Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Politics

Weatherford, brothers to open Tampa firm

Former Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford announced Tuesday that he's going to give this private sector thing a try by forming a "strategic business advisory firm" with two of his brothers.

Weatherford and brothers Sam and Drew, the former Florida State University quarterback, are calling their Tampa company "Weatherford Partners." It will provide clients "with a broad range of business expertise and will invest capital directly into private companies with a strategic focus on Florida."

Weatherford, who is often rumored to be a viable candidate for higher office, has spent most of his adult life as a state employee. Term limits forced him out last year.

Bush camp updates

Jeb Bush is moving into the more public phase of his presidential exploration, with a first "Right to Rise" speech in Detroit next month.

Bush will appear before the Detroit Economic Club on Feb. 4. His spokeswoman said it's the first in a series of speeches that will take him across the country. Bush has been focused on fundraising.

On Tuesday, Bush was raising money in Washington, D.C. He'll head to San Francisco on Friday for one of his last paid speeches, to the National Automobile Dealers Association.

Bush is also making staff moves. CNN first reported that Megan Sowards, deputy general counsel for Romney's 2012 campaign, is moving to South Florida to take a position with McDonald Hopkins, a firm close to Bush. She'll make the jump to the campaign later. And Bush's PAC has gained Matt Gorman, who helped with rapid response for Mitt Romney's 2012 campaign.

Rubio juggles gigs

With Bush eating up the headlines, it's easy to overlook how Marco Rubio has been pushing forward toward a possible presidential run.

Rubio has been busy fundraising in between media appearances for his new book, American Dreams, and this weekend he'll attend two big events:

• His own "Team Marco" donor gathering on Friday and Saturday in Miami Beach. The event, closed to the media, includes a "political update" to be given Saturday morning.

• The Koch Brothers' annual gathering in Palm Springs, Calif., on Sunday. Rubio attended last year.

On Monday, Rubio popped up in South Carolina.

Toward the end of February, Rubio will kick off the second leg of his book promotion with a conventional book store schedule that will take him to early-voting states.

Huckabee book stops

Mike Huckabee will make three stops in Florida to promote his new book, God, Guns, Grits, and Gravy, which comes as he has signaled interest in running for president again.

The former Arkansas governor, who lives in the Florida panhandle, will appear in Fort Myers and Sarasota on Jan. 31. On Feb. 1 he'll be at First Baptist Church of Jacksonville for a church service followed by a book signing.

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