Five of today’s top Florida political stories at your fingertips:
Republican Senate candidates compete to sell themselves as most conservative, electable – The Republican campaign for U.S. Senate began to take shape Thursday night, with three contenders for the party’s nomination selling themselves as the most conservative, most supportive of the U.S. Constitution, most anti-Washington, and most likely to win the general election against the Democrats. One difference: Each picked a different Democrat to vilify during their turns speaking to more than 300 South Florida Republican activists and donors. Read more
House advances congressional map without amendments – Even as some state lawmakers pushed to amend Florida’s proposed new congressional map Thursday, there were signs that any changes – including a measure aimed at keeping all of Sarasota County in one district – are unlikely to become part of the final redistricting plan. The House passed the so-called “base map” – drawn by legislative staffers to comply with a state Supreme Court ruling – out of a committee Thursday without any changes and moved toward a final vote Tuesday. Read more
What could happen if House and Senate leaders can’t agree on congressional maps – Could the special session on redistricting end in a House-Senate blowup like the regular session in April? Senate Democrats have raised the possibility that House leadership will pass the base congressional map drawn by legislative staff and then end the session three days early in an homage to their unanticipated early adjournment that ended the regular session. But House leaders say don’t hold your breath. Read more
Grayson to push SS increase – Continuing on the first theme of his U.S. Senate campaign, U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson Thursday vowed to introduce a bill that would increase Social Security retirement benefits and tie future increases to a new cost-of-living index. The Orlando Democrat, who is challenging U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy for the Democratic nomination to run for Florida’s open U.S. Senate seat, pushed Social Security and Medicare issues as his first plank when he entered the race last month. Read more
Florida politicians react to U.S. embassy opening in Havana – South Florida Republicans in particular are upset about the Obama administration’s planned opening of a U.S. embassy in Havana Friday. We’ll update this post with statements as we get them. U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Miami … Read more
2016 Watch: Which presidential candidate do you want to hear discuss Florida issues?
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