Florida Five: Florida cranking out presidential contenders, Gov. Scott heads to DC

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

Bush Carson Huckabee Rubio
Photo credit: Fox News Latino

Florida turns out three – possibly four – 2016 presidential contenders – Sen. Marco Rubio and Ben Carson, both from Florida, have launched their presidential campaigns. But when all is said and done, there may well be four Floridians – all Republicans – vying for the Oval Office. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who now lives in Florida, [announced] his candidacy on Tuesday. And former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is expected to announce that he also is running in the near future. Read more

Gov. Scott heads to D.C. to negotiate for Florida hospital funds— Gov. Rick Scott is heading to Washington to try to convince the Obama administration to release federal funds for hospitals that treat low-income and Medicaid patients. The Republican governor wants an extension on the more than $1 billion funds that expire next month. But the federal government wants states to expand Medicaid, arguing it’s more efficient to give people money to help buy health insurance than to pay hospitals for caring for the uninsured retroactively. Read more

Candidates to watch for 2016:

GOP Rep. Ron DeSantis to run for Senate in Florida

Carl Domino Plans to Run for Congress Again in 2016

POLITICO Report: Grayson’s girlfriend inquiring about Congress

Sandy Adams Looking to Return to Congress in 2016

Buzz: Republican Party of Florida fills key positions – The Republican Party of Florida, following a post-election shake-up that saw Gov. Rick Scott’s choice to lead the state party defeated by Florida Rep. Blaise Ingoglia, announced new top staffers Tuesday.  Brad Herold, who has been serving as deputy director under interim director David Johnson, was promoted as expected to executive director. Read more

At least four Florida companies approved for ferry service to Cuba – For the first time in five decades, the U.S. is allowing ferry service between Florida and Cuba. At least four companies said they were notified Tuesday of approvals by the U.S. Treasury and Commerce departments, the first since Washington imposed a trade embargo on Cuba. Licensed were Havana Ferry Partners of Fort Lauderdale, Baja Ferries of Miami, United Caribbean Lines Florida of Greater Orlando and Airline Brokers Co. of Miami and Fort Lauderdale. Read more

Traffic jam: Alligator shuts down traffic on Old 41 Road when it gets stuck under stopped car

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

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