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Senate newbie Negron to chair judiciary

by Dara Kam | October 2nd, 2009

Senate President Jeff Atwater tapped newly elected state Sen. Joe Negron to chair the Judiciary Committee, a plumb post for the freshman senator.

Atwater made few other changes in the committee line-up, leaving most chairmen in place in what for many will be their last legislative session because of term limits.

Negron, a former House member, won a special election last month fill former Senate President Ken Pruitt’s District 28 seat. Pruitt, R-Port St. Lucie, abruptly left office on the last day of the legislative session early in May.

Negron will serve the final 15 months of Pruitt’s Senate term and face reelection in 2010.

Negron, an attorney who served in the state House from 2000 to 2006, gained national attention when the GOP recruited him at the last minute to replace scandal-tainted U.S. Rep. Mark Foley. Negron narrowly lost the race to Democrat Tim Mahoney, who was later defeated by Republican Tom Rooney.

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