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Polk County School Board

Baxter Troutman entering competitive Agriculture Commissioner race

in 2017/Top Headlines by

Former state Rep. Baxter Troutman of Winter Haven said he will run for Florida Commissioner of Agriculture. The grandson of the late citrus baron and one-time gubernatorial candidate, Ben Hill Griffin Jr., Troutman will enter the competitive race to succeed Adam Putnam, a Bartow Republican who is term-limited and is running for governor. “I will file either Friday or Monday at the latest,” Troutman said. “This isn’t a decision I came to lightly and it isn’t a step to advance to…

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Polk School Board candidate Becky Troutman hosting affordable campaign event

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Polk County School Board candidate Becky Troutman will hold a low-dollar fundraiser Tuesday, Oct. 18, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Leland Young’s Show Barn, 2905 Central Ave., Bartow. Campaign donations for the event and eats are at an affordable $20 per family. Troutman is the wife of former Republican State Rep. Baxter Troutman, who represented House District 66 from 2003-2010. In March 2008, Baxter Troutman proposed to Becky, his longtime girlfriend, on the floor of the Florida House. Advance reservations can be made…

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Bill Rufty: Polk becoming a two-Party county?

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Polk County will likely never return to the Democratic bastion that was home to four U.S. senators, three governors, and four presidents of the Florida Senate. But from Tuesday’s primaries and the fielding of candidates for the Nov. 8 general elections, Polk Democrats are slowly learning to make the now-GOP bastion a two-party county again. There was a big Democratic Primary in eastern Polk County for Florida’s 9th Congressional District, but not one of the four candidates were from Polk. However,…

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Polk political notebook: Strong mayors, weak spellcheck and dueling websites

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Strong mayor pushed because of weak responses The city of Lakeland has been going through a series of bipolar political moves or lack of moves over the last few decades. Its leaders and business executives in the city can’t seem to figure out if they want to be a big municipality or a small town. A strong mayor is the sign of a large city, supporters say. But at the same time supporters are pushing for that big city appeal and…

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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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