Friday, July 20, 2018
Politics

State Rep. Ross Spano seeking support for state attorney general bid

TAMPA — State Rep. Ross Spano has been telling friends he intends to run for attorney general of Florida next year instead of running for re-election to his House seat.

Spano, a Dover Republican, may announce the move within a few days, according to some of those he contacted seeking support. He could not be reached for comment.

An attorney now in his third term in the state House, Spano would join a crowded Republican primary for the attorney general’s office that already includes two of his House colleagues — Reps. Jay Fant of Jacksonville and Frank White of Pensacola.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Former Hillsborough Judge Ashley Moody draws Bondi’s support

The GOP field also includes Ashley Moody, a lawyer and former judge from Spano’s own home turf in East Hillsborough County.

That could add up to a tough primary, and could pose a dilemma for some Hillsborough Republicans, who could find themselves torn between the two East Hillsborough candidates.

"They’re both well-liked by their East Hillsborough base, and it may create somewhat of a short-term division" within the party, said local political consultant Mark Proctor.

Former state Rep. Dan Raulerson of Plant City said he’s a friend of Spano, but when Spano asked for his support, he had to say he was already committed to Moody, who’s from Raulerson’s home town.

On the other hand, Rep. Kathleen Peters, R-Treasure Island, said she has promised her endorsement to Spano.

Yet another local legislator, Rep. Sean Shaw of Tampa, is considering entering the attorney general’s race on the Democratic side, while Tampa lawyer Ryan Torrens has already filed.

Spano easily won re-election to his District 59 seat in 2016, turning back a challenge from Democrat Rena Frazier.

He has said since then he would be interested in running for the state Senate if Sen. Tom Lee, R-Thonotosassa, leaves his seat to run for chief financial officer, as Lee has said he intends.

But Spano could have faced a tough primary in that race also, with at least two other local House members interested in the seat.

Fant and Moody have a big fundraising headstart in the attorney general’s race.

Moody has raised $864,146 in her campaign and $200,000 in her independent committee, Friends of Ashley Moody, while Fant has raised $959,581, including a $750,000 loan from himself.

White, a Pensacola millionaire who just filed two weeks ago, says he’s willing to spend his own money on the race.

Spano starts off with $38,000 in his House campaign account.

Contact William March at [email protected]

Comments
Trump says he’d have no problem beating former VP Biden in 2020

Trump says he’d have no problem beating former VP Biden in 2020

WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump said in an interview broadcast Thursday that running against Joe Biden in 2020 would be "a dream," claiming that Barack Obama "took him out of the garbage heap" to make him his running mate in 2008.Trump was asked ...
Published: 07/19/18
At St. Pete rally, protesters call Trump’s remarks on Russia ‘treason’

At St. Pete rally, protesters call Trump’s remarks on Russia ‘treason’

ST. PETERSBURG — Linda and Jack Miller braved the humidity at Demens Landing on Wednesday night for a simple reason: "Treason," said Linda Miller, 66. The St. Petersburg couple joined more than 100 protesters toting signs, pins and megaphones...
Published: 07/18/18
Updated: 07/19/18
Meet the man who might have brought on the age of ‘downloadable guns’

Meet the man who might have brought on the age of ‘downloadable guns’

During the summer of 2012, Cody Wilson hung around J&J, a car-repair shop run by two "goofy" guys in their late 20s. The Austin warehouse was crowded with engine blocks, car parts and Pelican boxes that never seemed to have been opened, but the 24-ye...
Published: 07/18/18
‘She was like a novelty’: How alleged Russian agent Maria Butina gained access to elite conservative circles

‘She was like a novelty’: How alleged Russian agent Maria Butina gained access to elite conservative circles

WASHINGTON - For nearly five years, the young Russian political-science student was an unusual fixture at the most important events of the U.S. conservative movement.Maria Butina, who was indicted this week on charges of being a covert Russian agent,...
Published: 07/18/18
PolitiFact: Fact-checking the Donald Trump-Vladimir Putin summit

PolitiFact: Fact-checking the Donald Trump-Vladimir Putin summit

President Donald Trump and President Vladimir Putin made inaccurate statements to the media following their one-on-one talks in Helsinki about election meddling, global terrorism and nuclear nonproliferation.Here’s a rundown of our fact-checks.Trump:...
Published: 07/17/18
Obama gives Trump sharp rebuke in Mandela address on values

Obama gives Trump sharp rebuke in Mandela address on values

JOHANNESBURG — Former U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday took aim at "strongman politics" in his highest-profile speech since leaving office, urging people around the world to respect human rights and other values now under threat in an imp...
Published: 07/17/18
Romano: Excuse me Gov. Scott, but you’re a hypocrite

Romano: Excuse me Gov. Scott, but you’re a hypocrite

Hypocrisy, thy name is Rick Scott.And, yes, I owe Shakespeare an apology.But I think Florida’s governor owes all of us an apology.This isn’t about one man’s opinion, and it isn’t about philosophical differences. This is about a politician who is publ...
Published: 07/17/18
Trump questions US intel, not Putin, on Russia 2016 meddling

Trump questions US intel, not Putin, on Russia 2016 meddling

HELSINKI — Standing next to Russia’s Vladimir Putin, President Donald Trump openly questioned his own intelligence agencies’ conclusions that Moscow was to blame for meddling in the 2016 U.S. election to Trump’s benefit and seemed to accept Putin’s i...
Published: 07/16/18

Pasco Political Notebook

Hunter, Murphy speak to Democratic ClubThe Trinity Democratic Club will host candidates Chris Hunter (running for U.S. Congress in District 12) and Amanda Murphy (running for state Senate in District 16) as guest speakers at its meeting at 6:30 p.m. ...
Published: 07/16/18
Giant pork pile awaits Americans as trade wars risk exports

Giant pork pile awaits Americans as trade wars risk exports

Donald Trump’s trade wars are making pork a bargain.American production is poised to reach an all-time high this year, and output is forecast to surge again in 2019. The supply boom comes as tariffs from China and Mexico threaten to curb export deman...
Published: 07/16/18