Today on Context Florida: Qualifying week, 11 takeaways, middle class champions and John Thrasher

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Today on Context Florida:

When qualifying for state offices closed in Florida last week, Martin Dyckman notes that more than a third of the candidates for the Legislature — nine out of 20 running for the Senate and 41 of 120 in the House — escaped without opposition on the ballot. The lack of choice for voters is worse than even those figures make it seem.

Dozens of state legislators earned new terms in office as Florida’s qualifying period for the 2014 election ended Friday. With qualifying week over, Peter Schorsch offers 11 takeaways for this fall’s elections, including one that says Tampa Bay will continue to become the epicenter of this year’s legislative campaign cycle.

Gov. Rick Scott may routinely ignore the needs of middle-class and working families, but Mark Ferrulo says that there are legislators willing to stand up to moneyed corporate lobbyists and fight back. Earlier this month Progress Florida and America Votes recognized 15 members of the Florida Legislature as “Champions of Florida’s Middle Class” for their unwavering support of Florida’s working families.

John Thrasher is focused, smart, driven to success, and humble, says Ed Moore, which is why he believes Thrasher would be the perfect choice for the next president of Florida State University. FSU would be his favored destination; a place where he could help build the future, work to enhance programs, expand options, secure funding for research, and raise FSU higher in national rankings.

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Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.