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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

It's never too early to start running



Sure it has been just more than a month since the November elections. But it's never too early to start thinking about 2012. Republican State Rep. Denise Grimsley has a fundraiser scheduled for tonight in her bid to replace term-limited state Sen. J.D. Alexander in District 17. It's hosted by the Florida Retail Federation, which, among other things, supports an Internet sales tax and limits on corporate income taxes and opposes expansion of unemployment compensation. Grimsley already has more than $25,000 raised for her campaign.

So far, 33 people have filed to run for state Senate in 2012 and 27 people have filed to run for the state House, including a handful of freshman legislators. Those include representatives Greg Steube, Dana Young, Richard Corcoran, Douglas Broxson, Jason Brodeur, Daphne Campbell, John Patrick Julien and Sen. Miguel Diaz del Portilla.

At least one veteran lawmaker thinks the two-year election cycle in the House and the four-year cycle in the Senate is too short.

"The concern is, especially in the House, with a two-year term, you're basically always running," said Rep. Rick Kriseman, a Democrat from St. Petersburg. "When people are always running, it means they're always fundraising. Is that the best system for our state? Are we better served by maybe having a four-year term in the House and a six-year term in the Senate?" The freshman legislators are likely to start raising money even before they start their first session. "The system forces you to do that, even more so now than it ever was because of early voting and absentee voting," he said.  Kriseman said he's contemplating legislation to address the issue, and is talking to Sen. Mike Bennett's office about filing a companion bill.

[Last modified: Monday, December 13, 2010 12:19pm]


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