1. Florida Politics

Slimmed-down Peter Nehr bares his abs for friends

State Rep. Peter Nehr, R-Tarpon Springs, photographs himself in a mirror.
State Rep. Peter Nehr, R-Tarpon Springs, photographs himself in a mirror.
Published Jul. 29, 2012

Most of us can probably agree that it's a bad idea to email or text photos of yourself mostly undressed. It's a really bad idea to do it if you're a public official, as former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner of New York demonstrated last year.

So we were taken aback the other day when someone forwarded us photos of state Rep. Peter Nehr, R-Tarpon Springs, half-dressed. Two of the three pictures showed Nehr photographing himself in bathroom mirrors.

But Nehr clarified the matter, explaining that he sent the photos of himself far and wide as a public service of sorts. He had put on a lot of weight, he said, and wanted to show friends how he had lost 50 pounds and at the same time controlled his diabetes.

"I have sent these pictures to many of my friends that have been following my health and diabetes progress, and they have shared them with others as well," Nehr said. "It appears that someone who has a problem with my politics is trying to use them in a way to hurt my campaign. I am proud of what I have done to improve my health and will discuss this with anyone who wants to know how to do what I did."

Eye on District 22

The campaign in Senate District 22 — covering parts of Tampa and most of South Pinellas — has emerged as one of the most contentious, closely watched campaigns in Florida. Check out the Republican choices, St. Petersburg state Reps. Jeff Brandes and Jim Frishe, on Political Connections on Bay News 9 at 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. today.

Obama in Orlando

Barack Obama had planned to hold a campaign rally in Winter Park this month, but canceled the event because of the movie theater shooting in Colorado. Now the White House says the president will visit Orlando on Thursday for a campaign event "to lay out his vision to rebuild the economy from the middle out, cut taxes for middle-class families and reduce the country's deficit."

Bondi touts Romney

Attorney General Pam Bondi hit the battleground state of New Hampshire on Saturday on behalf of Mitt Romney. Bondi, who has a rising profile in the party for her and Bill McCollum's lawsuit to overturn the federal health care law, headlined a series of events including a "Women for Mitt" breakfast in Concord and a lunch with supporters in Bedford.

"Pam Bondi is a rising star in the Republican Party, a strong advocate for fiscal responsibility, and a leader in the fight to crack down on human trafficking," said the Romney campaign. "Gov. Romney appreciates Attorney General Bondi's support and he is grateful that she has agreed to help him spread his message of lower taxes and limited government in New Hampshire."

Another rising GOP star, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, was in South Florida on Saturday for the grand opening of Romney's Coral Springs campaign office. There's nothing unusual about bringing in high-profile surrogates to generate a crowd and publicity, but it is a bit odd that Louisiana's governor is opening Romney campaign offices in Florida, while Florida's own governor doesn't seem to do anything with the campaign.

A Rubio moment

In a CNN interview from London, Romney brought up U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio in a discussion about wealth and success.

"I heard Marco Rubio the other day … he said, 'You know we were poor living in Miami. We saw all these big homes across town. My parents never said gee, why don't those people give us some of what they have? They said, instead, aren't we lucky to live in a country with education and hard work, we might be able to achieve that ourselves.' "

Rubio watchers have noticed an uptick in Romney's mentions of him lately. Maybe, they hope, Romney is giving him a harder look for VP than thought. Jeb Bush told the Associated Press that he personally lobbied Romney to pick Rubio. And this weekend Rubio will campaign for Romney in Nevada.

Alex Leary contributed to this week's Buzz. Follow Adam Smith on Twitter: @AdamSmithTimes.


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