Florida Five: Mayoral race draws national attention, Why Dems don’t want Grayson in Senate race

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

Bill Clinton Marco RubioJacksonville mayoral race draws national political interest – There’s a reason why the Jacksonville mayoral race is drawing the attention of outsiders like former President Bill Clinton, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former Gov. Jeb Bush and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and it’s about more than who wins on Tuesday. It’s because the state’s largest city will also be a key to winning Florida in the 2016 presidential election, and having an ally in the mayor’s office can only help. Read more

Democrats have good reason to want Alan Grayson out of Senate race – Democrats across Florida and in Washington, D.C., had to cringe over Alan Grayson’s behavior this past week. Despite being one of the richest members of Congress, Grayson has always carved out a niche for himself as a populist who doesn’t back down against the Republicans or big business. Only one problem: Grayson’s been dumping money into Cayman Island accounts, something he has punched away at Republicans and corporations on. Read more

GOP Senate hopefuls work party meeting – Chances are good that U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis will have a primary opponent as he seeks Marco Rubio’s Senate seat, and four people also considering a run were at the Republican Party of Florida’s quarterly meeting Saturday gauging interest for possible campaigns. Several people are eyeing the open seat created by Rubio’s decision to run for the Republican presidential nomination, from U.S. Rep. David Jolly, who has yet to serve a full term in the House, to former Attorney General Bill McCollum, who has run for Senate twice and served 20 years in Congress. Read more

Diverse groups unite to push solar power amendment – An unusual mix of conservative political groups, environmental activists and business leaders are combining to promote the expansion of solar energy through a constitutional amendment in Florida. The group Floridians for Solar Choice has been endorsed by the Christian Coalition of America, the Tea Party Network, Sierra Club Florida and the Florida Retail Federation, among other organizations. Read more

States, including Florida, saying ‘no’ to cities seeking to regulate businesses – Alarmed about cities trying to outlaw plastic bags, the director of the Missouri Grocers Association decided to do something about it. So Dan Shaul turned to his state legislator— himself — and guided a bill to passage barring local governments from banning the bags. Shaul’s dual role in state government and business may be a bit out of the norm. Yet his actions are not. In capitols across the country, businesses are increasingly using their clout to back laws prohibiting cities and counties from doing things that might affect their ability to make money. Read more

Historic! Sailors race from Florida to Cuba with US permission in latest sign of improving relations

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