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Latest on the legislative staffing merry-go-round

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With a tip of the hat to LobbyTools, here are the latest movements – both on and off – of the legislative merry-go-round. Off and on: Randy Havlicak is no longer staff director of the House Judiciary Committee; he is replacing Joe Gillespie as senior staff director for the House Bill Drafting Service. On: Don Rubottom is the new interim staff director for Judiciary. On and Off: Clay White and Caleb Helpling have switched roles, where White is the new senior legislative analyst for the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations…

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Ride-sharing bill advances in House Economics committee

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A bill that would create statewide regulations for transportation network companies (TNCs) passed through the House Economics Affairs Committee on Wednesday. This is the third year in a row that such legislation has come before Florida lawmakers.  Cities and counties creating their own rules on dealing with companies such as Uber and Lyft are applying more pressure than ever on the Legislature to craft an all-encompassing statewide bill. As was the case in 2015, Fort Walton Beach Republican Matt Gaetz is…

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Meet Edward James, one of ’30 under 30′ rising stars of Florida politics

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I am… 25 years young I live in… Sarasota/Tallahassee I got into politics because… My family exposed me to the power of community organizing as a child. My great-grandmother along with a group of other concerned citizens helped desegregate the public beaches in Sarasota in the 1950s by organizing caravans of people who went out to Lido Beach and waded in the water while enduring physical and verbal abuse. Having a legacy like that to build from has shown me that people…

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Legislative field continues to shape up with new entrants in SD 33, HD 41, and HD 118

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Since we last checked in with the state of the Florida legislative field, a number of new candidates have entered the fray and brought statehouse watchers a more complete picture of what to expect next spring when both parties will dive headlong into full-on campaign mode. Let’s take a quick look at Division of Elections filing activity around the state. Lauren Book received a rollout fit for an instant frontrunner when she announced her bid for the SD 33 seat held by term-limited state Sen.…

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Gretna Commissioner Clarence Jackson files for 2016 House run in HD 8

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Gretna City Commissioner Clarence Jackson announced on Thursday — via a theatrical campaign ad —  he will jump into a now four-way race for an open seat in HD 8. The all-Democratic field seeks to succeed term-limited state Rep. Alan Williams, which takes in all of Gadsden County – the state’s only majority-minority county –  and the southern half of Tallahassee, including the state Capitol. “Life has prepared me for this moment,” Jackson says in the ad, which portrays a faux press…

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Open seat race in state Rep. Alan Williams’ HD 8 heating up early

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The race to succeed term-limited state Rep. Alan Williams in House District 8 — which takes in part of Tallahassee, including the state Capitol — has attracted another Democratic hopeful in Clarence Jackson, former mayor of the Gadsden city of Gretna. Jackson, who mounted a brief run in 2014 when it appeared Williams would step away from the Legislature to pursue a seat on the Tallahassee City Commission, told WCTV he plans to file in July. Jackson gave way in deference…

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Democrat Edward James files for House run in Sarasota’s HD 72

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

After several weeks of deliberation, Edward James III has made it official — the Sarasota-born Democrat told SaintPetersBlog he filed 2016 campaign paperwork on Tuesday to run in House District 72. James said he was spurred to run by what he called the “cold-heartedness” of the GOP-led House, which abruptly adjourned and left town early last month in opposition to the Senate-led “FHIX” proposal to expand healthcare access to uninsured Floridians by drawing down federal Medicaid dollars left on the table. “You…

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