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Richard Corcoran’s agenda and style get bashed (and sometimes praised) by panel of Pinellas lawmakers

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

He wasn’t on the dais, but Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran’s policies and public comments were front-and-center when a panel of Pinellas lawmakers spoke Wednesday in Clearwater about the recently concluded legislative session. Dubbed “the most interesting man in Tallahassee” in a recent Miami Herald profile, the 52-year-old Land O’Lakes Republican came into leadership last year with a firm and aggressive agenda, and achieved some major accomplishments in state government. And with a potential gubernatorial candidacy in the offing, opinions…

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Joe Henderson: Jack Latvala sounds like a candidate for Governor, even though he hasn’t announced

in Statewide by

State Sen. Jack Latvala of Clearwater keeps saying he’ll decide in a few weeks whether he is running for the Republican nomination for Governor, but he sounds like a candidate right now. He is making himself available for interviews (always a good sign) and speaking engagements around the state. More importantly, he actually is saying things that are newsworthy and sound suspiciously like common sense. Take this quote, for example, given over the weekend to WFOR-CBS 4’s Jim DeFede on…

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Florida Sheriffs name Jack Latvala, James Grant, Chris Sprowls ‘legislative champions’ for 2017

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Florida Sheriffs recognized several Tampa Bay-area lawmakers Thursday for “significant contributions to and support of good public safety policies” during the 2017 Legislative Session. The Florida Sheriffs Association (FSA) named five legislators — including Clearwater state Sen. Jack Latvala and Reps. James Grant of Tampa and Chris Sprowls of Palm Harbor —  for their “commitment to protecting the best interests of Florida citizens” and support of FSA initiatives. In 2017, Grant had sponsored HB 7059, a prolific juvenile offender bill;…

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With law now in place, Tampa Bay region moves closer to regional transit

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Although modest in scope, Tampa Bay area lawmakers and business officials are happy that Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation (SB 1672) they believe is the first step toward creating a regional network to push for transit. The bill changes the actual title of TBARTA. It will now be the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transit Authority (it used to be “transportation”). The new agency is slightly smaller in scope in terms of geography, but not smaller than originally envisaged by Clearwater Republican Jack…

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Report: Top Ron DeSantis contributes $500K to state political committee

in 2017 by

A top supporter of Rep. Ron DeSantis has contributed $500,000 to a state-level political committee that could be used to help fund a gubernatorial bid. POLITICO Florida reported that Frederick Sontag contributed $500,000 to Fund for Florida’s Future, a state level political committee, on May 5. The committee, which was required to report all contributions it received in May by Monday, received $535,000 in contributions last month. Sontag is the founder of Spring Bay Companies, a Ponte Vedra Beach private…

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Democrat Bernie Fensterwald taking second shot at going to Tallahassee

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Democrat Bernie Fensterwald, a Dunedin retiree who lost a challenge to Chris Sprowls in the House District 65 race in North Pinellas County last November by more than 30 percentage points, has filed once again to run for the Legislature. This time Fensterwald is gunning for the state Senate District 16 seat in north Pinellas being vacated by a term-limited Jack Latvala. The only other candidate to file so far for the open seat is former GOP state representative and Clearwater City Commissioner Ed…

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Jack Latvala raises more than $47K in May

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

Sen. Jack Latvala raised more than $47,800 in about 20 days in May. Florida Leadership Committee, the Clearwater Republican’s political committee, raised at least $47,891 between May 10 and May 31, according to contribution data posted to the committee’s website. The Division of Elections’ deadline for reporting May numbers is Monday. Florida Leadership Committee hadn’t posted its information with the state as of Monday morning, but has posted contribution data on its website. Top contributors during the three-weeks included AT&T…

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