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Rebecca Negron qualifies for CD 18 ballot by petition

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Republican Rebecca Negron became the first candidate in the race for Florida’s 18th Congressional District to qualify to appear on the ballot via petition Wednesday, securing the 2,298 required verified signatures in the Treasure Coast seat. Negron, a Martin County School Board member, said the milestone was a testament to her campaign’s vigor and momentum. “I am encouraged and honored that I am now qualified to appear on the ballot to represent Congressional District 18 for the upcoming Republican Primary on August…

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Ritch Workman not leaving state Senate race — no matter what Mike Haridopolos is saying

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Ritch Workman isn’t leaving the race for state Senate District 17 — and he’s fed up with Mike Haridopolos suggesting he will. Rep. Workman says the former Senate President is contacting political allies both in Tallahassee and in the newly-renumbered SD 17 floating his possible candidacy in the race and, to Workman’s chagrin, saying Workman intends to drop from the race. Workman – who declared his intention to run for the upper chamber back in 2014 – said this week that Haridopolos is free to jump…

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Republican Lange Sykes boosts fundraising lead in three-way HD 54 primary

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Republican candidate Lange Sykes boosted his lead in the three-way primary race for House District 54 with more than $7,000 in February contributions. “Our community is looking for a strong conservative message from a candidate who creates jobs and has signed both sides of a paycheck,” Sykes said Monday. “The House District 54 seat belongs to its residents, and continuing to remove the hurdles that penalize the private sector for creating jobs is our number one priority on our path…

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House OKs in big way bill to expand medical marijuana

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The Florida House overwhelming voted Thursday to expand medical marijuana in Florida, teeing up a vote in the Senate on a similar proposal later this week. Lawmakers voted 99-16 to approve a bill (HB 307/HB 1313) to expand the Right to Try Act to include medical cannabis. Under the proposal, eligible patients — defined as someone with on year left to live — can purchase medical marijuana from dispensing organizations. It also allows those organizations to grow and distribute medical…

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Is Mike Haridopolos eyeing return to Florida Senate?

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Former state Sen. Mike Haridopolos is considering a possible return to the Florida Senate, according to two current members of the chamber’s leadership team who have discussed a possible campaign with him. The Merritt Island Republican is eyeing Senate District 17, currently held by Thad Altman, a Rockledge Republican who is term-limited. But that seat is also being sought by GOP state Reps. Debbie Mayfield of Vero Beach and Ritch Workman of Melbourne. No matter: The lawmakers who have met with Haridopolos say he is actively working to elbow Workman…

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Advocates of elected Education Commissioner launch website to “bug” lawmakers

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A group pushing to get the Commissioner of Education post to back on Florida ballots unleashed a web page Monday that’ll help voters bug every lawmaker in the state. Fund Education Now created the page so Floridians could urge their representative to vote for HB 767, sponsored by Vero Beach Republican Rep. Debbie Mayfield, which would put an initiative to bring back an elected education commissioner on the 2016 ballot. “Florida’s experiment with an appointed Commissioner of Education has robbed…

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Bill that would regulate fracking in Florida advances in state House

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A bill that would create a new regulatory framework in Florida for the controversial practice known as fracking  passed a House panel Wednesday, despite overwhelming public testimony against it. The House Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee approved the bill (HB 191), filed by Estero Republican Rep. Ray Rodrigues and Rep. Cary Pigman, an Avon Park Republican, on a 9-3 vote. Fracking, short for hydraulic fracturing, involves injecting water, sand and chemicals underground to create fractures in rock formations, allowing natural gas and oil to…

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