Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Politics

Democrats Sheldon and Thurston hope one drops attorney general bid

Although they announced they were running for the Democratic nod for Florida attorney general in the same week, George Sheldon and Perry Thurston swear they won't become bitter rivals.

"If we stay in the race, it will be positive," said Sheldon, who until recently worked as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' assistant secretary for the Administration for Children and Families.

"A primary isn't the best thing for the party, and I'm a party guy," said Thurston of Fort Lauderdale, who is the Democratic leader in the Florida House. "I know the party will make the right decision."

But the race to challenge incumbent Pam Bondi hasn't begun yet and they are already disagreeing about what exactly the two talked about when they spoke by phone last week before the Florida Democratic State Conference in Orlando.

Sheldon, who announced Oct. 21 that he was running for attorney general, said Thurston called him and the two spoke for about five to 10 minutes on Thursday. Subsequently, on Saturday, Thurston announced at the convention that he was running for the position.

"I would rather have known he was announcing to run when we talked," said Sheldon, 66. "I had thought he had ruled it out. His announcement caught quite a few of us by surprise."

Thurston, however, said he told Sheldon during the phone chat that he was running for attorney general.

"I'm pretty clear; I don't stutter or mumble," said Thurston, 52. "I told him I was running."

Thurston said he will officially file by the end of the week. Sheldon filed to run last week.

After that, it could all wrap up soon. Thurston said it's not likely both will remain in the race through the primary. He said he expects Florida Democratic leaders, such as chairwoman Allison Tant, executive director Scott Arceneaux and political director Christian Ulvert, to persuade one of the two to drop out and save the party a primary fight. "I'm sure we'll be having a discussion," Thurston said.

Immigration bills

As immigration reform advocates spread across Capitol Hill on Tuesday, they got a boost from Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen when she signed onto a comprehensive bill in the House.

The Miami lawmaker became the second Republican (the first was Rep. Jeff Denham of California) to back the Democratic bill, which resembles the package passed earlier this year by the Senate, replacing the massive border security amendment (Corker-Hoeven) with something a House panel approved. "It's important to keep the conversation going in trying to fix the broken immigration system," Ros-Lehtinen said in a statement.

Ros-Lehtinen has moved toward a comprehensive bill as Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida has moved away from the Senate bill he helped write.

Comments
‘Don’t leave me, Mom’: Detainee tells of separation from son

‘Don’t leave me, Mom’: Detainee tells of separation from son

SEATTLE — The call came at mealtime — an anonymous threat demanding $5,000 or her son’s life. So Blanca Orantes-Lopez, her 8-year-old boy and his father packed up and left the Pacific surfing town of Puerto La Libertad in El Salvador and headed for t...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Trump defiant as border crisis escalates, prepares to lobby House GOP on immigration bills

Trump defiant as border crisis escalates, prepares to lobby House GOP on immigration bills

WASHINGTON - As he prepared to visit Capitol Hill, President Donald Trump on Tuesday continued to insist that Congress produce comprehensive immigration legislation, while anxious Republicans explored a narrower fix to the administration policy of se...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Trump, GOP to huddle as outrage builds over border policy

Trump, GOP to huddle as outrage builds over border policy

WASHINGTON (AP) — Calls are mounting on Capitol Hill for the Trump administration to end the separation of families at the southern border ahead of a visit from President Donald Trump to discuss legislation.Trump’s meeting late Tuesday afternoon with...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Another detention center for immigrant children planned for Houston

Another detention center for immigrant children planned for Houston

Another facility intended for detaining undocumented children is reportedly in the works for Houston as the number of children separated from their parents at the border continues to swell.Southwest Key Programs, the same contractor that operates the...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Muralist working with huge St. Pete ‘canvas’ to create neighborhood eye-grabber

Muralist working with huge St. Pete ‘canvas’ to create neighborhood eye-grabber

ST. PETERSBURG — They appear to rise out of nowhere — two enormous, reclaimed-water tanks with an artist’s white clouds scudding across a blue background.A closer view reveals silhouettes of a lone coyote howling at the sky, mangrove islands, oak, cy...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Romano: A Tampa Bay ‘superstar’ caught in the crosshairs of Trump’s border policy

Romano: A Tampa Bay ‘superstar’ caught in the crosshairs of Trump’s border policy

At this moment, she is Tampa Bay’s most influential export. A smart, accomplished and powerful attorney making life-altering decisions on an international stage.But what of tomorrow? And the day after?When the story of President Donald Trump’s border...
Updated: 10 hours ago
FBI agent removed from Russia probe for anti-Trump texts says he’s willing to testify before Congress

FBI agent removed from Russia probe for anti-Trump texts says he’s willing to testify before Congress

The FBI agent who was removed from the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election for sending anti-Trump texts intends to testify before the House Judiciary Committee and any other congressional committee that asks, his attorney sai...
Published: 06/17/18
Erosion of immigrant protections began with Trump inaugural

Erosion of immigrant protections began with Trump inaugural

The Trump administration’s move to separate immigrant parents from their children on the U.S.-Mexico border has grabbed attention around the world, drawn scorn from human-rights organizations and overtaken the immigration debate in Congress.It’s also...
Published: 06/17/18

Pasco Political Notebook

Perenich to ‘Walk the District’Stephen Perenich, Democratic candidate for U.S. House of Representatives, Florida District 12, will be "Walking the District" June 25-29. Perenich will be walking 55 miles in five days, starting in Dade City and heading...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18
GOP lawmakers decry family separations as WH defends policy

GOP lawmakers decry family separations as WH defends policy

WASHINGTON — Congressional Republicans distanced themselves Thursday from the Trump administration’s aggressive policy of separating children from their parents at the southern border even as the White House cited the Bible in defending its "zero tol...
Published: 06/14/18