Florida Five: Florida police officer killed, Gov. Scott issues statement

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

Tarpon Springs police officer in memorium
Photo credit: Tarpon Springs Police Facebook page

Florida police officer fatally shot was NYPD veteran – Florida law enforcement veteran Charles “Charlie K” Kondek, 45, was fatally shot early Sunday morning in the line of duty, according to BayNews9. Officer Kondek’s name was displayed on the Tarpon Springs Police Department Facebook page around 11:15 a.m. The heart felt message had been shared close to 1.5K times at the time of this post. Read more

Gov. Scott expresses condolences to family of fallen Florida police officer – After the tragic death of Tarpon Springs Police Officer Charles Kondek, killed in the line of duty on Sunday, Florida Gov. Rick Scott expressed his condolences to the officer’s family and colleagues. Scott’s office released this statement. Read more

Florida petition drive would make it easier for ex-felons to regain voting rights – Civil rights and voting rights groups have quietly launched a grass-roots petition drive in Florida to make it easier for ex-felons to regain the right to vote. Their goal is to ask voters in 2016 to change the Florida Constitution so that people who broke the law can vote again after completing their sentences, including probation. “When you do wrong, you should pay,” said Lashanna Tyson of Orlando. “I have paid. I’ve paid in full.” Tyson served 13 years behind bars for driving the getaway car in a 1998 Orlando convenience store holdup in which a clerk was shot to death. She was released from a state prison in 2011, the same year that Gov. Rick Scott and the Cabinet adopted new rules that require felons to wait at least five years after their release before they can even apply for full citizenship. Read more

The Buzz: Political insiders think Marco Rubio might run for governor – It’s not an ideal pitch for someone running for the Republican nomination to succeed Barack Obama in the White House: “Elect me, a charismatic, young first-term U.S. senator with no executive experience, but a great speaker!” No, that’s not exactly how Sen. Marco Rubio sells himself, but the similarity between his resume and Obama’s has a lot of prominent Republicans questioning whether the time is right for Rubio, 43, to run for president. It may also be why even before Jeb Bush took a big step toward running for president, so many politicos in Tallahassee have been speculating not about Rubio’s presidential prospects in 2016, but about his gubernatorial prospects in 2018. Read more

FSU QB Jameis Winston cleared in conduct hearing – Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston was cleared of the accusations he faced at a student code of conduct hearing involving an alleged sexual assault two years ago, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press on Sunday. Former Florida Supreme Court judge Major Harding wrote in a letter to Winston that the evidence was “insufficient to satisfy the burden of proof.” A prosecutor made a similar decision a year ago when he decided not to criminally charge Winston, citing a lack of evidence. This month, the hearing was to determine whether Winston violated four sections of the code of conduct – two for sexual misconduct and two for endangerment. Read more

Jeb 2016 watch: In Florida, GOP loyalty belongs to Jeb Bush not Marco Rubio

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

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