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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Thrasher says Gardiner now has his full support, 2014 fight is over



Remember that comment from a feisty former Republican Party of Florida Chairman John Thrasher, in which he didn't want to concede defeat in the 2014 race for Senate President?

"In a year like this, when we have a big summer of elections, a lot of things can change, seems to me,'' Thrasher, R-St. Augustine, told reporters on Feb. 23. after failing to oust rival Sen. Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando, in an attempted backroom deal that backfired. "I don't think anybody has pledges until the day they get designated. To me that's what it's about."

Never mind, Thrasher said Tuesday. "I'm supporting Andy,'' he said, repeating a comment has has privately told senators for weeks. "We worked it out."

Thrasher said he will not only support Gardiner in 2014, he will back Gardiner's election efforts, even if the Senate map pits Gardiner against his ally David Simmons of Maitland. Simmons has said he will move to the adjacent district to avoid the match-up.

As for 2016 in which Thrasher could face Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, that's another story -- and Thrasher won't comment.

[Last modified: Tuesday, March 20, 2012 7:48pm]


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