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Florida A&M University’s Board of Trustees Chairman has announced he will be stepping down as head of the school’s governing body. Following two failed attempts Thursday to fire FAMU President Elmira Mangum, Rufus Montgomery notified all 12 trustees in a letter Friday he would leave the chairman post but remain on the board until his term runs out in January. Montgomery indicated he could not effectively lead a divided board. The board was split in its wish to fire Mangum, voting 7 to 5 then 6 to 6 on separate motions. Continue reading in the Tallahassee Democrat.  
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Add this to the list of fundraisers that Florida lawmakers will be hosting and attending when they return to Tallahassee for committee work next week: House Speaker Steve Crisafulli, R-Merritt Island, is helping State Rep. Janet Adkins, R-Fernandina Beach, raise money for the next job she hopes to have: Schools superintendent in Nassau County. Read more in Miami Herald 
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Uber, the hired-car company seeking to secure its presence in Florida, has taken on former Florida-based lobbyist Stephanie Smith to head up its external affairs in the Sunshine State. Smith will leave her Atlanta-based post as AT&T’s director of public affairs for Florida and Georgia. She’ll direct Uber’s media and public relations and lobbying efforts.
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Starting this month, state Rep. Greg Steube plans to hold four fundraisers in the span of 15 days as he attempts to jump from the House to a state Senate seat. The whirlwind fundraising binge was arranged because Steube, R-Sarasota, can’t raise money during parts of October, November, January and March -- and all of February -- when the Legislature is in session. But it’s also a sign of just how much cash must be raised to be competitive in a Senate race.
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WASHINGTON - It was late Thursday at the Capitol and the crowds had gone. Outside of House Speaker John A. Boehner’s suite, the halls were empty and silent, save for a police officer strolling through the rotunda. On the marble floor were pieces of masking tape with the names of elected officials scrawled in black, marking the places were they stood to greet Pope Francis hours earlier. Politico’s Jake Sherman and I stood there for an hour or so, steno pads in hand and trading stories, as we waited for Boehner to appear. We had heard rumors from several members that Boehner was mulling retirement and that, as a devout Catholic, he privately saw the pope’s congressional visit, which he had orchestrated, as a fitting denouement to his long political career. Continue reading Robert Costa's debrief in the The Washington Post.
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TALLAHASSEE—Rep. Corrine Brown reiterated her belief today that a proposed redrawing of her North Florida congressional district includes too many prisoners, which will make it difficult for a black Democratic candidate to win.
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TALLAHASSEE — House staffers defended their work drawing new congressional maps, and plaintiffs made a failed plea to shield their own deliberations, during a marathon first day in what is expected to be the final stretch of a three-year legal battle over the state's redistricting.
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Dr. John Armstrong, Florida’s surgeon general and Health Department secretary, on Thursday said he has colon cancer and will be undergoing surgery Friday. Armstrong, appointed in 2012, disclosed his diagnosis in a note to department employees. “We all know health is personal, and today I need to share with you how it is impacting my life,” he said. Armstrong, a trauma surgeon, said Dr. Celeste Philip, the department’s deputy secretary, would be acting secretary while he recovers. “I appreciate your thoughts and prayers during this time,” Armstrong said.
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WASHINGTON – Democratic Rep. Gwen Graham said Thursday she will vote against the nuclear agreement with Iran because she has "grave doubts" it will stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. In an op-ed column and a phone interview Thursday with the Tallahassee Democrat, Graham said she weighed her position carefully before concluding the deal is bad for the U.S. and its allies.
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TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott's office scrubbed a press release written by his own regulators that found there was no "mishandling of fetal remains" at clinics run by Planned Parenthood and, at the same time, said it would refer doctors who worked at those clinics to the state Board of Medicine for possible disciplinary action. 
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A weekly podcast focusing on the people and stories shaping Florida politics produced by Trimmel Gomes an award-winning journalist and former statewide news director of Florida Public Radio. Gomes hosted its flagship program "Capital Report" and created the public affairs program "It's About Florida." Gomes is political commentator and regular political contributor to WTXL ABC 27 in Tallahassee.


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