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Adam Putnam political committee brings in more than $2.3 million in 2016

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Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam raised more than $2 million in 2016, boosting his war chest ahead of a likely 2018 gubernatorial bid. State records show Florida Grown, Putnam’s political committee, raised more than $2.3 million through Nov. 30. The committee has raised more than $6.3 million since February 2015, according to state campaign finance records. Records show Florida Grown spent nearly $1.4 million in 2016, including at least $240,000 for political consulting and $51,450 for advertising and advertising design work.…

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Will Weatherford opts out of 2018 gubernatorial bid

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Will Weatherford is taking a pass on 2018. The former House Speaker said Thursday he won’t run for governor in two years, saying his role in the 2018 gubernatorial election “should be as a private citizen and not as a candidate.” “My focus right now is on raising my family, living out my faith, and growing my family’s business,” he said in a statement. “I look forward to supporting Republican candidates that share my conservative convictions and can keep Florida…

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Husband’s cancer is a factor in Gwen Graham’s decision to run for governor

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Democratic U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham says she wants to run for governor, and she plans to run for governor. But there’s one very important factor that’s weighing on her decision: her husband has cancer. “Every part of me wants to run for governor, that’s what I feel passionate about, that’s what I know I need to do for the state of Florida, but things happen in life that could take me off that path. I hope not,” Graham said Wednesday…

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Carlos Nathan: An open letter to Florida Democrats

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“What we have here is a failure to communicate.” That quote from “Cool Hand Luke” could be directed squarely at the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party has been suffering from this issue and a message problem since 1998. The performance of the Florida Democratic Party has led to a complete Republican dominance in both the Legislature and the Governor’s mansion. In 2008, Florida helped elect a young, vibrant senator to the highest office in this land under the premise of…

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Email Insights: Republican Governors Association takes aim at Gwen Graham

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The 2018 gubernatorial race has officially begun — even though none of the likely candidates have filed paperwork to run. In an email Thursday, the Republican Governors Association blasted outgoing Rep. Gwen Graham, one of several Democrats considering a 2018 run. The association said Graham’s office hasn’t responded to Freedom of Information Act requests made by the Republican Governors Association. According to documents provided by the Republican Governors Association, the organization requested all documents related to Graham Companies, real estate…

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John Sowinski: On Charlie Reed, a legacy ‘beyond measure’

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Editor’s note: Former Florida State University System Chancellor Charles Reed died Tuesday at 75. Charlie Reed was a hard charger, a master legislative strategist, a fantastically successful leader in higher education, a consummate professional, and a class act. Reed became Chancellor of Florida’s State University System at about the same time that I became Executive Director of the Florida Student Association, the lobbying group that represents the students of Florida’s State University System. He left his job as Governor Bob…

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In Saint Augustine, a dead priest pleads for the life of his killer

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The death penalty used to be a big story in Florida. Print and broadcast executives gave sustained and thoughtful consideration to coverage decisions. The moral, religious, public safety, and financial dimensions of this irrevocable punishment are vast, and cry out for quality journalism. For years after Gov. Bob Graham signed John Spenkelink‘s death warrant, the beat was a magnet for the most ambitious reporters, editors, and editorial writers in the golden age of journalism. The story is as vast as it ever…

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