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Latest on the legislative staffing merry-go-round

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

With a tip of the hat to LobbyTools, here are the latest movements – both on and off – of the legislative merry-go-round. Off: Hope Holt, formerly calendar coordinator in the House Clerk’s Office, is now serving as a program specialist for the Office of Professional Development. Off: Tina White stepped down as policy chief for the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee. Off: Dane Bennett is no longer a legislative assistant for Fort Myers Republican Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto. Off: Theresa Frederick and Isabela Dorneles are no longer legislative assistants for North Miami…

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Race to replace Jim Boyd gins up big numbers

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by
Jim Boyd

Contributions for candidates in the race to replace House District 71’s Jim Boyd topped $115,000 for April. Will Robinson, a Bradenton Republican, bested Sarasota Republican James Buchanan for the month, pulling in a whopping $97,600 to Buchanan’s $15,300, records show. And Bradenton Democrat Randy Cooper put up $2,210. Boyd, a Bradenton Republican, is term-limited, having been first elected in 2010. Buchanan is the son of five-term U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan. The younger Buchanan founded James Buchanan Realty after graduating from Florida State…

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House puts fate of fentanyl trafficking bill at risk

in Statewide by

The Florida House has rejected a Senate proposal to loosen mandatory-minimum-sentence requirements in a bill that cracks down on synthetic drug traffickers, putting the legislation in jeopardy with only one day left for it to pass. The bill’s primary sponsor, Republican Rep. Jim Boyd, said the purpose of the bill would be defeated without the three-year mandatory minimum sentence for someone caught with at least 4 grams of fentanyl. He said the bill is meant to jail “scumbag” drug dealers,…

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James Buchanan hauls $138K in first month of HD 71 campaign

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

House District 71 candidate James Buchanan brought in a monstrous $138,000 haul in his first month in the race to replace termed-out Republican Rep. Jim Boyd. Buchanan’s campaign says more than four-fifths of that money came from inside the district, which covers parts of Manatee and Sarasota counties. “One month into our campaign and the amount of support from every corner of our community has not only been encouraging, but overwhelming and humbling,” Buchanan said in a press release. “I…

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State lawmakers applaud Florida TaxWatch during annual State of Taxpayer dinner

in Apolitical by

State lawmakers applauded Florida TaxWatch this week, hailing the organization for its role in the legislative process. “The folks that formed Florida TaxWatch had a good focus in mind,” said Sen. Jack Latvala. “And as a result of Florida TaxWatch’s efforts, we’ve turned things around.” The taxpayer advocacy group hosted its State of the Taxpayer dinner Wednesday. The annual event is meant to highlight issues affecting the average taxpayer, and features speeches from Latvala, Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, Attorney General…

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Could Pat Neal’s anti-Donald Trump hurt his chances of becoming CFO?

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

Not surprisingly, Donald Trump hasn’t been too keen on hiring those associated with the “Never Trump” movement of conservative policy who surfaced in last year’s presidential campaign. The most glaring example of this is the case of former State Department official Elliott Abrams. A meeting between the two last month reportedly went well, according to CNN. Ultimately, though, Trump opted not to hire Abrams for the Deputy Secretary of State position once he learned that Abrams criticized him during his White House run. With the in mind, might…

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James Buchanan – son of Vern – announces his candidacy for HD 71 seat

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

James Buchanan, the son of Sarasota area Republican Congressman Vern Buchanan, has filed to run for the House District 71 seat in 2018. The 35-year-old is the founder of James Buchanan Realty, which specializes in residential, luxury, waterfront, condominiums, commercial, and land real estate. “I’m running because as a small business owner with deep roots in our community, I want to be a voice for those conservative principles,” he said in a statement. “I understand firsthand how decisions made by government can affect local…

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