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Latvala, Dean seek cash in Steinhatchee

Florida legislators and lobbyists are used to raising money in lavish or glitzy surroundings: Walt Disney World, Key West, Yankee Stadium, the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa. For a contrast, consider the upcoming fund-raiser to be held at "Unit No. 19, Steinhatchee Landing Resort."

That address is the home of Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, a long-time Steinhatchee resident. Latvala and Sen. Charlie Dean, R-Inverness (whose district includes Steinhatchee) are hosts of the Aug. 26 event at the rustic Taylor County fishing village. "we'll both be accepting checks," Latvala said. "It's a joint fund-raiser."

Latvala is a member of the fund-raising leadership team of Sen. Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, who will succeed Mike Haridopolos as Senate president in 2012. The coming months will show a fund-raisign frenzy by legislators due to two unusual factors: Reapportionment will reconfigure all legislative districts, meaning that lawmakers will have to reach out to new constituents, and the ban on in-session fund-raising will kick in much sooner than usual because the 2012 session begins in January.

-- Steve Bousquet

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