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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Jeb, Marco distance themselves from Randy Johnson mailer




There are few endorsements that matter more in Florida than Jeb Bush's and Marco Rubio's, so the mailer sent to voters in the Orlando-area state House District 55 race looked potent. The problem is, contrary to what many recipients might assume from the piece, Bush and Rubio are staying out of that race.

"The quote is from old letter that Governor Bush sent many years ago," said Bush spokeswoman Jaryn Emhof. "The mailer makes it look like Governor Bush has endorsed Randy Johnson, which is not true.   Gov. Bush has not endorsed Randy Johnson.  He is staying out of that race."

And Rubio spokesman Todd Reid: "Much like the Bush quote, Senator Rubio's quote has some age on it too. He's not taking sides in this race."

Johnson said the mailer is perfectly clear - with endorsements listed on one side and exact quotes from Bush and Rubio, complete with the dates made, on the other.

"There was no implication whatsoever that they were endorsements. These were nothing more than quotes, with the dates included," said Johnson.  "What's wrong with sharing with voters accurate statements made in the past about my public service?"

He noted that incoming House Speaker Will Weatherford (whose father-in-law, former House Speaker Alan Bense, butted heads with former state Rep. Johnson) is backing his Republican rival, Cary Pigman.  "What you're getting is leadership pressure from the incoming speaker of the house to both Marco and Jeb," Johnson said. "I have done nothing wrong whatsoever."



[Last modified: Sunday, August 12, 2012 10:12pm]


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