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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rep. Saunders aims for leadership



4394 Rep. Ron Saunders was on the House floor yesterday for House Speaker-designate Ray Sansom's speech to new lawmakers when two Republicans came up to him.

"We hear you're going after Franklin," said Rep. Dean Cannon, R-Winter Park, who was with Rep. Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel.

The implication: Saunders, D-Key West, will try to unseat Rep. Franklin Sands as minority leader during the organizational session Tuesday. It's a potent rumor, given Democrats' poor performance in the election.

But it's not true, Saunders said. "No, no, I'm committed to him," he told the Buzz.

Saunders, however, does want to go after Franklin. He said he'll formally signal his intention Tuesday but plans to seek the minority leader job two years from now. That's the key one, Saunders said, because of reapportionment.

As his Republican friends walked away, Saunders had a quick line ready: "I want to be speaker, not leader," he said. They started laughing.


[Last modified: Tuesday, September 14, 2010 4:47pm]


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