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Miss. guv Haley Barbour backs George LeMieux U.S. Senate race

Monday, August 8th, 2011 by Dara Kam

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour is backing George LeMieux in a heated GOP primary for U.S. Senate.

Barbour, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee who briefly considered running in the 2012 presidential race, called LeMieux a “solid conservative” in a statement released this morning by LeMieux’s campaign.

“I am honored to earn the support of a principled conservative like Haley Barbour. When Governor Barbour was RNC Chairman, he helped orchestrate the Republican Revolution in 1994 that built the type of conservative majorities we need to turn our country around,” LeMieux said in the release. “More importantly, from his leadership during hurricane Katrina to his work passing key pro-life legislation, Governor Barbour is a case study in effective conservative governance.”

LeMieux is struggling to shake off his ties to Gov. Charlie Crist, who appointed LeMieux to replace former U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez when he resigned mid-term. LeMieux, a one-time close ally to Crist whom the former governor called “The Maestro,” did not seek reelection to the seat, which now-U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio won after Crist quit the GOP and ran against him as an independent.

LeMieux will face off in the primary against Delray Beach’s Adam Hasner, a former state House member who also served as the chamber’s majority leader.

Wealthy Delray Beacher Nick Loeb is toying with entrée into the race but is waiting until gal pal Sofia Vergara, star of Modern Family, gets past the Emmy Awards next month. Chris Ruddy, another Palm Beacher and CEO of the influential West Palm Beach-based conservative publication NewsMax, has ruled out getting into the candidate fray.

A Quinnipiac University poll last week showed that 53 percent of Republican voters remain undecided in the Senate primary but found Plant City tree farmer and retired Army Reserve Col. Mike McCalister leading the current four-candidate field with a meager 15 percent.

Behind McCalister in the poll were both LeMieux, with 12 percent, and Hasner, with 6 percent. Former Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse CEO Craig Miller weighed in with 8 percent support.

Nick Loeb suspense: Senate race, girlfriend Sofia Vergara’s Emmy nomination

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011 by George Bennett

Loeb's Twitter picture features Vergara

Here’s something you don’t hear often from a potential candidate:

“The Emmys are Sept. 18 and I’ll probably make a decision after that.”

So says Delray Beacher Nick Loeb, the boyfriend of Modern Family actress and Emmy nominee Sofia Vergara, when discussing the possibility he’ll enter the 2012 race for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination. Loeb flirted with a Senate run earlier this year, then appeared to drop it. But after Mike Haridopolos quit the race Monday, Loeb said on Twitter that he’s looking “more closely” at running.

“Now that Mike Haridopolos has dropped out of the race I’m sure there’s going to be other people who are interested in running,” Loeb said today. “I probably won’t be making a decision until sometime after Labor Day. I would say more toward the end of September…The Emmys are Sept. 18 and I’ll probably make a decision after that. Right now I’m supporting Sofia and her career.”

Hasner forms U.S. Senate exploratory committee

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011 by George Bennett

Hasner

Former state House Majority Leader Adam Hasner of Boca Raton has opened an exploratory committee for a 2012 GOP bid for U.S. Senate with Republican superlawyer Cleta Mitchell handling the paperwork in Washington, a Hasner adviser confirms.

Hasner, who has spent the last month or so crisscrossing the state talking to local GOP activists and attending Lincoln Day dinners, appears poised to join a crowded Republican field hoping to unseat two-term Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson. Other potential GOP candidates include state Senate President Mike Haridopolos, former appointed U.S. Sen. George LeMieux, U.S. Rep. Connie Mack and wealthy Delray Beacher Nick Loeb.

Hasner served in the state House from 2002 to 2010. Many expected him to run for Congress or state Senate when he ran into term limits, but Hasner announced in 2009 that he’d sit out the 2010 cycle while his wife Jillian managed Meg Whitman’s campaign for governor in California.

Cannon backing Haridopolos for U.S. Senate in 2012

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011 by George Bennett

House Speaker Dean Cannon, R-Winter Park, is endorsing Senate President Mike Haridopolos’ bid for U.S. Senate in 2012, according to two people who heard Cannon speak to Haridopolos supporters today.

Cannon was on hand when Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island, met with about 75 donors and supporters to discuss the Senate bid at the Airport Hyatt in Orlando today.

Haridopolos is one of several potential GOP candidates for the seat of Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson. Former state House Majority Leader Adam Hasner of Boca Raton, Delray Beach businessman and philanthropist Nick Loeb, former U.S. Sen. George LeMieux and U.S. Rep. Connie Mack of Cape Coral are among the other possible GOP candidates.

Nick Loeb, weighing Senate run, says he’s no Jeff Greene

Monday, January 24th, 2011 by George Bennett


Nick Loeb and Sofia Vergara talk politics with Billy Bush on the Golden Globes red carpet in this Access Hollywood video.

Palm Beach County has seen one rich guy with Hollywood ties enter a U.S. Senate race. But wealthy Delray Beacher Nick Loeb, considering a 2012 GOP run for Sen. Bill Nelson’s seat, tells The Palm Beach Post he’s nothing like 2010 Dem candidate Jeff Greene.

Read about it in this week’s Politics column.

Stung by divorce, Nick Loeb dropping state Senate bid and pledging full refund to contributors

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009 by George Bennett

Anna and Nick Loeb in happier times

Anna and Nick Loeb in happier times


DELRAY BEACH — Saying he can’t run for office while going through a divorce, Nick Loeb is terminating his state Senate bid and pledging to spend more than $100,000 of his own money to give full refunds to everyone who contributed to his campaign.

Loeb, a Republican who had former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani come to Palm Beach County to headline a May fund-raiser, said he collected more than $300,000 in contributions and spent more than $100,000 on his campaign for the Palm Beach-Broward legislative seat of Senate President Jeff Atwater, who’s running for chief financial officer in 2010.

Loeb’s wife, Anna, filed for divorce this month. Nick Loeb said he and his wife have been separated since July, when he said Anna Loeb reconnected with an old boyfriend while she was visiting her native Sweden.

Anna Loeb’s attorney, Michael Walsh, was not immediately reachable this afternoon to comment on Nick Loeb’s version events.

“I wish things could be different. This is not what I wanted. I have tried to reconcile but this is what she wants,” Nick Loeb said.

(more…)

Former U.S. Rep. Clay Shaw helps rivals Bogdanoff, Domino raise money for GOP state Senate primary

Monday, September 28th, 2009 by George Bennett

Former Republican U.S. Rep. Clay Shaw of Fort Lauderdale is listed on the host committee for an Oct. 13 fund-raiser in West Palm Beach and an Oct. 15 event in Deerfield Beach for the state Senate campaign of state Rep. Carl Domino, R-Jupiter.

Shaw was also on the host committee for an Aug. 28 fund-raiser in Boca Raton for one of Domino’s GOP primary rivals, state Rep. Ellyn Bogdanoff, R-Fort Lauderdale.

The invitation to Domino’s Oct. 15 fund-raiser also lists Broward County GOP Chairman Chip LaMarca as a host committee member. But LaMarca has endorsed Bogdanoff in the Republican Senate primary.

What gives?

(more…)

Republican activist flushes chance to censure Crist; state GOP keeps eye on proceedings

Sunday, August 16th, 2009 by George Bennett

Crist

Crist

Barry Carson’s brief trip to the men’s room spared Gov. Charlie Crist the embarrassment of being censured by Palm Beach County’s Republican Party last week.

Carson, a Republican Executive Committee member from Jupiter, was out of the room and missed the vote when the rest of the committee split 65-65 on a resolution Wednesday night to rebuke Crist for his various departures from GOP orthodoxy.

The tie vote means the resolution failed.

Carson said he would have voted for censure.

mensroomBut after hours of debate and an earlier vote on whether to table the censure resolution, Carson went to the men’s room. When he got back, his name had been passed in the roll call of Republican committee members.

Carson said he told party leaders he was back and wanted to vote before the roll call was complete, but was ignored by county GOP Chairman Sid Dinerstein and others who opposed censure.

Dinerstein

Dinerstein

“Sid didn’t want the resolution and because of my prostate problem he found a way to get it (defeated),” Carson told the Politics column.

Dinerstein said he didn’t know of Carson’s wish to vote until it was too late.

“This guy didn’t say a word until our vote was finished and recorded,” Dinerstein said. “To me it was a little like sending in your absentee ballot late.”

****

Big Brother: Not us, says state GOP

Big Brother: Not us, says state GOP


The Republican Party of Florida, which is chaired by close Crist ally Jim Greer, took an interest in the censure vote. Carla Rivera, a field rep from the state GOP, attended the meeting and videotaped the county GOP’s deliberations.

“We do that a lot of times when we go to events,” state GOP spokeswoman Katie Gordon said. “It’s not sort of Big Brother overseeing what the local parties are doing. We’re all on the same team.”

****

State Rep. Ellyn Bogdanoff, R-Fort Lauderdale, is bolstering her Palm Beach County support as she runs for the Palm Beach-Broward state Senate district now held by CFO-seeking state Senate President Jeff Atwater, R-North Palm Beach.

Bogdanoff

Bogdanoff

Bogdanoff is already backed by House Majority Leader Adam Hasner, R-Delray Beach. And the hosts for a Bogdanoff fund-raiser later this month include some big Boca Raton names: Mayor Susan Whelchel, Boca Councilwoman Susan Haynie, GOP activist Jack Furnari and former county Republican Chairman Tom Sliney.

Bogdanoff faces two Palm Beach County rivals — state Rep. Carl Domino of Jupiter and businessman Nick Loeb of Delray Beach — in a Republican primary in which about 64 percent of Republican voters live in Palm Beach County.

***

Goodman

Goodman


Retired educator Vincent Goodman, a Republican who was one of Crist’s four finalists for the Palm Beach County commission appointment that eventually went to Democrat Priscilla Taylor, has opened a campaign to run for the seat in 2010. Democrats have a 4-to-1 registration edge over Republicans in Taylor’s minority-dominated District 7.

Domino shrugs off $3,147 fund-raising while Senate rivals top six figures

Monday, July 20th, 2009 by George Bennett

State Rep. Carl Domino, R-Jupiter, says he’s not worried that he raised only $3,147 from contributors in the first six weeks of his campaign for the state Senate District 25 seat while Republican primary rivals Nick Loeb ($225,105) and state Rep. Ellyn Bogdanoff ($122,575) have piled up far more.

Domino: $110,058 of own money in Senate race

Domino: $110,047 of own money in Senate race

“We raise money in a different cycle,” explained Domino, who has put $110,058 of his own money into the race. Domino, Bogdanoff and Loeb are vying for the Palm Beach-Broward seat of Senate President Jeff Atwater, who’s running for chief financial officer in 2010.

Bogdanoff’s and Loeb’s totals include money they raised for state House campaigns before Atwater announced he was leaving his Senate seat and they switched to that contest. Loeb has put $7,200 of his own money into the race on top of the $225,105 he’s received from others.

Domino says he’ll be financially competitive by the time the GOP primary rolls around more than 13 months from now. He says he doesn’t plan to crank up fund-raising until late September or October.

Wealthy investment manager Domino spent $210,000 of his own money on an unsuccessful 2000 state House bid and $270,000 of his own money on his winning 2002 state House campaign. Since entering the state House, Domino has relied primarily on other people’s money rather than his own checkbook. In 2008, he put $2,094 of his own money into his House reelection bid and raised $319,039 from donors.

Senate races attract slew of candidates who live outside districts

Monday, June 29th, 2009 by George Bennett

On his way to winning the state House District 78 seat last year, state Rep. Kevin Rader, D-Delray Beach, often reminded voters that he actually lived in the district while Democratic primary rival Steve Nichol did not and candidate Steven Perman had merely rented an apartment there while owning a house in Broward County.

Now Rader is entertaining thoughts of running next year in a state Senate district where he doesn’t live.

He has plenty of company.

(more…)

Hasner endorses Bogdanoff in GOP state Senate primary

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009 by George Bennett

Passing over two Republicans from his own county, House Majority Leader Adam Hasner, R-Boca Raton, is endorsing state Rep. Ellyn Bogdanoff, R-Fort Lauderdale, in the three-Republican primary for the seat of Senate President Jeff Atwater, who’s running for chief financial officer.

Hasner at one point was considered a likely GOP candidate for the Palm Beach-Broward seat, but opted not to run for any office in 2010 when he faces term limits.

About 64 percent of Senate District 25 voters live in Palm Beach County and about 36 percent in Broward County. Hasner’s endorsement of Broward County resident Bogdanoff comes at the expense of two Palm Beach County Republicans — state Rep. Carl Domino, R-Jupiter, and Delray Beach businessman Nick Loeb.

(more…)

GOP biz partners back rivals in primary for Atwater’s Senate seat

Monday, June 22nd, 2009 by George Bennett

The Republican scramble for the Palm Beach-Broward seat of Senate President Jeff Atwater, R-North Palm Beach, puts GOP heavyweights and business partners Scott Rothstein and Roger Stone in rival camps.

Attorney Rothstein – who’s raised money for the likes of Charlie Crist, John McCain and George W. Bush – is backing state Rep. Ellyn Bogdanoff, R-Fort Lauderdale, in the Senate District 25 race.
Legendarily dapper bad boy and unabashed Nixon admirer Stone, a partner with Rothstein in a Fort Lauderdale-based consulting biz, is behind Delray Beach businessman Nick Loeb.

Stone said he’s friends with Bogdanoff but has an “antecedent” relationship with Loeb’s family, going back to the days when he and Loeb’s father were early Ronald Reagan supporters. Though he’s known as a creative hitman, Stone says that, in this race, “I’m not here to engage in negative politics.”

Bogdanoff, Loeb and state Rep. Carl Domino, R-Jupiter, are in the GOP primary to replace Atwater, who’s running for chief financial officer

Rep. Skidmore to run for state Senate

Thursday, May 28th, 2009 by George Bennett

State Rep. Kelly Skidmore, D-Boca Raton, will enter the 2010 race for the state Senate seat of Senate President Jeff Atwater, R-North Palm Beach, who is running for chief financial officer.

Skidmore

Skidmore

Skidmore, serving her second House term, does not live in Atwater’s Senate District 25 but said she would have “no problem moving back into the district where I have lived most of my life.”

Palm Beach-Broward District 25 has a Republican registration edge of roughly 38 percent to 36 percent. But Democrat Barack Obama carried the district in November’s presidential election.

Three Republicans have already announced they are running to succeed Atwater: state Reps. Ellyn Bogdanoff of Fort Lauderdale and Carl Domino of Jupiter and businessman Nick Loeb of Delray Beach.

Former Democratic state Sen. Skip Campbell has said he’s interested in running for the District 25 Senate seat.

(more…)

Some bad GOP blood over Loeb switch

Thursday, May 28th, 2009 by George Bennett


Republicans Nick Loeb and Allen West aren’t running against each other. But businessman Loeb’s switch last week from a state House race to a state Senate campaign drew some scorching criticism from congressional candidate West that Loeb characterized as “threatening.”

After getting an e-mail from the Loeb campaign announcing the switch, West fired back a Blackberry response asking to be removed from Loeb’s mailing list.

“My Country and this State are in serious peril. My character and integrity compel me to not support confused, unprincipled political opportunists,” West wrote. “I wish you good health and a prosperous life, but you are not what our State, and certainly our Country, needs at this critical and defining moment. No response required and please, do not cross me. Best regards, Allen.”

Loeb professed puzzlement at West’s response.

“I’m not sure why he sent me an e-mail threatening me,” Loeb said.
(more…)

2 more enter fray to replace Atwater

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009 by George Bennett

Republican state Reps. Carl Domino of Jupiter and Ellyn Bogdanoff of Fort Lauderdale became Senate rivals Wednesday as both announced plans to run in 2010 for the legislative seat of Senate President Jeff Atwater, who is leaving to pursue a statewide campaign for chief financial officer.

Both join a third Republican, businessman Nick Loeb of Delray Beach, in the race for the Palm Beach-Broward District 25 Senate seat.

Atwater launched his CFO campaign Tuesday.

Former Democratic state Sen. Skip Campbell has also expressed interest in Atwater’s seat, and other Democrats could enter as well in a district where Republicans hold a slight registration edge.

Bogdanoff already had opened a reelection campaign for her state House seat and raised $33,750 through March 31. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani was recently in Palm Beach County to raise money for Loeb’s campaign for the state House seat of term-limited Majority Leader Adam Hasner, R-Boca Raton.

Under state law, Bogdanoff and Loeb must offer to return unspent campaign money to the contributors to their House races. A contributor to the House campaign also has the option of letting the money be used for the Senate campaign. One Domino supporter who gave to Loeb’s House campaign is already demanding a refund.

About 64 percent of Senate District 25 voters live in Palm Beach County and 36 percent live in Broward County.

Senate spotlight on Domino, Bogdanoff

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009 by George Bennett

Announcements could come as soon as today from state Reps. Carl Domino, R-Jupiter, and Ellyn Bogdanoff,

R-Fort Lauderdale, that they’re running for the state Senate seat of Senate President Jeff Atwater, R-North Palm Beach, now that Atwater is running for state chief financial officer. Both Bogdanoff and Domino have indicated in the past that they’re likely to run for the Palm Beach-Broward Senate seat.

Businessman Nick Loeb, a Delray Beach Republican who was running for state House, announced Tuesday that he’ll jump into the Senate race.

Loeb’s announcement “dismayed” political consultant and Domino supporter Eric Zichella, who sent an e-mail to Loeb asking the candidate to return a $500 contribution Zichella made out to Loeb’s House campaign.

“I took you at your word that you were running for the state House, and now I feel a bit betrayed,” wrote Zichella, who said he also wants refunds for three other contributions that Zichella rounded up for Loeb from other donors.

Scramble begins for Atwater’s Senate seat

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009 by George Bennett

Former Democratic state Sen. Skip Campbell this afternoon said he’s considering a run for state Senate now that Senate President Jeff Atwater, R-North Palm Beach, has opened a campaign for state chief financial officer. Campbell filed for Senate against Atwater in 2008 but bowed out because of a reaction to hip surgery that he said is “all gone” now.

Three Republicans are likely to run for Atwater’s Palm Beach-Broward Senate seat. Delray Beach businessman Nick Loeb confirmed today that he’ll jump from a state House race into the Senate contest.

Look for state Rep. Carl Domino, R-Jupiter, to launch a Senate campaign by Wednesday. State Rep. Ellyn Bogdanoff, R-Fort Lauderdale, has said she probably would run for the Senate seat if Atwater left.

Some Dems have mentioned term-limited Palm Beach County Commissioner Jeff Koons as a potential Senate candidate, but Koons so far has said he’s not interested.

Republicans held a 39-to-36 percent registration edge in Senate District 25 last fall. About 64 percent of voters live in Palm Beach County and 36 percent in Broward County.

Giuliani to raise $$ for Loeb

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009 by George Bennett


Former NYC mayor and onetime GOP presidential frontrunner Rudy Giuliani will headline a May 8 fund-raiser for 2010 Republican state House candidate Nick Loeb at the Manalapan home of Richard DeVos, the Amway-founding billionaire who owns the Orlando Magic.

Loeb and former Boca Raton Councilman Bill Hager are seeking the Republican nomination to replace term-limited state House Majority Leader Adam Hasner, R-Boca Raton, in District 87, which includes parts of southern Palm Beach County and a few Broward County precincts.

Loeb joins GOP race to succeed Hasner

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009 by George Bennett

Delray Beach activist Nick Loeb announced at tonight’s Palm Beach County GOP meeting that he’ll run in 2010 for the south-county seat of term-limited state House Majority Leader Adam Hasner, R-Boca Raton. Former Boca councilman Bill Hager has also announced he’s running in the GOP primary. Democrats are expected to make a play for the seat as well. Loeb is managing partner of Carbon Solutions America, a company that helps businesses become more energy efficient.

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