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Republican Gov. Rick Scott on Sunday defended cutting some state funding in Florida to pay for mosquito control amid increasing cases of the Zika virus in his state. Under Scott, state aid to mosquito control programs was reduced 40 percent in 2011, from $2.16 million to $1.29 million. Scott also ignored pleas from fellow Republicans that year when he cut a special $500,000 appropriation for the Public Health Entomology Research and Education Lab in Panama City Beach, which was founded in 1964. Read more in POLITICO 
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(CNN)Jeb Bush's top adviser, Sally Bradshaw, has left the Republican Party to become an independent, and says if the presidential race in Florida is close, she'll vote for Hillary Clinton.  Bradshaw, who's been close to the former Florida governor for decades and was senior adviser to his 2016 campaign, officially switched her registration to unaffiliated. She told CNN's Jamie Gangel in an email interview that the GOP is "at a crossroads and have nominated a total narcissist -- a misogynist -- a bigot."  "This is a time when country has to take priority over political parties. Donald Trump cannot be elected president," Bradshaw said. Read more and watch video on CNN
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MIAMI — State Rep. Jeanette Nuñez, one of 99 Florida delegates to this week’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland, says GOP presumptive nominee Donald Trump was not her first, second or third choice, but the Miami lawmaker will be backing the billionaire businessman. “I have a job as a delegate that I need to separate from my personal views,” Nuñez said Sunday in an interview with CBS-4 Miami’s Facing South Florida with Jim DeFede. “The voters have spoken, resoundingly, throughout the country,” she said, adding that voting against Trump would be “a disservice to voters” in Florida. Read more in POLITICO 
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Ten people were arrested for trespassing Monday night after staging a sit-in inside the lobby of a building housing Sen. Marco Rubio's Orlando office, according to the Orlando Police Department. "OPD making 10 arrests for trespass after warning, a misdemeanor,” Orlando police tweeted after removing the protesters. “Grateful to peaceful protesters who understand we have a job to do.” About 60 demonstrators first arrived around 10 a.m. and had planned to stay for 49 hours to remember the 49 people killed last month by a lone gunman in the mass shooting at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando. They promoted the hashtag #SitInForThe49 during the demonstration. Read more in POLITICO   
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TALLAHASSEE — In a statement posted on her campaign website, U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown suggested her indictment last week on fraud-related charges is part of a larger problem with a legal system that targets black people. "I’m not the first black elected official to be persecuted and, sad to say, I won’t be the last,” she wrote. Brown, a Democrat, and her chief of staff, Ronnie Simmons, were hit with a 24-count federal indictment Friday related to their involvement with an education group that federal officials say is a scam. Prosecutors say that Brown used her official post as a member of Congress to solicit $800,000 in donations. That money, according to the indictment, was used on personal items. Read more in POLITICO   
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(CNN)Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is seeking re-election to the Senate, publicly admitting he changed his mind and giving a boost for Republicans facing a tough fight to maintain their Senate majority in November. Rubio emailed supporters Wednesday announcing his decision, acknowledging the sharp departure from his previous stance. "In politics, admitting you've changed your mind is not something most people like to do. But here it goes," he wrote. "I have decided to seek reelection to the United States Senate." Rubio's announcement marks a 180-degree turn from where he was even just a month ago, when he insisted he would give up his Senate seat at the end of this term. Read more on CNN 
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State Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto announced Sunday that she will not run for the congressional seat being vacated by Rep. Curt Clawson. Benacquisto, who came in second to Clawson in the 2014 special election for the seat — after U.S. Rep Trey Radel resigned amid a cocaine-possession scandal — was widely seen as a top contender in the Republican-heavy district. “While I am overwhelmed by the support I have received to run in the last few days, after reflecting on the decision with my family, I have decided the best way for me to continue to serve Southwest Florida is to remain in the Florida Senate,” she said in a written statement.  Read more in POLITICO 
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Former Republican hopeful Marco Rubio offered a glimpse of his future on Monday — and it appears to involve a lot of working out.  The Florida senator unleashed a late-night Twitter tirade that included sarcastic tweets about "whether to chest or legs tomorrow at gym." The rant followed a story in the Washington Post that suggested he was lost at sea in terms of his political future.  "Rubio, according to conversations I've had with people close to him, is sort of betwixt and between when it comes to his next move," according to Monday's story by the Post's Chris Cillizza.  In response, the 44-year-old Rubio issued a flurry of messages about how he was spending his time, his ambitions and reporters "desperate for content."  Rubio suspended his campaign on March 15 after failing to win his home state of Florida to presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump, who had mocked his younger adversary for his Senate absences and called him "Little Marco." Read more on Nbcnews.com
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It happens in Florida every two years. I’m not just talking about the qualifying period that determines the candidates eligible to run for office later this year. I’m talking about the manipulation of elections laws concerning write-in candidates that keeps hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Floridians from having a say in who represents them. This is voter disenfranchisement by definition, and both Republican and Democratic candidates have used it to their benefit. The latest example came last week right in Jacksonville. Under Florida law, if all the candidates on the ballot have the same party affiliation and the winner will have no opposition in the general election, then all voters are allowed to cast ballots in the primary. State law also allows candidates to qualify as write-ins relatively easily: They don’t have to gather petition signatures or pay hefty fees like traditional candidates. Read more Jacksonville.com  
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U.S. Senate candidate Carlos Beruff referred to President Obama as an “animal” during a recent Florida Republican meeting, prompting opponents from both parties to call on him to apologize. “Unfortunately, for seven and a half years this animal we call president — because he’s an animal, OK? ... has surgically and with thought and very smart, intelligent manner, destroyed this country and dismantled the military under not one, not two, but three secretary of defenses,” Beruff told the St. John’s County Republican Executive Committee on Thursday. Beruff’s remarks, recorded by a tracker and first reported by The Huffington Post on Sunday, were promptly condemned by Democratic U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy and his Republican colleague in the U.S. House, David Jolly, both of whom are running for the same Senate seat. Read more in POLITICO
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