Florida Five: Winners and losers of Fla. primaries, Dems pick Crist for tough race against Scott

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

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Crist crushes Nan Rich. But race against Rick Scott is far tougher: Florida Democrats made it official Tuesday: They want a former Republican governor to beat the current Republican governor. Heading into Tuesday’s Democratic primary election, Charlie Crist’s win over longtime Democrat Nan Rich was never in doubt. Only the size of his double-digit margin was in question. He led Rich by 50 percentage points when the Associated Press called the race two minutes after the polls closed. That’s not the case when it comes to the general election pitting Crist against Republican Gov. Rick Scott. Read more

Winners and losers of the Florida primariesThere wasn’t much drama in Tuesday’s primaries, with little to take interest in at the state level as Rick Scott and Charlie Crist cruised in the gubernatorial primaries and George Sheldon beat Perry Thurston to become the sacrificial lamb thrown at Pam Bondi in November. Despite that, there were some major winners and losers across the Sunshine State after the smoke cleared. Read more

Pre-primary voting may have topped election day numbers for first time: Secretary of State Ken Detzner says for the first time in state history people using absentee ballots and voting by mail may have surpassed the number of people voting on election day. The 2014 primary was largely quiet, with big-ticket statewide races all but decided before election day. What piqued the interest of many political junkies and election observers is the continued spike in the use of absentee ballots, which were up more than 40 percent from the 2010 primary. Read more

Feds subsidize Florida law enforcement’s military equipment stockpileFrom M-16 assault rifles to reconnaissance helicopters to electric golf carts, local law enforcement agencies in Florida have been stocking up on surplus military equipment for years. At just pennies on the dollar, it’s easy to understand why. “My operating costs are so cheap it’s ridiculous,” John Coppola, chief pilot for the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, told Watchdog.org. Read more

Despite easy path in 2014, Jeff Atwater’s actively helping the GOP: Jeff Atwater won’t be in the political spotlight this year, but he is not headed to the sidelines either as he keeps his options open for the future. Atwater has an easy assignment this time out with Democrat William Rankin offering him next to no competition in November. That being the case, Atwater can use 2014 to build for the future. Most of the chattering class in Tallahassee thinks Atwater wants to run for governor in 2018 despite his attempts to become president of Florida Atlantic University. Read more

Bonus: Wasserman Schultz’s gut-busting picture of ‘fired-up’ Dems generates hilarious jabs

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

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