Mitch Perry Report 3.13.13 - A Florida Dem out of governor's race before he got into it?

The Miami Herald's Marc Caputo reported yesterday that former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz is considering whether to leave Florida's gubernatorial race.

With all due respect to both Caputo and Diaz, was he ever really in it?

Officially there is only one Democrat who has officially filed her candidacy for the 2014 nomination, and that's former South Florida state Senator Nan Rich. As most observers know, though both Alex Sink and Charlie Crist are invariably mentioned as contenders, neither has officially announced they are running for anything as of yet.

Now we have had Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, another name tossed around in such conversations, come out recently to take his name out of contention, and now apparently Diaz has done so as well. Caputo writes that Diaz' biggest challenge was his lack of name recognition, and that's a fact. Diaz served as mayor of Miami from 2001-2009, but you'd be hard pressed to find too many in the Tampa Bay area familiar with his record - or his name - at this present time.

Similarly, if Pam Iorio were to enter the race she would undoubtedly face similar challenges, but the fact of the matter is the former Tampa mayor, though never officially closing the door, hasn't really shown any indications so far that she would run for the nomination. Rumors were thick after she stepped down two years ago, fueled further by a book that she authored that was published last year. Now she's not even thrown in the mix with other would-be candidates such as former Orlando sheriff Val Demings.

Our two local dailies today are weighing in on that Florida Senate committee's decision on rejecting Medicaid expansion as presented by the Obama administration on Monday. Looking through our copy of the Trib this morning, we didn't see any correction made for the rather large factual error they committed in their lead editorial on Tuesday.

Speaking of Medicaid expansion, there's a diehard group of medical professionals (and Pasco County's Mike Fasano) still calling for the Legislature to ignore the two committee's that have already rejecting the fed's proposal.

And we spoke with some local Tampa citizens who've been to Cuba recently to get their thoughts on Senator Marco Rubio's criticism of such tourists in a speech he gave last week in Miami.

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