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Florida: McBride to Meet With NRCC About 8th District

Attorney and 2006 Senate candidate Will McBride will be on Capitol Hill today meeting with Republican officials about a possible 2010 campaign against outspoken freshman Rep. Alan Grayson (D).

McBride lost by 19 points to then-Rep. Katherine Harris in the 2006 Senate primary, but he ran much closer to the Congresswoman in Orange and Lake counties, where the bulk of 8th district voters live.

McBride said Monday that he was contacted by the National Republican Congressional Committee a week and half ago about possibly running in the 8th district. He declined to say when he planned to make a decision on the race except to note that “It’s not going to be [Tuesday]. … [But] it will be sooner than later.—

After several early frontrunners decided not to run, the 8th district GOP primary looks like it’s going to be a crowded affair. Among those who have filed are local Tea Party organizer Patricia Sullivan, real estate developer Armando Gutierrez Jr., attorney Todd Long and veteran Dan Fanelli.

Castor, Luminaries to Host Event for Edwards

Rep. Kathy Castor and a slew of central Florida Democrats are looking to give 12th district candidate Lori Edwards (D) a fundraising boost at an event next week at the Congresswoman’s home.

Castor will be joined by her mother, Betty Castor, a former Senate candidate; Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio; and other state and local Democratic bigwigs at a $100-per-head fundraiser Nov. 12.

Edwards, who serves as Polk County supervisor of elections, is running on a fiscally conservative message. After raising more than $100,000 in the second quarter, she appeared to hit a fundraising snag in the third quarter when she brought in just less than $39,000. That unimpressive total came despite the fact that Edwards was endorsed by the conservative Blue Dog Coalition in mid-July and took in donations from a half-dozen lawmakers in the third quarter.

Edwards’ Republican opponent, former state Rep. Dennis Ross, reported $144,000 in receipts during the third quarter. That brought Ross’ cash-on-hand total to just more than a quarter of a million dollars.

Wexler to Resign Jan. 3; Special Not Yet Set

Rep. Robert Wexler (D), who is leaving Congress to become president of the nonprofit Center for Middle East Peace and Economic Cooperation, has set his official departure date for Jan. 3.

Gov. Charlie Crist has yet to set the date of the special election to replace Wexler, but the Congressman’s hand-picked successor, state Sen. Ted Deutch (D), continues to lock down key endorsements in the overwhelmingly Democratic district.

After gaining Wexler’s endorsement in mid-October, Deutch earned the endorsement of fellow state Sen. Jeremy Ring (D) late last week. Before he decided to skip the race, Ring was considered a potential top contender in the special election.