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Ed Smith

Ed Smith leaves Florida House race for school board

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Polk County Commissioner Ed Smith, a Lake Alfred Republican, has pulled out of the Republican Primary for Florida House District 41, and has entered the nonpartisan race for Polk County School Board against incumbent Dick Mullenax. Smith said his decision to switch to run for a local office is based “solidly on the health of my wife.” The change in races leaves two candidates in the Republican Primary for the legislative seat and to woo Smith’s large bloc of supporters…

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Ed Smith submits enough signatures to qualify for HD 41 race

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Ed Smith has gathered enough petition signatures to qualify for the House District 41 race, the Bartow Republican said Wednesday. “The campaign has got momentum,” Smith said. “I thank everyone who signed a card for me and I have enjoyed meeting new friends along the way.” The former Winter Haven Police officer is the first candidate in the race to qualify through the petition method and is one of three Republicans running for the seat currently held by term-limited Republican…

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J.C. Martin calls in chips for the Polk County Commission District 3 race

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J.C. Martin, a Republican candidate for the Polk County Commission District 3 seat, knows the value of hard work for his party and is learning the favors that can be stored up by it. He has an all-star cast of Republicans backing him for his Dec. 14 fundraiser including a personal appearance by Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, himself a U.S. Senate candidate. Okeechobee Republican congressman Tom Rooney has endorsed Martin by way of lending his name to the host committee…

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Robert Doyel makes it a race in HD 41

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Former 10th Judicial Circuit Judge Robert Doyel officially filed late last week to run as a Democrat for the Florida House. House District 41 is within eastern Polk County. Doyel is the fourth candidate to open a campaign account for the seat being vacated by state Rep. John Wood, a Winter Haven Republican, who will reach his eight-year term limit next year. There are also three GOP candidates in this district, which has slightly more registered Democrats than Republicans and a…

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Legislative field continues to shape up with new entrants in SD 33, HD 41, and HD 118

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Since we last checked in with the state of the Florida legislative field, a number of new candidates have entered the fray and brought statehouse watchers a more complete picture of what to expect next spring when both parties will dive headlong into full-on campaign mode. Let’s take a quick look at Division of Elections filing activity around the state. Lauren Book received a rollout fit for an instant frontrunner when she announced her bid for the SD 33 seat held by term-limited state Sen.…

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Bill Rufty: A fourth candidate for House District 41

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A third Republican and likely to be the fourth candidate overall seeking the vacant Florida House District 41 next year filed his qualification papers today. Retired Second District Court of Appeal Judge Charlie Davis filed to run as a Republican for the east Polk County seat that will be left vacant by state Rep. John Wood, a Winter Haven Republican, in 2016 when he reaches his eight-year term limit. Davis, 67, spent 32 years on the bench as a Polk…

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Robert Doyel announces HD 41 bid

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Former Circuit Court Judge Robert Doyel announced Thursday that he is running in 2016 for Florida House District 41, which encompasses most of the eastern portion of Polk County. County Democratic Party officials confirmed last week that they were trying to recruit Doyel to run against Lakeland Republican Sen. Kelli Stargel. “I was approached about running for the Senate a lot and I determined I would run for the House seat,” Doyel said. “I haven’t even filed for the race yet,…

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