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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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Brian Hodgers widens fundraising lead in HD 52 race

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Brian Hodgers increased his lead over the other three Republicans running for House District 52 with $6,750 in contributions last month. “Our conservative message is hitting a nerve in our community, and I’m very grateful for the folks who want to be part of our campaign,” Hodgers said in a news release. “I look forward to continuing to work hard to get our message of lower taxes, fewer regulations, and more freedom out to all the voters of District 52.”…

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Jeanette Núñez’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad, budget conference

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What do you do when you are asked to carry the water for a colleague running for the Florida Senate, who is looking to curry favor with a large business in his district by requesting funding for a line item nobody asked for, the state doesn’t need, and the Senate vehemently opposes? You do what Rep. Jeanette Núñez has been doing for Rep. Ritch Workman, which is to stick to a script that on the surface sounds believable, but is…

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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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State police radio replacement dispute becomes budget conference sticking point

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An obscure but heated battle over a state contract potentially worth hundreds of millions of taxpayers’ money is at stake as budget conferees continue to hammer out differences between House and Senate proposals. At issues is the radio equipment law enforcement agents use to communicate. Problems with communication gear have led to the deaths of several officers across the country. Tucked into the House’s government operations budget proposal is $7 million for a line item that reads “Replacement Of Statewide Law…

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Lawmakers consider controversial alimony, custody changes

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Big changes could be in store for couples who divorce under legislation now being considered by Florida lawmakers. Measures to end permanent alimony and to push judges toward granting 50-50 time-sharing custody between parents are generating emotional arguments in legislative committee hearings. An alimony reform bill passed its second committee in the House last week, and is ready for a vote on the House floor. A child custody bill has passed one committee in the Senate. Backers say alimony reform…

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Broad ethics bill unanimously passes first House stop

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After a handful of amendments, an omnibus ethics bill unanimously passed the House Government Operations Subcommittee Tuesday afternoon. LobbyTools reports that HB 593 will create a host of new mandates and requirements to help fraud and waste in state government The strike-all amendment approved by the committee was similar to the original bill, only adding text contained in another anti-corruption proposal (HB 7071) sponsored by Rep. Ritch Workman. Yalaha Republican Larry Metz, who filed HB 593, agreed that he would drop that…

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