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BIZPAC: Dump Bucher, keep Nikolits and Bock

Friday, May 11th, 2012 by George Bennett

Palm Beach County’s Business Political Action Committee has endorsed Delray Beach Mayor Woodie McDuffie for elections supervisor over incumbent Susan Bucher while supporting two other countywide elected officials who face challenges: Property Appraiser Gary Nikolits and Clerk ‘n’ Comptroller Sharon Bock.

BIZPAC tends to favor Republicans in contested partisan races, but the group endorsed state Rep. Joseph Abruzzo, D-Wellington, for a new west-county Senate seat over Republicans Melanie Peterson and Geoff Sommers.

Read BIZPAC Chairman John R. Smith‘s discussion of the group’s endorsements here.

Abruzzo unveils endorsements for state Senate bid

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012 by George Bennett

Just in case any other Democrats were entertaining thoughts of running in the newly drawn District 25 state Senate seat, state Rep. Joseph Abruzzo, D-Wellington, today announced the endorsements of some big-name Dems.

U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Boca Raton, Sheriff Ric Bradshaw, County Commissioner Shelley Vana and former Democratic state Sen. Dave Aronberg are all supporting Abruzzo, according to a release from Abruzzo’s campaign. Abruzzo formally filed for the western county seat on Tuesday after declaring his intentions last month.

Republican Geoff Sommers is also running for the newly drawn Senate seat.

Abruzzo will run for new Senate District 27

Saturday, March 17th, 2012 by George Bennett

Abruzzo

Within an hour of the new map’s release, state Rep. Joseph Abruzzo, D-Wellington, announced that he will open a campaign for the new District 27 Senate seat that is generally west of Florida’s Turnpike in Palm Beach County.

State Rep. Jeff Clemens, D-Lake Worth, said he is likely to run in a new Democratic-leaning District 29 if it makes it through the Senate and legal challenges. State Rep. Mack Bernard, D-West Palm Beach, is also eyeing that Senate seat, which is roughly 26 percent black and 27 percent Hispanic.

In the new Senate District 32, which includes southern Palm Beach County and coastal Broward, Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff, R-Fort Lauderdale, said she expects to run for reelection even though the district appears to have become more favorable for Democrats.

State Sen. Maria Sachs, D-Boca Raton, could not immediately be reached but several Democrats said they expect her to run against Bogdanoff.

Former Democratic state Rep. Kevin Rader, who recently launched a primary challenge against Sachs, said he’s weighing which seat he will seek if the new map becomes final.

* See the revised state Senate redistricting map

GOP chair hopeful Lynch says he’s no Democratic guitar hero; asserts barbecue sauce defense for Dem shirt

Monday, December 6th, 2010 by George Bennett

GOP chair hopeful Ed Lynch (left, with guitar) says he was doing a sound check -- not performing -- when he appeared in 2008 with Democratic state House candidate (now state Rep.) Joseph Abruzzo and former Democratic state Sen. Dave Aronberg.

In his bid for Palm Beach County GOP chairman, two-time congressional candidate Ed Lynch is mounting a more-Republican-than-thou challenge of incumbent Sid Dinerstein. Among other things, he has ripped Dinerstein for allowing BIZPAC Chairman John R. Smith to be a non-voting member on the county GOP executive board when Smith contributed to Democratic state Rep. Joseph Abruzzo.

So Dinerstein supporter Jack Furnari is making hay of photos from 2008 that show Lynch wielding a guitar at a joint event for Democrats Abruzzo and former state Sen. Dave Aronberg. Lynch is wearing a “Team Aronberg” T-shirt in the pics, which conservative activist Furnari posted today on his blog.

Lynch says he donned Aronberg T-shirt after barbecue sauce mishap.

Lynch today called the guitar issue a sign his opponents are “desperate.”

Lynch says he merely loaned his sound system to a friend who played at the event. He says he picked up the guitar, which he says wasn’t his, to do a sound check and didn’t actually perform. Abruzzo said he thinks he remembers Lynch playing at the event, but can’t be absolutely sure. He said he remembers feeling a little uncomfortable about it because he supported Lynch’s opponent at the time, former Democratic U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler. Aronberg said he wasn’t 100 percent certain either, but thinks Lynch’s sound-check story is “probably right.”

And that Aronberg T-shirt? Lynch said he spilled barbecue sauce on his own shirt and donned the Democratic garment as an emergency substitute.

Abruzzo: legalize, regulate and tax online poker

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010 by George Bennett

Abruzzo

Abruzzo

State Rep. Joseph Abruzzo, D-Wellington, has filed the “Internet Poker Consumer Protection and Revenue Generation Act of 2010″ a bill to legalize online poker in Florida.

Abruzzo says about 900,000 Floridians already gamble at sites run by unregulated “offshore operators.” He says his bill would bring in more than $200 million in revenue in its first year.

Abruzzo’s bill would allow an Internet hub operator based in the state to pay a $500,000 application fee to the state for a license. Operators would pay the state a 20 percent gross receipts tax. Abruzzo’s 42-page bill includes provisions aimed to combat money-laundering and gambling addiction.

Abruzzo’s bill has attracted the attention of the gaming industry. Here’s one take on it from casinogamblingweb.com.

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