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John Wood

Bill Rufty: A political rarity in HD 41 – Republican, Democrat agree

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Republicans and Democrats agreeing on a major issue – It seldom (if ever) happens lately in national politics. But on a state level, Republican Sam Killebrew and Democrat Bob Doyel, competing for Florida House District 41, agreed on the critical issue of education in the state of Florida. There are too many tests and perhaps not geared to finding children’s progress so much as to grade teachers or schools, they said in front of a Polk County Tiger Bay luncheon…

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HD 41 candidate Sam Killebrew to hold Lakeland fundraiser Thursday

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

A fundraiser for Sam Killebrew, Republican Primary candidate for Florida House District 41, is scheduled for 5:30 – 7 p.m., Thursday at the home of Harriet and Dean Boring, 2112 Hawthorne Trail, in Lakeland. Killebrew, retired contractor and a GOP fundraiser and activist, is competing with retired appellate Judge Charles Davis for the party’s nomination. The winner will face retired Circuit Judge and Democrat Robert Doyel in the general election to fill the seat of Republican Rep. John Wood, who…

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Fantasy sports bill fumbles in Florida House

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A legislative leader ultimately backed down Friday on his attempt to tack language legalizing fantasy sports play in Florida on a regulatory-related bill. State Rep. Matt Gaetz, the Fort Walton Beach Republican who chairs the Finance and Tax Committee, tried to amend a House bill (HB 1187) making changes to the state’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation, which also regulates gambling. Gaetz’s amendment mirrored a Senate measure backed by President-designate Joe Negron that declares fantasy sports play a “game of…

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Florida House votes 82-37 to approve “Pastor Protection” Act

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

The Florida House voted 82-37 to approve a bill that allows members of the clergy to refuse to perform gay marriages. The passage came after more than an hour of passionate debate. Opponents questioned why the bill (HB 43) was needed, with some calling it an insult to the state’s gay community. “This bill is about discriminating in the name of religion, sadly,” said Rep. David Richardson, a Miami Beach Democrat and the only openly gay member of the Florida…

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House passes judicial term limits in close vote

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

A judicial term limits initiative that is stalled in the Senate barely passed out of the House Wednesday. The House approved the measure (HB 197) on a 76-38 vote. Because imposing term limits on appellate judges and justices requires changing the state constitution, it needed three-fifths of the House, or at least 72 votes. A companion measure (SB 322) has yet to be heard in the Senate with less than three weeks left in the 2016 Legislative Session. Even if…

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Winter Haven state Rep. John Wood endorses Marco Rubio

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

State Rep. John Wood, a Winter Haven Republican, endorsed U. S. Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida’s Republican junior senator, for president on Saturday. A recent statewide Florida Southern College opinion poll showed Rubio running second to Donald Trump heading toward Florida’s March Presidential Primary. In the South Carolina Republican Primary, Rubio made a strong showing. Wood, chair of the Florida House Insurance and Banking Subcommittee and a staunch fiscal conservative, made his endorsement hours before the polls closed in South Carolina…

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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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