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12 posts from April 23, 2012

April 23, 2012

Justices nearly missed filing deadline so took a break in redistricting hearings

AP reports: Florida Gov. Rick Scott nearly got a chance to replace three veteran state Supreme Court justices.

That's because Justices Fred Lewis, Barbara Pariente and Peggy Quince almost missed the noon Friday deadline in order to qualify for the ballot this year.

The seven-member court abruptly put a court hearing on redistricting on hold for more than an hour in order to allow the justices to finish their paperwork and turn it into state elections officials.

When asked it about on Friday, a court spokesman said that a personal matter had come up unexpectedly.

Dan Stengle, a lawyer working on behalf of the campaigns of the three justices, acknowledged Monday that it was discovered at the last minute that certain forms had not been turned in due to an "oversight" by the campaign treasurer. Read more here.

Florida Senate-race drama exposes GOP jitters

Jeff Atwater’s just-ended flirtation with a U.S. Senate bid speaks volumes about the nervousness of Florida Republicans these days.

The GOP’s best hope, Congressman Connie Mack, hasn’t been running the type of campaign many Republicans want to unseat a beatable Democratic incumbent, Bill Nelson. Some wanted Atwater, Florida’s Chief Financial Officer, to run. Others approached House Speaker Dean Cannon, who declined as did a wealthy no-name.

But the drama is about more than just Mack or the Senate race.

It’s about a Republican Party grappling with ebbing fortunes compared to the red-wave of an election year in 2010. It’s about a movement nagged by a sense of perpetual disappointment that stretches to the top of the ticket.

And it’s about the potentially colliding political agendas of Atwater, Gov. Rick Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam.

Column here