why it was time for a change in the State Attorney’s Office. Corey, as has been her wont this campaign, repeatedly went on the offense against the media, which seems to be more of a real opponent for her than Fleming Island’s own Kenny Leigh, the write-in candidate whose exclusion from this forum must have been an oversight … The difference between the two challengers could not be more stark: one is talking about meaningful and restorative reforms of an antiquated approach to criminal justice promulgated by a State Attorney who brags about ‘overcharging’ defendants, while the other is talking about kids cleaning bed pans … The campaign, up until Nelson entered the race, was one of personal sniping. It seems that she wants to elevate that discourse. But she’s meeting resistance.

Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams endorses Darryl Daniels for Clay County Sheriff” – “It has been my privilege to serve as a law enforcement professional along-side many great men and women like Darryl Daniels,” said Williams, adding, “from our days in the police academy together, it is clear that this natural born leader was destined to be a distinguished servant of the people in law enforcement. I am endorsing him today in his bid for the next elected Sheriff in Clay County, Florida.” William discusses Daniel’s background “throughout his military career in the U.S. Navy, as well as his 24-year career in the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, where he is known for his commitment to truth, honor and integrity.”

Funds flowing in for Lenny Curry tax plan” via Nate Monroe of the Florida Times-Union – If support can be measured in dollars and cents, Curry’s push for voters to approve a special sales tax Aug. 30 to pay down the city’s $2.8 billion pension debt is on the right track. A political committee, Yes for Jacksonville, so far has raised more than $528,000 since late April, leaving little doubt that Curry will make good on his word that he will have a seven-figure budget to build a political campaign around his idea. At the same time, a standing political committee, founded by Curry supporters to support the mayor and his agenda, has raised more than $628,000 since last year and still has about $292,000 of that on hand. The committee, Build Something That Lasts, spent some of that money earlier this year making contributions to legislators who were key in passing a law that allowed Curry’s pension-tax idea to be put on the August ballot. But the group’s efforts to raise money haven’t stopped. Curry has plenty of political capital — in the literal sense — heading into the summer months when he will make a hard push for his sales tax plan. He wants to enact a half-cent sales tax that would begin after the Better Jacksonville Plan’s sales tax expires in 2030 and would be solely dedicated to Jacksonville’s $2.8 billion pension debt.

Top talker — “Mayor’s pension tax proposal is clearly Jacksonville’s best option” via the Florida Times-Union – In Jacksonville’s case, attempts to resolve the crisis have repeatedly failed. It’s time to finally take some action. The sales tax is not perfect, but then no solution is. The mayor has proposed a half-cent sales tax to take effect in 2030 when the Better Jacksonville Plan sales tax expires. Bottom line: No increase felt by citizens. To defeat the proposal is to put Jacksonville on the road to a continuing financial crisis and will stunt Jacksonville’s quality of life for years to come. Of course, the city now is nowhere near Detroit’s financial state because there is plenty of room to raise revenue; Detroit was tapped out. But Detroit did not go bankrupt overnight. It was a long, slow decline that involved repeatedly raising taxes and never doing the hard business of reform. To pass the sales tax will put Jacksonville’s financial house in order and leave many options open for progress. The difference is that stark: A city with all of its opportunities before it — or a city on the road to Detroit.

Jax Council president-elect Lori Boyer outlines her leadership goals” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics – The second-term Southside Republican seeks to reassert the role of the legislative branch, especially regarding its budgetary and policy-setting responsibility. She seeks to have the council more involved in boards and commissions, empowering council members to advocate the concerns of their district, and to give the council more of a coequal role with the mayor’s office than it currently has … Boyer addressed a wide range of issues: fulfilling the promises of consolidation, bringing new members of the council into leadership, the Human Rights Ordinance (HRO), capital improvements, vehicles for hire, and the city’s financial reserves as global recession looms. Regarding consolidation, Boyer says “some promises haven’t been met,” a point she didn’t elaborate on, but which clearly relates to Northwest Jacksonville, the Eastside, and other areas that haven’t seen tangible improvement in the last half-century. Council, said Boyer, has a “legislative and policy role” according to the city’s charter, one that sometimes gets obscured by “day-to-day bills” that preclude the council from being as proactive as it should be. Boyer, who wants to see everyone “given the opportunity to move their agendas forward,” recognizes that the last year hasn’t seen that.

“Greg Anderson reviews his Council presidency” via Florida Politics – Despite the lack of resolution of protections for the LGBT community and the continuing contretemps between cabs and the ridesharing industry, Anderson characterizes the last year as very successful … ‘we got a lot done’ on issues ranging from public safety to bringing 11 new council members onto the team … a ‘lot of foundational goals’ were accomplished. Among them, a ‘very successful year’ of job growth, with ‘names like Google and Amazon in the same sentence as Jacksonville’ and ‘international companies looking at Jacksonville for job growth and investment.’

“Slots bill hits jackpot in Jax Council Finance Committee” via Florida Politics – The major bill on the agenda: an ordinance authorizing a November referendum on allowing 2,000 slot machines at the bestbet facility in Arlington. The measure, which received no real resistance in a joint workshop of Finance and Rules earlier this month, required affirmation by both committees ahead of a June 28 vote of the full Council. The biggest material changes: insertion of language, via amendment, that asserts a belief that the Florida Constitution authorizes a referendum on slots … Finance Chair Bill Gulliford said, as a member of the council, voting for the measure allowing a referendum was not a vote for or against slots but, rather, a decision to let the voters decide.

Audits show some charter schools’ cash struggles” via Denise Smith Amos of the Florida Times-Union – By some measures, one-third of Duval’s charter schools had trouble with that in fiscal year 2015. An analysis of the audited financial statements filed with the state indicates that at least 12 Duval charter schools spent more than they made in fiscal 2015. That’s called deficit spending. The state Auditor General uses a slightly different measure — it focuses on “net position,” which compares a school’s assets to its liabilities. If a school’s liabilities are more than its assets, the school has a net position deficit. Ten Duval County charter schools reported a net position deficit for fiscal 2015. The auditor general’s reports also compare how much money is left in a school’s coffers — its ending or unrestricted balance — with revenues or its general fund. By that ratio, 16 Duval charter schools fell below state averages for charter schools. It could be worse. They could have had a zero or negative ending balance. The state in 2014 said six Duval charter schools had negative ending balances — or no money left over — at the end of the fiscal year. Since then, five of those schools improved to positive balances and a sixth, Acclaim Academy, closed its doors. Charter schools, which are independent public schools, gave a variety of reasons for their financial struggles. Five noted lower-than-expected enrollments, and five noted lower-than-expected state funds. Several schools had sizable leasing or lending costs associated with school buildings, while others had unbudgeted expenses

Is a landfill in our river’s future?” via Ron Littlepage of the Florida Times-Union – Now here’s a grand idea — not. Brevard County wants to put a garbage dump in the floodplain and wetlands of the St. Johns River. I know this will come as a shock to you, but the Florida Department of Environmental Protection — talk about a misnomer — has given its blessing to the project. Brevard County is proposing to build a Class I landfill and a Class III landfill on a 2,980-acre site west of Melbourne. A Class I landfill can receive household, commercial, industrial and agricultural waste. Yard trash, construction and demolition debris, waste tires, asbestos, carpets, cardboard, paper, glass, plastic and furniture can be dumped into a Class III landfill. All of that would be plopped down in what’s called the Upper St. Johns River Hydrological Basin. Lake Washington, Sawgrass Lake and the St. Johns River are among the bodies of water that would be impacted. And don’t forget that the St. Johns flows north, so whatever seeps into the river there would be headed for downtown Jacksonville. Interestingly, Brevard County is all up in arms about protecting and rehabilitating the much abused Indian River Lagoon. The St. Johns River, not so much. Fortunately, this abomination won’t get done without a fight.

How Dallas made its urban park concept work and why Jacksonville should follow” via Alexa Epitropoulos of the Jacksonville Business Journal – While Hemming Park in Downtown Jacksonville has stalled due to a renewed funding battle with the city, Dallas has seen an urban park built out of thin air aid Downtown development. Klyde Warren Park, a park built over Dallas’ Woodall Rodgers Freeway, has been one of the major engines driving Downtown Dallas’ revitalization efforts. Boasting high-profile sponsors like Cigna, the Dallas Morning News and Southwest Airlines, the park has also done an effective job at balancing public and private funding.

Pair of companies seeking incentives to locate in North Jacksonville” via Christopher Hong of the Florida Times-Union – Hans-Mill Corp., which makes metal household goods, is proposing to build a factory in Northwest Jacksonville that would create 23 jobs expected to pay an average salary of $30,000. It’s asking for a $200,000 grant that comes from a trust fund created to attract jobs to that part of the city. The other deal involves an engineering company, whose identity remains confidential, that is already in Jacksonville. The company is considering whether to expand in North Jacksonville near the airport or move to Atlanta. The company is proposing to keep 30 jobs and add another 54 engineering jobs at an average salary of $66,000 by 2019. The company expects to invest $2.1 million to pay for the expansion. It’s seeking up to $324,000 in tax refunds and up to $124,000 in grants, depending on how many jobs are created. The state would pay the most of the incentives, while the city would pay up to $64,800.

JAX Chamber named a national finalist for 2016 Chamber of the Year” via Florida Trend – JAX Chamber is one of four finalists in the category for large organizations. The finalists will interview with a panel of judges, and winners will be announced in August at ACCE’s annual conference in Savannah. Chambers of Commerce must first qualify for the award and those who do are then invited to apply in the spring. Finalists were announced this week. Some of the work highlighted in the Chamber’s application includes the JAX Bridges program designed to prepare entrepreneurs to do business with large corporations and JAX Alliance, a board of business leaders focused on maximizing transportation, energy and infrastructure systems to build the foundation for economic development.

Spotted: Director of Jacksonville University’s Public Policy Institute Rick Mullaney spotted at James Madison Institute Fellows lunch, where he discussed local government and public policy.

Personnel note – The Fiorentino Group hires Tallahassee veteran Allison Carter — Carter brings more than 15 years of legislative and state government experience … Most recently, she served as the Chief Process Adviser to the Florida Speaker of the House. Previously, Carter worked for Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater as Director of Program Management, where she was responsible for assessing and recommending programmatic improvements. “Allison’s deep knowledge of the legislative process and her many contacts in the legislative and executive branches of state government will be great assets to the firm as we continue to provide high-level representation to our clients,” said TFG President and Founder Marty Fiorentino. “We are excited that Allison will be joining our firm and look forward to her insight and counsel.”

Expect some lane closures — three major bridges get repairs this summer” via Jensen Werley of the Jacksonville Business Journal – Dames Point bridge, the Hart bridge and the Ortega River bridge — will be rehabilitated starting in the next few months. The projects are the result of routine inspections, which found some deficiencies in the bridges … The Dames Point project, which costs $4.5 million, calls for work on the fender system, joints and shear lock mechanism. The majority of the work will take place below the bridge, although there will be some single lane closures during the day and multi-lane closures between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. The project will begin in August and finish next summer, with M&J Construction Company of Pinellas County as the contractor. The $4.3 million Hart bridge project will rehabilitate that bridge starting in late July. Wire rope replacement, coating structural steel, drainage work and steel plate rehabilitation will require lane closures and detours during off-peak traffic. The contractor, Abhe & Svoboda Inc. from Minnesota, will complete work in fall of 2017. Finally, the Ortega River bridge will cost $4.2 million and work will be completed in early 2018. That project, also done by M&J, requires repairs to the bridge superstructure and replacement of an adjacent fishing pier.

Debris from Tropical Storm Colin still in Jax neighborhood” via Action News Jax – Branches and debris left behind from Tropical Storm Colin have not been picked up in a Jacksonville neighborhood. An EF-1 tornado and straight-line winds ripped through Jacksonville’s Westside during Colin … Kelly Love and his neighbors were told that someone would be sent out to remove the debris … ‘I busted my rear-end to get all this stuff out here – me and my sons,’ Love said. ‘It’s still out here. I called the city. I keep getting the runaround. They say Advanced Disposal. Advanced Disposal says the city’

Florida confirms first case of Zika virus in Jacksonville” via Jenese Harris of News4Jax – The Duval County case plus new cases in Brevard and Seminole counties bring the total count in the state to 150, not counting 38 cases that involve pregnant women, which are counted separately and not designated by county. Clay and St. Johns counties have each reported two cases of Zika virus, and Alachua County has four. The vast majority of Florida’s cases are in central and south Florida.

Bear hunt foes keep protesting” via Melissa Ross of Florida Politics – After organizing a round of statewide protests over bear hunting, the organization OneProtest.Org says its membership will be on hand Wednesday to speak out as the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission meets. The agency’s bear biologists are urging a scaled-down bear hunt this year. Hunters killed 304 bears in last year’s controversial hunt- the first held in the state in two decades.  The commissioners are meeting Wednesday in Apalachicola County, where they’ll review four options for a second bear hunt. “We will continue to fight this trophy hunt so that 2015 with be the last year of this atrocity. The fate of the black bear is in our hands,” says One Protest spokesman Adam Sugalski, who says protestors will congregate outside the FWC meeting starting at 9 a.m.

Here’s the game plan for Baptist South’s incoming president” via Alexa Epitropoulos of the Jacksonville Business Journal – Nicole Thomas has worked her way through the ranks of hospital administration, spending time at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville and St. Luke’s Episcopal Health System in Houston before landing at Baptist Health. Now, five years after joining Baptist as vice president of operations and specialty services, Thomas will transition to the role of Baptist South president this fall … a veteran member of Jacksonville’s health care industry and the first female president at Baptist Health.

UNF looks to increase number of female students in STEM programs” via Sarah Denicolais of WJCT – The University of North Florida’s Computing Department was selected as one of 47 institutions in the U.S. for the National Center of Women and Information Technology Pacesetters program, which will run through 2018. The National Science Foundation-sponsored program is designed to help get more women working in science technology engineering and mathematics fields. “Our Pacesetters take advantage of this innovative, boundless computing community – collaborating alongside esteemed NCWIT peers and researchers to define and measure goals based on researched-based strategies for creating change for women in tech,” said Lucy Sanders, the program’s CEO … The School of Computing at UNF is composed of just 13 percent female students.

Why UF health’s new accreditation signifies recent success” via Alexa Epitropoulos of the Jacksonville Business Journal – How UF Health wants to save lives with new accreditation.

Spotted at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Champions of Hope Gala at the Florida Yacht Club Saturday night: The Fiorentino Group’s Marty Fiorentino and his wife, WJXT anchor Mary Baer, who served as emcee. Fiorentino scored a signed Tim Tebow Gators jersey, which was donated by LLS Honoree and Orange Park financial adviser Mary Vertner.

Carlos Slay collects stern warning” via Jessica Walters of the Nassau County Record – Slay, candidate for Nassau County Tax Collector, received a strongly-worded warning from the State Attorney’s Office for making inaccurate allegations against his opponent. The letter came in response to Slay’s request for an investigation of alleged ethical violations by Tax Collector John Drew and other county officials. “The allegations you raise in your letter have been shown to be inaccurate, generally without merit or otherwise made with reckless disregard of the truth and are not the subject of further review by the State Attorney’s Office,” states a June 7 letter to Slay, written by Sr. Division Chief Stephen Siegel with the State Attorney’s Office, Fourth Judicial Circuit. Slay … following the Florida Commission on Ethics’ dismissal of one of his complaints against school board member Kathy Burns, said he had filed numerous complaints against a number of county officials with the commission. He also stated that he had forwarded his allegations against Drew to State Attorney Angela Corey and asked her to refer the complaints to a grand jury.

St. Johns County to consider loosening restrictions on food trucks; survey shows support” via Jake Martin of the St. Augustine Record – County documents point to shifts in economic and cultural trends as well as an increased number of inquiries from food truck vendors looking to do business in St. Johns County. Additionally, a recent survey conducted by the county found widespread support among residents for easing restrictions on food trucks. The current Land Development Code prohibits mobile sales units on unimproved property and within any zoning district not allowing outside sales activities. Per the code, mobile sales units are permitted to set up shop on improved properties within the Commercial Intensive, Commercial High Intensity, Commercial Warehouse and Airport District zoning designations. One exception for short-term, temporary use allows vendors limited sales once a month for no more than three days. The county’s assessment of mobile food vending, pieced together over the past year, identified some pros and cons to providing more flexibility in provisions regulating food trucks. “Mobile food vending seems, for some, like a low-cost way to wade into the pool of business ownership,” the assessment said.

More hurt animals, but fewer resources for St. Johns nonprofit” via Emelia Hitchner of the Florida Times-Union – A red-shouldered hawk peered cautiously through tree branches and uttered a distressed chirp. He had his beady eyes trained on Melanie Cain-Stage as she fidgeted with the cage latch … “This guy has been in here for seven months waiting for his flight feathers to grow in,” Cain-Stage said. “I think someone plucked them out and severely damaged the follicle.” The hawk is just one of several injured or starved animals rehabiliting at the Humane Association of Wildlife Care and Education (HAWKE). Thanks to endless hours of dedication by Cain-Stage, the founder of HAWKE, he’ll also be one of the few animals to make it back home alive. HAWKE is one of the last hopes for injured wildlife in the St. Augustine area. Veterinary clinics, community members and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission are constantly flooding the nonprofit organization with critters in desperate need of extra time and attention. But Cain-Stage isn’t sure she can keep up with the heavy load much longer without donations and volunteers. “Right now I have around 60 animals and to run each month, we need about $3,000 to feed and maintain the area,” Cain-Stage said.

Save the date:

night at the zooJax memorials and fundraisers continue for Orlando victims” via Melissa Ross of Florida Politics – All over Jacksonville, memorials and fundraisers are popping up for the 49 victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando. Here’s the latest: The Jacksonville Jaycees are hosting the Darryl “DJ” Burt II Memorial Fundraiser Sunday, June 26. Burt was one of the 49 victims who was killed at Pulse. The Jaycees are trying to help offset his family’s final expenses, and they also plan on establishing an annual event in his honor. “Both socially and professionally he was always interested in making a positive impact on people’s lives and in the community. If someone needed anything he’d usually just ask – where, when and what are the deadlines.” said Shawn DeVries, Jacksonville Jaycees President. The Memorial Fundraiser will be held at Dahlia’s Pour House in Riverside, with a $5 suggested donation for admission. The event is family-friendly featuring two craft sodas on tap. One dollar from every beverage sold will be donated directly to the fundraiser. The event will also feature a bake sale, raffle, silent auction and pay-to-play Ping-Pong, cornhole and beer pong tournaments.

City of Jacksonville, Jaguars Foundation, Blake Bortles respond to Orlando Pulse massacre” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics – For Bortles and Curry, the tragedy hit close to home. Bortles, a Central Florida native and alumnus of the University of Central Florida, noted his family still lives there. “I can’t even imagine what the families and friends of the victims are going through,” Bortles said, before announcing the Blake Bortles Foundation will give $10,000 to help with recovery efforts. Curry, who has spoken at length about his personal connection to people affected by the Pulse massacre, addressed that … “I have family in Orlando [who have been] touched by this,” said Curry, who added he’s been in contact with the mother and the father of the Jacksonville victim of the attack. Curry announced the city’s response to the attacks: a postcard campaign, called Dear Orlando. Postcards will be available at public library locations throughout the city of Jacksonville next week starting June 20. Citizens can pick up and return postcards at any public library. The opening postcard message reads: “Dear Orlando – You are a city long celebrated for magic, wonder and fun. With the love, support and sentiments of millions around the world, you will smile again. One Jacksonville for One Orlando.” A space follows allowing people to add their own messages.

Predicting the Jaguars 53-man roster following minicamp” via Mike Kaye of WTLV – My first shot at predicting the 53-man roster: Offense (24), quarterback (3); Staying: Blake BortlesChad HenneBrandon Allen; Going: Max Wittek. Running Back (4); Staying: TJ YeldonChris Ivory, Denard Robinson, Corey Grant; Going: Jonas Gray, Joe Banyard. Tight End (4); Staying: Julius ThomasMarcedes LewisBraedon BowmanNeal Sterling; Going: Nic JacobsBen Koyack. Wide Receiver (5); Staying: Allen RobinsonAllen HurnsMarqise LeeRashad GreenBryan Walters; Going: Rashad LawrenceRasheed BaileyArrelious BennTony WashingtonJamal RobinsonShaq EvansShane Wynn. Offensive Line (8); Staying: Kelvin BeachumLuke JoeckelBrandon LinderAJ CannJermey ParnellJosh WellsTyler ShatleyMackenzey Bernadeau, (Luke Bowanko, PUP); Going: Pearce SlaterRashod HillChris ReedKadeem EdwardsJeff LinkenbachPatrick Omameh. Defense (26); Defensive Line (10); Staying: Dante FowlerYannick NgakoueMalik JacksonSen’Derrick MarksSheldon DayRoy MillerAbry JonesMichael BennettJared OdrickTyson Alualu; Going: Richard AshBjoern WernerChris SmithTyrone HolmesJonathan Woodard (IR). Linebacker (6); Staying: Telvin SmithPaul PoslusznyRyan DavisMyles JackDan SkutaJordan Tripp; Going: Hayes PullardJoplo BartuSean PorterThurston Armbrister. Cornerback (5); Staying: Jalen RamseyDavon HousePrince AmukamaraNick MarshallDwayne Gratz, (Aaron Colvin, suspended); Going: Briean Boddy-CalhounDemetrius McCrayMike HiltonJosh Johnson. Safety (5); Staying: Tashaun GipsonJohnathan CyprienJames SamplePeyton ThompsonJarrod Wilson; Going: Earl WolffJosh Evans. Special Teams (3); Staying: K Jason Myers, P Brad Nortman, LS Carson Tinker; Going: P Ryan Quigley. Inactive Lists (3); PUP: OL Luke Bowanko; SUS: Aaron Colvin; IR: Jonathan Woodard.

Metal detectors coming to EverBank Field by beginning of NFL season” via Max Marbut of the Jacksonville Financial News & Daily Record – It’s not related to the shootings in the Orlando nightclub, but there soon will be a higher level of security screening for fans attending events at EverBank Field … The city has issued a request for proposals for walk-through magnetometers that will be installed at stadium entrances by the time the NFL season begins. Jacksonville Jaguars spokesman Dan Edwards said it’s the latest measure in the league’s stadium safety policy. Planning the project began about a year ago, he said. “Security and safety is the priority,” Edwards said. “The intent is to safeguard the fans, the players, the people who work in the stadium and the building.”

Armada signs Swedish duo and are eliminated from US Open Cup by Orlando City SC” via Kartik Krishnaiyer of Florida Politics – The Jacksonville Armada FC announced the signings of the Swedish duo Alexander Andersson and Nicklas Maripuu. Andersson, a 30-year-old striker, comes to Jacksonville after six seasons with Swedish second division side Degerfors IF, where he scored 22 goals in 100 matches, including 34 starts. Andersson also saw action in seven Swedish Cup matches. Maripuu, a 24-year-old midfielder, comes to Armada after playing 31 matches, including 16 starts, over 2015 and 2016 with Swedish second division side IK Sirius. In 2016, he scored two goals in 10 games. Jacksonville is looking to reverse its fortunes in the NASL Fall Season which begins July 2. The club finished bottom of the table in the NASL Spring Season with seven points, 11 behind Spring Season Champions Indy Eleven. The Armada sit nine points away from the final place in the NASL postseason currently held by Minnesota United FC.

The Armada were eliminated from the U.S. Open Cup Wednesday night at the hands of Orlando City SC by a 1-0 score. It was the first sporting event played by a pro sports team from Central Florida since the tragic events at the Pulse nightclub. Armada Goalkeeper Miguel Gallardo, an Orlando City SC favorite in the four years he featured for the Lions from 2011-2014 said. “I thought we had the better of the chances, to be honest with you, I thought we played a really good game, but we made a couple of mistakes and we got punished for it. … It almost sounds like a broken disk. Great effort, but we’re not getting the results that I think we deserve.” Orlando’s goal came by way of a great setup from Brazilian Julio Baptista who made a near-post run and directed a header across the goalmouth, where former Real Madrid Defender David Mateos was waiting to finish it for a 1-0 Orlando City lead which held up until the conclusion of the match. The game which was the first sporting event after the Orlando tragedy featured a tribute pregame. “It almost seems like every one of you guys that’s interviewed me wants to make me cry,” Gallardo said. “That’s the first thing everybody says, that it’s an emotional night and it sure was. What happened in Orlando is still very difficult to deal with. I knew people that were involved and affected, and even if I didn’t, it’s such a tragedy that it baffles my mind.” Orlando’s win eliminates the Armada from the tournament. Orlando and Fort Lauderdale are the remaining Florida-based teams in the tournament and they face off in a Round of 16 match on July 29 at the Florida Citrus Bowl. The competition began in mid-May with 10 Florida-based teams.

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Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including Florida Politics and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Schorsch is also the publisher of INFLUENCE Magazine. For several years, Peter's blog was ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch

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