Five of today’s top Florida political stories at your fingertips:
Rick Scott returns to job theme for inaugural speech – If there was any doubt what the theme of Gov. Rick Scott’s final four years in office is going to be, it was put to rest Tuesday as he officially began his second term. In a word: Jobs. “A job is the most important thing we can do to change someone’s life,” Scott said during his inauguration speech. Scott, the state’s 45th governor, was sworn into office along with Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, Attorney General Pam Bondi and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam on the steps of the Old Capitol in Tallahassee. Scott has had a singular focus on the issue of job creation, a message he used to pull out a tight victory over Democrat Charlie Crist, the former Republican governor in office 2007-11. During Scott’s first term, Florida’s economy slowly started to rebound, which helped the state create more than 715,000 jobs and boosted state revenues by billions. Read more
First Lady Ann Scott hosts inaugural reception for military families – In her family’s second term in the Governor’s Mansion, First Lady Ann Scott plans to continue to prioritize the initiatives she did in the first term, she told the Times/Herald. “I’m pretty much going to be focusing on the same things,” she said. “Reading and literacy, healthy lifestyles for children, military families and foster children.” One of those priorities — military families — was the focus for the first lady’s inaugural reception Tuesday after Gov. Rick Scott’s swearing-in. Read more
Florida concerns at forefront in new Congress – Political clashes over immigration and Cuba have thrust Florida concerns to the forefront of the 114th session of Congress, which opened on Tuesday with festive swearing-in ceremonies mixed with signs of infighting to come. Republicans took charge of the Senate as well as the House, giving more clout to U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and raising the profile of some fellow Floridians. That includes conservative Republican Rep. Dan Webster of Winter Garden, who made a late but failed bid to replace John Boehner of Ohio as speaker of the House. These signs of discord came amid soothing opening-day rituals – traditionally a time of comity and pledges of cooperation before legislative battles begin. Read more
Texas Gov. Rick Perry endorses Lenny Curry for mayor – Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who is in Tallahassee today to attend Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s inauguration, announced he’s endorsing Jacksonville Republican mayoral candidate Lenny Curry. “In Texas, and as I travel the United States, I meet people who understand what it takes to transform communities and bring more opportunity for economic growth. By electing Lenny Curry, Jacksonville can have exactly that type of transformational leader in City Hall,” Perry said in a statement. Read more
Jeb Bush launches leadership PAC – Former Florida governor Jeb Bush on Tuesday launched a leadership PAC to help lay the groundwork for a possible 2016 presidential bid. The new political operation, called Right to Rise PAC, will “support candidates who share our optimistic, conservative, positive vision for helping every American get ahead,” according to a mission statement on its website. Bush also touted the new PAC in a Facebook video. Read more
For more Florida political news, visit BPR’s FLORIDA NEWS page
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