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Pro & con on Kottkamp's travel issues

Will Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp's travel issues bring him a lot of baggage in his nascent race for attorney general? Not according to two of the L.G.'s fellow Republicans, who say it's overblown. 

Kottkamp picutres 7-20-09 006 Broward County Republican Chairman Chip LaMarca said the fact that there are travel-related ethics complaints filed against both leading candidates for governor, Bill McCollum and Alex Sink, takes the heat off Kottkamp. "It's the issue du jour in the governor's race," LaMarca told The Miami Herald's Beth Reinhard. "If he can stay on message about the position of attorney general, I think he'll be fine." (Photo at left shows Kottkamp talking with kids at Tallahassee's Challenger Learning Center on Monday).

Lawyer George LeMieux, the Charlie Crist campaign "maestro" who vetted Kottkamp as Crist's running mate in 2006, says he doesn't think Kottkamp's extensive travels on the public dime will be much of a distraction. LeMieux says Kottkamp is not to be underestimated as a candidate for attorney general because he holds statewide office -- and has made lots of important contacts as Crist's sidekick. "It would be a mistake to underestimate him," LeMieux said.

Democrats, however, plan to have a lot of fun at Kottkamp's expense. The Florida Democratic Party has christened the song "Back to Georgia" by Kenny Loggins as the Official Jeff Kottkamp Campaign Song, available here. (For late tuners-in, Kottkamp had his state trooper escort drive him to Atlanta in May to attend a Loggins concert as part of lobbyist Steve Metz's 50th birthday celebration). 

-- Steve Bousquet