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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

As candidate qualifying ends, some last-minute maneuvering



The week-long candidate qualifying period closed at noon Friday in Tallahassee and at elections offices around the state, with the usual last-minute jockeying for political advantage.

Democratic Rep. Irv Slosberg of Boca Raton, wearing a bright orange "Let Irv Serve" ball cap, moved from one Senate race to another in the final hour of qualifying, and will challenge Sen. Jeff Clemens, D-Lake Worth, in an Aug. 30 primary for the District 31 Senate seat in Palm Beach County.

"Let the people decide," said Slosberg, whose residence is in Senate District 29, where another incumbent, Democratic Rep. Kevin Rader, is running. The 29th district dips into northern Broward County, while the 31st is wholy within Palm Beach, including Delray Beach, Boynton Beach and Lake Worth.

"It's going to be a bloodbath," said a Democratic operative who was part of the crowd hanging out at the state elections headquarters in Tallahassee.

The move by Slosberg, whose daughter Emily Slosberg is running for his House seat, creates an unusually high 15 contested primaries for Senate seats. Ten of the battles are between Democrats and five are between Republicans, according to preliminary candidate qualifying information which the state says may not be final until Friday evening.

At least 14 senators and 25 House members were elected without opposition, and a number of others have token write-in opposition in November, which enables them to continue to raise and spend campaign money.

[Last modified: Friday, June 24, 2016 12:45pm]


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