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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

$emblers and McCollum



Word that Everett Rice was bailing from the attorney general's race may have landed at 5858 Central Avenue in St. Petersburg more than a week before Rice's one-page announcement made it official Monday afternoon.

5858 Central Avenue is the corporate headquarters of The Sembler Company. And on June 26, campaign records show, Sembler and its offshoots wrote 10, $500 checks to another AG candidate, former U.S. Rep. Bill McCollum. It shouldn't be a surprise Sembler is now backing McCollum, especially with Everett out: The Sembler's have previously supported McCollum's runs for U.S. Senate and Betty Sembler once served as part of McCollum's finance committee.

But it should be a signal underdog state Rep. Joe Negron, R-Stuart, is going to have to work to pick up Everett's votes.Negron was quick to point out his view the new two-man race speaking Monday. “This crystallizes the race between the past and the future, and between Washington and Florida,” said Negron, 44.

- Aaron Sharockman

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 3:06pm]


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