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Florida lawmakers support presidential candidates, but forgot to vote in primary

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Florida legislators may have publicly backed a presidential candidate, but new research finds that several lawmakers failed to vote in the state’s primary election.

Noah Pransky of WTSP reports that a number of lawmakers — just like in 2012 – simply did not take part in Florida’s March 15 presidential preference primary, including four from Miami-Dade County: Republican Rep. Erik Fresen, Democratic Reps. Daphne Campbell, Cynthia Stafford, and State Sen. Gwen Margolis.

Fresen had endorsed Marco Rubio, who lost Florida and ended his campaign soon afterward. Stafford and Margolis endorsed Hillary Clinton, the winner of the Democratic primary.

Although failing to vote in the primary were Republican Reps. Ben Albritton and Halsey Beshears as well as Democrat Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda, Pransky writes.

State lawmaker’s 96 percent voting rate was much higher than four years earlier, with a 90 percent recorded voting rate – the 2012 primary had only Republican participation.

As for the state’s top leaders, each one voted in the PPP: Gov. Rick Scott, Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, Attorney General Pam Bondi, Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam, and Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater.

In response, Pransky notes that Rehwinkel Vasilinda explained in a tweet she didn’t vote as a protest over “closed primaries.”

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Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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