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Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda

Surprise (or not): Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda joins the Republican Party

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Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda

As long expected, Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda is pulling a reverse Charlie Crist. The former state representative for Tallahassee, who quit the Democratic Party and became an independent shortly before being term limited out of office last year, now has officially become a Republican. Rehwinkel Vasilinda, 56, officially announced the switch at the 2017 Leon GOP Lincoln Day Dinner held in Tallahassee Thursday night. “We are excited to welcome (her) into the Republican Party,” Leon County GOP chairman Evan Power said. “Her switch really shows how the…

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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 – the legislative merry-go-round. Off: Mia Simon is no longer a legislative assistant for Fort Myers Republican state Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto. On: Dane Bennett is now Benacquisto’s new legislative assistant. Off: Cameron Pennant is no longer a district secretary for Naples Republican Rep. Matt Hudson. Off: Collin Kenline is no longer a district secretary for Tallahassee state Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda. On: Carlecia Collins is a new Tallahassee office legislative assistant…

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Public affairs show ‘Facing Florida’ ends after five-year run

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After 300 hundred episodes and five years on the air, the Sunday morning public affairs program Facing Florida called it quits last month. Host and producer Mike Vasilinda told FloridaPolitics.com Monday that though he loved doing the show and felt it contributed to the political discourse around Tallahassee, the show was taking away too much from his other Capitol news and video production business. “Every business has limited resources. In our case, Facing Florida was taking away time, energy and resources from rate…

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Calling B.S. on Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda

in Peter/Top Headlines by

Like too many lawmakers and elected officials throughout Florida, state Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda did not vote in the March 15th Presidential Preference Primary, as reported by the Tallahassee Democrat and WTSP’s Noah Pransky. Most of those elected who failed to show up and do what they frequently ask voters to do – you know, VOTE – went belly up, when asked, and offered the public relations equivalent of, “Yeah, crap, I forgot” or “My bad. Sorry.” And good for them. Bad that they…

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Florida lawmakers support presidential candidates, but forgot to vote in primary

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Florida legislators may have publicly backed a presidential candidate, but new research finds that several lawmakers failed to vote in the state’s primary election. Noah Pransky of WTSP reports that a number of lawmakers — just like in 2012 – simply did not take part in Florida’s March 15 presidential preference primary, including four from Miami-Dade County: Republican Rep. Erik Fresen, Democratic Reps. Daphne Campbell, Cynthia Stafford, and State Sen. Gwen Margolis. Fresen had endorsed Marco Rubio, who lost Florida…

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House prepares for vote on state’s $82 billion budget

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The Florida House rallied behind the Legislature’s proposed budget Thursday, teeing up the $82.3 billion spending plan up for a vote later this week. State lawmakers debated the budget, shrugging off a structured debate format that has been used in recent years. The reason? Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle appeared to support the budget. “I think we need to notice this historic moment,” said Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda, a Tallahassee Democrat. “I have a feeling we’re going to…

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HD 9 candidate Loranne Ausley plans Tampa fundraiser

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, former CFO Alex Sink, and others are throwing a fundraiser in Tampa for fellow Democrat Loranne Ausley, who’s seeking a Tallahassee-area Florida House seat. Former state Insurance Consumer Advocate Sean Shaw, who worked for Sink, on Thursday tweeted a photo of the invite to the event, to be held next Tuesday at Big Ray’s Fish Camp. The 52-year-old Ausley, a lawyer, seeks to retake the reliably Democratic district she held in 2000-08 now that current Rep. Michelle…

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