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Thrasher will lead Senate's ethics and elections committee

Former House Speaker and lobbyist John Thrasher, who last night officially won the special election to fill the Jacksonville seat long held by the late Sen. Jim King, just got his committee assignments.

The most notable: He will chair the Senate's ethics and elections committee, which deals with election laws and conduct standards for elections officials. The committee also plays a pivotal role in confirming -- or denying -- the appointments by the governor to agencies like the Public Service Commission.

Many of Gov. Charlie Crist's most recent appointees have not yet been confirmed by the committee, after  former chairman Sen. J.D. Alexander (not exactly Crist's best bud) claimed the committee ran out of time during the spring session.

Thrasher, most recently a lobbyist for Southern Strategies, was found guilty in 2001 of violating ethics law by inviting lobbyists to a lunch before he was cleared to lobby.