Florida Five: Primary will test Crist’s support among Dems, Most Florida congressmen look safe

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

Most Florida congressmen look safe in Tuesday’s primaries: Florida voters hit the polls on Tuesday as they vote in the primaries. Florida’s 27 congressmen face some challenges on Tuesday but most of them are in excellent shape to retain their seats. Read more. 

crist umbrellaPrimary will test Crist’s support among Democrats:  Arlene Ustin is a hardcore Democrat and she’d like nothing more than to see Republican Gov. Rick Scott defeated in November.But she’s not supporting Republican-turned-Democrat former Gov. Charlie Crist — yet.First there’s the matter of Tuesday’s primary, where Crist faces former Senate Democratic Leader Nan Rich.Crist needs to win big to show that Democrats have accepted his political conversion. If Rich gets a sizable portion of the vote despite poor name recognition and a fraction of the money Crist has raised, it could be a bad sign for the former governor who is trying to revive his political career with a new party. Read more.

Gov. Rick Scott calls for review of education standards, state tests: Seeking to secure votes from parents and the tea party faithful, Gov. Rick Scott on Monday called for a review of Florida’s controversial new education benchmarks and a “thorough investigation of all standardized tests.”The election-minded governor, who last week said he would boost per-student spending to an all-time high, also proposed more money for classroom technology and school-safety initiatives, and larger cash rewards for top teachers.”We are going to continue to invest more money because our economy has turned around and we have the dollars to invest,” said Scott. “It’s my highest priority, along with jobs.” Read more. 

Fant Brenner 1Conservative watchdog group launches anti-Renner web site in final stretch before election: Trial lawyer Paul Renner has drawn scrutiny over his past contributions to a liberal Democrat and his business dealings, both of which turned up on a website over the weekend. Conservative Leadership Fund, a conservative watchdog organization, launched the expose website PaulRennerDeposed.com, which uncovered facts about Renner’s record on which the candidate has remained silent, and is promoting the site through a significant online ad buy through Election Day on Tuesday. Read more.

Palm Beach County School Board wants to opt out of standardized testing: The school board of Palm Beach County is joining with Lee County to explore their options to opt out of high-stakes standardized testing.At a meeting last week, board members discussed standardized testing and expressed a desire to investigate opting out of standardized testing — and what the consequences would be of such a move. Board members said stakes were too high for students — and while they didn’t disagree with standardized testing in its entirety, they disagreed with its ultimate goals and results.“Make no mistake, I believe in assessment. I believe in testing that is used for measurement not punishment,” said board member Karen Brill. “I believe that we, as a district, need to research opting out from the new Florida Standard Assessments but we must also restore common sense and balance to our own testing schedule.” Read more. 

BONUS: Man fights for years to shut down young kid’s ‘illegal’ lemonade stand; whose rights are being violated?

For more Florida political news, visit BPR’s FLORIDA NEWS page

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