The Republican and Democratic candidates for the Polk/Hillsborough District 15 seat in the U.S. House introduce themselves at a Friday forum in Bartow and answer questions.
Somebody took over the @neilcombee Twitter account that Neil Combee used when he was a state representative and uses it to parody the conservative politician. After Combee, who is running for Congress, complained to Twitter, a disclaimer was added and the title of the account was changed to “Fake Real Neil Combee.” The Tampa Bay Times article says Combee’s new Twitter account is @realneilcombee, but that one looks like a parody, too. Or maybe it was hijacked. The bio concludes: “A Nobody, trying to act like a Somebody.”
Democrat Robert Doyel, a retired circuit judge, is attacking Republican incumbent Kelli Stargel in the Florida Senate District 22 race on education funding, but Stargel maintains the Legislature’s moves have been adequate.
Lakeland contractor Sean Harper is branding himself as a conservative outsider in his bid against five others for the Republican nomination in the race to succeed Dennis Ross at the U.S. House member representing Florida’s 15th District.
Democrat Kristen Carlson, who announced her candidacy for U.S. House District 15 just two days before filing ended, collected $100,000 in campaign contributions in the first 13 days, her staff told FloridaPolitics. By the end of March, the last reporting period, Democratic rivals Andrew Learned reported $123,000 and Raymond Peña reported $4,500.
It’s been years since there’s been a contentious Democratic primary for the U.S. House District 15 seat that’s been held by Republicans since the mid-1980s, FloridaPolitics.com notes. Sparring between contenders Kristen Carlson of Lakeland and Andrew Learned of Valrico shows this year will be different, political reporter Bill Rufty says.
State Rep. Ross Spano of Dover has lined up endorsements from Republican office-holders in both Polk and Hillsborough counties while endorsements for a rival, former Rep. Neil Combee of Polk City, come from this side of the county line, the Tampa Bay Times notes. The two men are among six vying for the GOP nomination to replace U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross of Lakeland, who is retiring from Congress.
Elected officials endorsing Spano include Polk County Commissioners John Hall and George Lindsey and state Rep. Sam Killebrew of Winter Haven and these from Hillsborough: Tax Collector Doug Belden; county Commissioner Al Higginbotham; former State Attorney Mark Ober; state Rep. Jake Raburn of Lithia; former state Rep. Rich Glorioso; and Plant City Mayor Rick Lott, former Mayor Randy Larsen, Vice-Mayor Bill Dodson and former city Commissioner Billy Keel.
Elected officials endorsing Combee include state Reps. Ben Albritton of Wauchula, Mike LaRosa of St. Cloud and Josie Tomkow of Polk City; former state Rep. John Wood of Winter Haven; Auburndale Mayor Tim Pospichal and Polk City Mayor Joe LaCascia.
Lakeland resident Kristen Carlson, a lawyer with MacFarlane Ferguson & McMullen, entered the Democratic primary for the U.S. House District 15 seat being vacated by Republican Dennis Ross. She is a s a former state prosecutor and attorney for the state Department of Citrus and Department of Transportation. She faces Andrew Learned of Valrico and Ray Peña of Lakeland in the Aug. 28 primary.
When qualifying ended at noon Friday, six candidates filed for the Aug. 28 Republican primary to determine the party’s candidate for the U.S. House District 15 seat being vacated by Dennis Ross, a Republican. They are: Neil Combee of Polk City, Sean Harper of Lakeland, Danny Kushmer of Brandon, Curt Rogers of Dover, Ed Shoemaker of Lakeland and Ross Spano of Riverview.