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Future House Speaker Dorworth draws local GOP official in primary contest

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012 by Dara Kam

Rep. Chris Dorworth

Future House Speaker Chris Dorworth is facing a primary run-off against John Moffitt, the treasurer of the Republican Party of Seminole County.

John Moffitt

Moffitt filed his papers for the House District 29 seat yesterday, according to state Division of Elections records.

Reached by phone, Moffitt didn’t say why he launched a campaign against the powerful incumbent. But it’s an unusual move for a local party official to take on a future House Speaker.

“I’m not ready to make a statement at this time,” said Moffitt, whose message beneath his Twitter account (@johntheumpire) reads “Going to run for congress someday!” Like Dorworth, Moffitt lives in Lake Mary.

Dorworth, who’s collected more than $250,000 for his reelection effort, is scheduled to pick the gavel after incoming House Speaker Will Weatherford’s term ends in November 2014.

Maitland Democrat Michael Clelland is also listed as a candidate in the race.

Music aficionado alert! $25K fundraiser – 3 Florida House speakers plus Nola Jazzfest

Monday, April 9th, 2012 by Dara Kam

High-rolling music lovers can unfold their wallets and get off the chain in the Big Easy while supporting Florida House races at a Republican Party of Florida fundraiser later this month.

The event? The first weekend of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, one of the country’s most rollicking music jubilees. It’s being hosted by the Republican Party of Florida on behalf of three future House Speakers – Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel; Chris Dorworth, R-Lake Mary; and Richard Corcoran, R-Trinity – to round up cash for Florida GOP House races.

The cost? $25,000.

That might seem like a lot of dough to trudge in the gnat-infested, dusty New Orleans fairgrounds in what can be withering heat – if it’s not raining, in which the multi-stage venue turns into a mudfest. (Note to donors who plan to attend: Wear close-toed shoes.)

But the headliners during the three-day fundraiser on April 27-29 include Bruce Springsteen, Florida homegrown rocker Tom Petty and Al Green (With apologies to the GOP, if you haven’t heard President Obama singing Green’s “Let’s Stay Together,” check it out here. Plus there’s dozens of other bands featuring just about every music genre including gospel, zydeco, klezmer, R & B, jazz and Americana. And there’s sure to be a VIP tent with plenty of water and other libations and cooling stations where fans can chill.

Supporters can stay at The Saint, a swank Canal Street hotel in the French Quarter.

The 2012 session’s early finish in March this year due to redistricting is a plus, because the first weekend of Jazzfest usually collides with the last week of the regular legislative session.

Some might view the New Orleans locale as a surprise, however, given lawmakers’ concerns about helping boost the Sunshine State’s economy.

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