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2016 legislative elections

On election night, Florida Chamber happy about ‘pro-business’ Legislature

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If Tuesday’s elections proved one thing, it was that Fair Districts didn’t make much difference in the Florida Legislature. That was the assessment from Marian Johnson, senior vice president for political strategy for the Florida Chamber of Commerce, who spent the Chamber’s election night party in Tallahassee crunching data. The state Senate appeared to be shifting from a 26-14 GOP majority to 25-15. The House seemed headed for a similarly negligible shift. The Fair Districts initiative had been intended to…

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Tampa Bay area legislative hopefuls endorsed by Barack Obama

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

President Barack Obama has thrown his support behind a few Tampa Bay area Democrats. The Florida Democratic Party announced Friday the president endorsed 13 Democrats running for state House and Senate. Among those on the list: Bob Buesing in Senate District 18, Rena Frazier in House District 59, Lisa Montelione in House District 63, and Ben Diamond in House District 68. “President Obama’s extraordinary service to our nation has inspired in me a strong desire to serve our community and…

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Gainesville PD: Complaint withdrawn in Keith Perry case

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A Gainesville man has withdrawn his complaint against Rep. Keith Perry. Norman Leppla withdrew his complaint against Perry on Thursday, according to the Gainesville Police Department. The notice of withdrawal comes one day after the police department released surveillance video that showed Perry striking Leppla after a disagreement over a yard sign. But Leppla’s decision to withdraw his complaint doesn’t automatically put an end to the issue. In an email Thursday, a spokesman for the Gainesville Police Department said the agency…

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Keith Perry says alleged battery incident resolved, calls it a ‘misunderstanding’

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A Gainesville state lawmaker said a complaint against him alleging battery has been withdrawn. In a statement Monday evening, Rep. Keith Perry said an incident over the weekend involving an alleged battery “has been resolved.” According to police reports, Perry was involved in an incident Saturday that included battery and trespassing. The weapons used in the incident, according to the one-page report, were “hands, feet, fists, spitting.” The incident occurred in the 2200 block of West University Avenue in Gainesville.…

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Ken Detzner reports more than 1.75M Floridians voted early in primary

in Statewide by

Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner says that there have been no reported voting irregularities in the first few hours of voting in Tuesday’s primary election. One noteworthy issue, he said, was that a polling place in Miami Beach was moved from the Botanical Gardens location to City Hall a block away due to mosquito spraying. There were also a few delays in opening polling stations in Lee and Flagler counties. Detzner reported that more than 1.7 million Floridians had cast a ballot before…

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Bob Martinez endorses Rebecca Smith in HD 60 race

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Rebecca Smith can add former Gov. Bob Martinez to her list of backers. Smith announced Tuesday that Martinez and his wife, Mary Jane Martinez, have endorsed the Tampa Republican in her House District 60 campaign. In a joint statement Tuesday, the couple said Smith “has the right experience to represent us in Tallahassee.” “We support businesswoman Rebecca Smith for the House of Representatives,” they said in a statement. “Rebecca owns and runs a successful construction business, is engaged with community…

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Heather Fitzenhagen apologizes for campaign email snafu

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Heather Fitzenhagen has apologized after a campaign email was sent from her House email address. On Thursday, Gary Fineout of the Associated Press reported that Fitzenhagen apologized for a breach of her official House email account after the address was used to send an invitation to a campaign fundraiser. .@RepFitzenhagen apologies for breach of her official House email account. It was used to send a fundraising invitation yesterday — Gary Fineout (@fineout) April 22, 2016 House staff said they were…

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