Florida Five: GOP sweeps NE Fla. special elections, Steelers’ Rooney for US Senate?

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

Republicans sweep NE Florida House, Senate special elections – Rep. Travis Hutson prevailed big time in his bid to jump up to the Legislature’s upper chamber today, defeating Democratic nominee Adam Cox by a margin of around 2-to-1 with nearly all precincts reporting. Hutson will become senator-elect in District 6 tonight at midnight. Down the ballot, the battle to replace Hutson – who in turn is resigning from the House to take former Sen. John Thrasher‘s old seat – in House District 24 was won by Paul Renner, who thrashed Democrat Adam Morley, garnering 65 percent of the vote to Morley’s 35. Read more

Photo from @TomRooney on Twitter

Tom Rooney set to be a factor in 2016 or 2018 Senate race – Tom Rooney is throwing his name out as a possible U.S Senate candidate in either 2016 or 2018 and the congressman will be a major factor if he runs. Plenty of congressmen like Jim Davis, Connie Mack and Bill McCollum failed in their attempts to move up to statewide office in Florida. But Rooney has a far more compelling background and it will help him if he gets in. The grandson of Pittsburgh Steelers founder Art Rooney, the congressman, after graduating from college, worked for Connie Mack’s Senate mail room. Read more

Florida Senate holding firm on health care despite standoff – A growing standoff about health care is creating a divide between the Republican-controlled Florida Senate and Gov. Rick Scott. A Senate panel Tuesday refused to confirm a top appointee of the Scott administration after he would not answer questions about whether he supported the Senate plan to expand health care coverage to 800,000 Floridians. Read more

Florida bills would ban powdered alcohol – The federal government recently approved a new powdered form of alcohol – but a number of states, including Florida, are taking steps to block its sale. Approved on March 10 by the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, the powdered alcohol, known as Palcohol, is expected to hit the market this summer. It is manufactured by Lipsmark, an Arizona company. Read more

Push for resort casinos in Florida dies again in Legislature — A push to bring resort casinos to South Florida is dead for this year’s legislative session. A top House Republican initially filed a bill that would have allowed two massive casinos in Broward and Miami-Dade counties. But Rep. Dana Young filed a new version of her bill on Tuesday. The revamped bill (HB 1233) drops the casino proposal. Read more

Wow! Bobcat catches shark on Florida beach

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


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