Florida Five: Florida prefers Rubio over Bush, Former RPOF chair blasts Crist, tea party

Five of today’s top Florida political stories at your fingertips:

Incoming Speaker Crisafulli’s first (smart) moves: Mears as staff chief, Prater and Smith as deputies: It’s official: Kathy Mears is the must-hire chief of staff in the state Capitol. And it’s also official: Incoming Florida House Speaker Steve Crisafulli is certainly smart enough to know that, tapping Mears to stay on as chief of staff after she served in that capacity for two years under Speaker Will Weatherford. Mears was then-Republican Gov. Charlie Crist’s deputy staff chief and was a top advisor to former Senate Presidents Ken Pruitt and Tom Lee. Read more

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Photo Credit Latino.FoxNews.com

Poll: Florida Republicans narrowly choose Rubio over Bush: There’s much speculation about whether Jeb Bushor Marco Rubio or both will seek the White House in 2016… But when you ask Florida Republicans to choose just between Rubio and Bush, Rubio leads 45/41 based on his strength with voters who identify as ‘very conservative.’ In a field full of conservatives Bush leads because of his centrist support and because Rubio is not necessarily the first choice of conservative voters. But when you narrow the choices, conservatives are much more inclined to move to Rubio. Read more

Jim Greer book blasts Charlie Crist, tea party: Jim Greer found a way to get even with Charlie Crist, but the question is how many people will believe it — or pay $32.95 to read about it. The disgraced and imprisoned former chairman of the Republican Party of Florida is the subject of a new book by St. Petersburg author Peter Golenbock. “The Chairman: The Rise and Betrayal of Jim Greer” is largely a 400-page rant by Greer, who went to prison more than a year ago after pleading guilty to stealing party money. Now at a halfway house in Orlando, he’s due to be released July 5. Read more

Charlie Crist snags LGBT endorsements, calls out AG Pam Bondi: The largest gay-rights groups in Florida and the nation endorsed Democrat Charlie Crist on Thursday, a turnaround for the former Republican governor who once helped enshrine a same-sex marriage ban in the state’s constitution. In accepting the support of Equality Florida Action PAC and the Washington-based Human Rights Campaign, Crist pledged to pressure Florida’s Republican attorney general, Pam Bondi, to stop fighting a lawsuit seeking to overturn the same-sex marriage ban voters approved in 2008 by 62 percent. Read more

Robert ThompsonFlorida eatery tells vet ‘his kind’ not welcome; backlash followsAn eatery in South Florida bit off more than it could chew when a veteran was told “his kind” was not welcome. Robert Thompson, a 20-year Navy vet who served in Iraq, visited the Old Key Lime House in Lantana, Fla., on Saturday and was told to remove a leather vest because they do not allow “gangs or colors” at the restaurant, WPTV reported. Read more

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Tom Tillison


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