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Oldsmar elected officials all line up behind Ed Hooper in Senate race

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Ed Hooper has now received the endorsement of every Oldsmar city elected official in his bid for Florida Senate. Hooper, a retired fire Lieutenant who served on the Clearwater City Council before spending eight years in the Florida House, is seeking to replace term-limited Clearwater Sen. Jack Latvala in 2018.

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Jack Latvala pledges to raise $50K over next six months for struggling Florida GOP

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Sen. Jack Latvala is stepping up to help the Republican Party of Florida, and he’s calling on others to follow his lead. The Clearwater Republican took to Twitter on Wednesday and said he plans to raise $25,000 to the Florida GOP in both the third and fourth quarter, for a total of $50,000 in the final six months of 2017. Latvala, a prolific fundraiser, then challenged others to match it. The pledge, and subsequent challenge, comes on the heels of…

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Bob White wants to give GOP voters an alternative in governor’s race

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For Florida Republicans unsure who to support for governor in 2018, Bob White wants to give them a staunchly conservative alternative. One might add ‘libertarian’ as well: White chairs the Republican Liberty Caucus of Florida, which is “dedicated to working within the Republican Party to advance the principles of individual rights, limited government and free markets,” its website says. The Florida GOP has occupied the Governor’s Mansion for nearly two decades. Several candidates — both officially and unofficially — hope to keep…

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Jeff Brandes, Dana Young endorse Ed Hooper

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Republican state Sens. Jeff Brandes of St. Petersburg and Dana Young of Tampa on Friday endorsed former state Rep. Ed Hooper in his quest to replace Clearwater Sen. Jack Latvala, who is term-limited in 2018. Brandes called Hooper “a true advocate for his community … thoughtful, collaborative, and trusted.” “These are some of the best qualities in a Senator and I’m happy to endorse him in his campaign for the State Senate,” he said. “He will help make Florida a more…

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Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri backs Ed Hooper in SD 16

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri is throwing his support behind Ed Hooper. Gualtieri announced Thursday he was endorsing Hooper in the race to replace Sen. Jack Latvala in Senate District 16. Gualtieri said Hooper’s “real-world, first-hand insight” will serve him — and Florida voters — well in the Florida Senate. “For as long as I’ve known Ed Hooper he has been a staunch supporter of our law enforcement and first responder community,” he said. “His background as a firefighter gives him a…

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Jack Latvala: ‘It is very possible I end up announcing something in the near future’

in 2017 by

Sen. Jack Latvala didn’t use an appearance at the Tiger Bay Club of Southwest Florida to announce a 2018 gubernatorial bid. Then again, he didn’t use it to quash any rumors about his plans for the future. “We have several members of the press here today, so if I was to specifically make an announcement, then there wouldn’t be a reason for them to come to an announcement if I had one,” said the Clearwater Republican when asked what was…

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Pinellas GOP lawmakers ‘have no respect for open government,’ Times editor says

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

A top editor at the Tampa Bay Times fired back Wednesday after Pinellas legislators slammed the paper for calling them “Disciples of Darkness” because of transparency-related and public records measures passed this year. “I understand why they are not happy,” Tim Nickens, the Times editor of editorials, wrote in an email. “They have no respect for open government, and Florida voters have strongly supported open government for decades. They also do not like it when they are held accountable for their own voting records.’’…

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