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Jones mum on Dawson defection

Daryl Jones, former state senator from Miami and running mate of U.S. Rep. Jim Davis, wouldn't say much Thursday about the decision of State Sen. Mandy Dawson, a member of the Legislature's black caucus and a Fort Lauderdale Democrat to endorse GOP candidate Charlie Crist.

"I really don't have anything to say about it,'' said Jones, who shrugged off all follow-up questions regarding the endorsement, which was announced by the Coalition for Bipartisan Progress, a 527 organization started up by supporters of Rod Smith, who lost to Davis in the Democratic primary. In her letter to the coalition, Dawson, who has been reprimanded by the Senate for her dealings with lobbyists, praises Crist as a "great public servant" and says he "listens," "deliberates" and "cares."

Things Jones was willing to talk about? He said that he wanted to match up against Rep. Jeff Kottkamp in a lieutenant governor debate but that the Crist campaign had refused. And Jones praised how Speaker Designate Marco Rubio, a Miami Republican has dealt with the controversy surrounding Rep. Ralph Arza, the Hialeah Republican who left a obscenity and racial ephitet-filled message on the voice mail of a fellow Republican. "The incoming speaker has taken the right action,'' said Jones.