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Mitch Perry Report for 7.13.15 — Will Jim Webb’s candidacy go anywhere in the Dem primary?

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Scott Walker comes out of semi-hibernation tonight to officially announce his candidacy for president. We’ll have plenty to talk about the man who is doing well in nearby Iowa, but has many questions surrounding his candidacy as he officially gets into the race.

Meanwhile, the only candidate in either party to announce via press release, former Virginia U.S. Sen. Jim Webb, did his first major television interview yesterday since declaring his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination.

On Fox News Sunday, Webb told Fox’ Brett Baier that he hopes to bring a “different tone to the Democratic party,” agreeing with Baier’s premise that the Dems have moved “way far to the left.”

“That’s not my Democratic Party in and of itself. We need to bring working people back into the formula,” he said.

Webb is a fascinating guy. Very intelligent, but not much of a bedside manner. Probably best known as being secretary of the Navy under Ronald Reagan before he ran and won in Virginia nearly two decades later, he introduced himself to 2016 Democratic Primary voters by going on Fox to trash the Democratic Party. That isn’t going to do too much to help whatever he’s attempting to do with his candidacy.

A few weeks ago Webb appeared to be defending those who support the raising of the Confederate flag, and yesterday he said that there has been “divisive, inflammatory rhetoric” by those who want to be president that “is not helpful,” adding that “And we have seen from the liberal side as well this kind of rhetoric as it goes to Southern white cultures.”

He has a lot of other interesting ideas about the criminal justice system that others aren’t talking about in this race (not really, though you read a lot those days about how that’s an issue that people from both sides of the aisle are united behind). Can he get a fair hearing in the media, though, which is dominated by covering Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders on the Democratic side and Donald Trump and Jeb Bush on the right?

Hint — when was the last time you heard anything about Martin O’Malley? Or Lincoln Chafee?

Here’s some other stories we reported on late Friday and over the weekend.

Donald Trump is now tied with Jeb Bush nationally in the GOP presidential sweepstakes, according to a Reuters-Ipso poll.

The Republican Party of Florida took in $1.9 million under new chair Blaise Ingoglia in the second quarter of this year, the Florida Democratic Party $1.3 million.

Later this week Hillsborough County commissioners will debate over a version of the Confederate flag that hangs inside the County Center, where their public meetings take place.  Commissioner Stacy White wants the issue to go before the voters in 2016.

In Hillsborough County, the two Democratic candidates in County Commission District 6 who have been actively fundraising, Pat Kemp and Brian Willis, announced their latest totals on Friday.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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