Florida Five: Trump invited to Orlando mosque, Senate candidate summons ‘The Force’

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

trumpMuslim leaders invite Trump to Orlando mosque for lesson on Islam – Days after Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said he’d like to ban Muslims from visiting the United States, a group of local Muslims invited him to an Orlando mosque in hopes of changing his mind. Representatives from 13 local Muslim groups organized a news conference in Longwood Saturday morning to condemn the terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California, and to publicly invite Trump to tour a local mosque. Read more

Email insights: Carlos Lopez-Cantera uses “The Force” to attract fans with “Star Wars” screening – “Star Wars” mania hits Florida’s U.S. Senate race. “The force is with our campaign, and for that, we want to say thank you,” says a new email from Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera. For a lucky few that means a chance to join the Republican Senate hopeful for a preview of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” in Miami. Read more

Trial over Florida Senate maps begins with 29 incumbents in limbo – The weeklong redistricting trial scheduled to begin in a Tallahassee courtroom Monday will determine the fate of Florida’s 40 Senate districts and the future of the 29 incumbents seeking reelection. The rare political scramble is forcing all of them back onto the ballot in November, including many of whom thought they could sit out this election because they were elected to a four-year term in 2014. Read more

Fla. Senate race: Little enthusiasm – It’s less than a year until the election and “unsure” is running away with the Florida Senate race. Many voters still have no idea whom they like among the candidates running to succeed Republican Sen. Marco Rubio in 2016. The latest evidence came this week from the Saint Leo University Polling Institute, which polled likely voters from both parties and found little enthusiasm for either slate. Read more

Florida’s rise in cremations means growing revenues for some county governments – The only two certainties in life — death and taxes — are proving to be quite a windfall for county governments in Florida. As record numbers of Floridians choose cremations over traditional burials, local governments are benefiting by collecting millions of dollars in “cremation review fees” that some funeral home and crematories say is unnecessary and merely a way to pad government budgets. Read more

ICYMI: CAIR issues ‘Islamophobia watch’ over gun store owner for selling THESE signs 

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