State Capital Briefs: Friday, October 28, 2016


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Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton plans to campaign in Florida on Tuesday --- one week before her critical Nov. 8 showdown in the state with Republican nominee Donald Trump. Clinton also is expected to appear Saturday in Miami with singer Jennifer Lopez during a performance at the city's Bayfront Park Amphitheater. The Clinton campaign on Friday did not immediately announce details of the Tuesday event. But it also said that Vice President Joe Biden will campaign Wednesday for Clinton in the Tampa and West Palm Beach areas and that President Barack Obama will campaign for her Thursday in the South Florida and Jacksonville areas. Trump crisscrossed the state for three days this week. His campaign website as of Friday morning did not list upcoming events in Florida. But it is widely believed that Trump needs to win in Florida if he hopes to defeat Clinton.

Two people in South Florida have been charged with violating state election laws, including a woman alleged to have submitted false voter-registration applications, the Miami-Dade County State Attorney's Office announced Friday. In one of the cases, Tomika Curgil, who had been hired by as a canvasser by the group People United for Medical Marijuana, is accused of submitting false registration forms, including forms that listed people who are dead, the State Attorney's Office said. Curgil, 33, faces five counts of submitting false voter registration information, a third-degree felony. People United for Medical Marijuana is leading efforts to pass a constitutional amendment next month to broadly legalize medical cannabis. In the other case, prosecutors charged 74-year-old Gladys Coego, who had been hired as a temporary election-support specialist for the county Elections Department. Coego allegedly marked a number of absentee ballots in which the Miami-Dade County mayoral race had been left blank. She is alleged to have marked the ballots for candidate Raquel Regalado, the State Attorney's Office said. Coego faces two third-degree felony counts. "Anyone who attempts to undermine the democratic process should recognize that there is an enforcement partnership between the Elections Department and our Prosecution Task Force in place to thwart such efforts and arrest those involved," Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said in a prepared statement. "Now we need to move forward with the election."

Republican Senate candidates have funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars to a political committee led by incoming Senate President Joe Negron, R-Stuart, in the final stretch of this year's campaigns, according to newly filed finance reports. The Negron-led committee, known as the Florida Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, has not been required to file an updated finance report. But expenditure reports filed by other committees show money flowing to the Negron-led committee, which can, in turn, use the money to help Senate GOP candidates. For example, a new report shows a committee known as Friends of Dana Young sent $200,000 to the Negron committee on Oct. 18. Friends of Dana Young is led by House Majority Leader Dana Young, a Tampa Republican locked in a tight race for a Hillsborough County Senate seat. Similarly, a committee known as the Foundation for Human Values sent $200,000 to the Negron committee on Oct. 21, the reports show. The Foundation for Human Values is led by Sen. Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, a Miami Republican who is in a closely watched Senate race in Miami-Dade County. As another example, a committee known as the Florida Leadership Committee, linked to incoming Senate Appropriations Chairman Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, sent $100,000 to the Negron committee on Oct. 17, the reports show. Latvala faces only a write-in opponent in the Nov. 8 elections, but he will be a key member of Negron's leadership team after the elections.


© 2016 The News Service of Florida. All rights reserved. Posting or forwarding this material without permission is prohibited. You can view the Terms of Use on our website.

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