Florida Five: Surge of alien minors felt in Miami, Crist under pressure to name running mate

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

Crist under pressure to name running mate: Who will be his No. 2? If Crist wins the primary on Aug. 26 as is expected, he will have just nine days to designate a lieutenant governor as his running mate. That gives him less than two months to vet candidates and make his choice. The lieutenant governor job in Florida comes with no official responsibilities, except to take the place of a governor who is incapacitated. Incumbent Gov. Rick Scott left the position open for eight months after former Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll resigned in 2013. But Crist’s pick could make a difference in the November election, even while most Floridians will vote the top of the ticket. Read more.

Western conservatives high on Ben Carson, Allen West, low on Jeb Bush: Two African-American Republicans with eyes on 2016 — U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., and Dr. Ben Carson — will be taking center stage when both speak at the three-day Western Conservative Summit taking place in Denver, Colo., July 18-20. This annual conference has been held in Denver since 2010.Sunshine State News talked to John Andrews, the chairman of the Western Conservative Summit and director of the Centennial Institute, on how West, Carson and other potential Republican presidential candidates from Florida are seen by conservatives in Colorado and the region.  Asked about reactions to both West and Carson, Andrews said both men were picking up steam in the Mountain West. Read more.

illegal childSurge in unaccompanied minors across Mexican border is felt in Miami: The transfer of arriving immigrant minors to South Florida shelters is taxing the services of local agencies serving immigrants. The crisis of the thousands of unaccompanied children crossing the Mexican border is being felt across the United States, with Miami one of 10 cities where children are being sent for immigration proceedings as border shelters fill up. The transfer of arriving immigrant minors to South Florida shelters is taxing the services of nongovernmental organizations that assist immigrants, according to immigration attorneys. Read more.

Police cutbacks mean citizens pay twice for protection: Before the days of government budget cutbacks, paying your taxes helped you get a good night’s sleep. Not anymore. If you want police protection in Florida, you’re going to have to pay extra for it, apparently. That’s because widespread budget trimming has left some areas of the state underserved. Read more.

Cameras don’t Lie: Charlie’s consuming Washington itch: Who knows how long Charlie Crist the Republican hankered to hobnob with the most powerful politicians in Washington.Five years? Ten years? Since he was a kid?The thing about Charlie’s ambitions is, he never let the demands of his current job get in their way. As soon as voters gave him one job, he was hugging up some celebrity politician for a bigger one.Democrats — in fact, all Florida voters in 2014 — might want to remember that. This is a leopard who changes his positions but never his spots. Read more.

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