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Gwen Graham prevents forest fires, does Workday at Apalachicola National Forest

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U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham performed one of her signature “Workdays” — a tradition she inherited from her father Bob Graham — participating in a controlled burn at the Apalachicola National Forest on Thursday. Graham, along with representatives from U.S. Forest Service and the Nature Conservancy, protected trees housing the endangered Red-Cockaded Woodpecker, ignited potentially dangerous underbrush, and extinguished a fire threatening to consume a longleaf pine, according to a release. “It was an honor to work alongside the men and women of the U.S. Forest Service…

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David Jolly ramps up his advocacy for Daniel Webster as next House Speaker

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Seemingly every House Republican wants Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan to succeed John Boehner as Speaker of the House. However, Ryan is playing coy, telling his colleagues on Friday that he wanted to consult with his family this weekend and watch his beloved Green Bay Packers before making any decision. If Ryan won’t pull the trigger, David Jolly really, really wants his colleagues to consider Daniel Webster, his colleague in the Florida House delegation, and a man already deemed the choice…

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Overhaul of Florida’s districts hurts would-be House speaker

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A judge called Friday for a sweeping overhaul of Florida’s electoral map, including the congressional district held by a Republican seeking to become the next U.S. House speaker. Judge Terry Lewis recommended new boundaries for the state’s 27 congressional districts, some of which would make it nearly impossible for U.S. Rep. Dan Webster — one of the hard-line conservatives who pushed John Boehner to resign as speaker and then turned on Boehner’s No. 2, Kevin McCarthy — to win re-election…

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Redistricting summons forces Tom Lee to cancel Polk Tiger Bay appearance

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Florida Senate Appropriations Chair Tom Lee missed his speaking engagement with the Polk County Tiger Bay Club on Thursday. The Brandon Republican had received a summons to Tallahassee, which Circuit Court Judge Terry Lewis wouldn’t allow him to postpone. He was a witness for the judge’s hearings to decide from perhaps as many as seven maps of redistricting for Florida’s congressional districts. Tiger Bay members had their own questions on redistricting on which they had hoped to hear answers from Lee, particularly…

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Florida judge will try to sort out state’s political mess

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After years of legal wrangling, two special sessions and much political finger pointing, a judge is going to try to sort out the mess left from squabbling over Florida’s 27 congressional districts. Judge Terry Lewis on Thursday will preside over a trial where he will consider seven different maps that would each alter the state’s political landscape. Lewis is expected to recommend one of the proposals to the state Supreme Court for final approval. “I would really like to see…

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Matt Isbell: Looking at the Florida redistricting maps offered by the plaintiffs

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When Judge Terry Lewis convenes his redistricting trial later this month, there will be 7 different maps to examine — three from the Legislature and four from the plaintiffs. This article will cover some key differences in the maps being proposed. The specific focus is going to be on the maps submitted by the plaintiffs and how they compare to the Legislature’s proposals. Debate Between the House and Senate The differences between the House and Senate’s final maps are minimal.…

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Maps come in for congressional redistricting challenge

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Circuit Judge Terry Lewis will have at least seven proposed maps to sort out as he determines the best way to fix Florida’s congressional district boundaries. As of Tuesday, those maps include the House’s original “base map,” unchanged since last month’s Special Session, and two from the Senate, one of which puts the southern flank of eastern Hillsborough County back into the 16th Congressional District, now held by Republican U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan. Still others, including those submitted by the League of Women…

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