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By Brian Cole
Tampa, FL – Even though Pinellas County State Senator Jack Latvala has an “R” by his name on the ballot, through his actions he is far too left for Floridians to accurately label him as a ‘RINO’, a term that means Republican in Name Only. Through his actions, and fairly frequently his words (disclosed in this article), Latvala ideology aligns more with statist liberals and progressives than he does conservatives. In spite of his liberal legislative record in the State Senate, Latvala recently announced his intentions to run as a Republican in 2018 Florida’s Gubernatorial Election.
While Latvala has yet to “officially” announce his intentions to run as a Republican in Florida’s 2018 Gubernatorial Election, he has chosen the Clearwater Marine Aquarium and 16 August as the date and for “an important announcement.” In July 2017, the Tampa Bay Times reported Latvala disclosed his plans to run for Governor of Florida during a trip to his summer home in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. It is worth noting that Latvala cannot run for his State Senate seat again due to term limits.
As early as May 2011, Nancy Smith of Sunshine State News chronicled Jack Latvala’s sabotage of Conservative and Limited Government Legislation. Though he persuasively portrayed himself as a Conservative on the campaign trail, Latvala, proceeded to “sabotage” the Conservative agenda of fellow Republican State Senator Mike Haridopolos, and “thwarted” Governor Rick Scott’s attempts to balance Florida’s budget. Smith provided additional examples of Latvala’s repeated endeavors to disrupt efforts by Republicans in the House and Senate to shrink the size of the state’s government.
Not surprisingly, his far-from Conservative actions while serving Pinellas County in the State Senate earned praise from the left-leaning St. Petersburg Times (now the Tampa Bay Times). Latvala was likewise praised by the Times’ Tallahassee bureau by Democratic State Senator Jeremy Ring for dismantling some of the top priorities of the conservative House by assembling interchangeable coalitions of senators. For the liberals/progressives, Latvala earned the distinction as “MVP” for the legislative session.
However, he betrayed his constituents whom had voted for to represent them in Tallahassee. Earning praise from a left-leaning newspaper and the “MVP” in the legislation means nothing to those in his district, having unknowingly elected a RINO (or worse) who failed to deliver on his campaign platform and promises.
In May 2014, Jeff Brandes, a Republican State Senator representing much of southern Pinellas County, proposed a bill that would suspend the required concealed carry permits during times of mandatory evacuations. With dozens of tropical storms and hurricanes having made landfall or at least affected Florida since 2000, the legislation was aimed to protect people’s private property from looters and burglars. Such legislation already existed in Mississippi and Louisiana, both of which suffered catastrophic hurricanes, such as Katrina (2005).
However, Brandes’ northern RINO Jack Latvala, backed by the support of the Florida Sherriff’s Association, insisted on limiting the permit possession suspension to 24 hours. Latvala’s amendment killed the bill, much to the delight of gun control advocates, according to Marion Hammer – the founder of Unified Sportsmen of Florida (USF) and the National Rifle Association’s lobbyist in Florida, to Guns.com.
In September 2015, Nancy Smith’s also revealed that Jack Latvala’s raised funds to help elect Melissa McKinlay, a Democrat, for Florida’s Congressional District 18. The district was narrowly Republican, and the GOP had the opportunity to regain a seat from outgoing Democrat Pat Murphy. In the end, McKinlay could not find enough support to make a successful primary run, and Republican Brian Mast regained GOP control of District 18 from outgoing Democrat Patrick Murphy for the GOP. However, once again, Latvala violated the principles he had campaigned upon in order to win the favor of the left-leaning mainstream media.
Despite his actions, legislative agenda, and voting record that has hurt the Republican Party in Tallahassee, Liberal Jack Latvala still plans to pursue his “party’s” gubernatorial nomination for Florida’s 2018 Gubernatorial Election. Undoubtedly, the mainstream media that has praised all of Latvala’s progressive agenda to disrupt the Republicans efforts to truly trim back the size of the government will endorse him for the GOP Nomination. However, any Republicans who undertake even a minimal amount of research will quickly agree Latvala has no place in his political party, much less earning the GOP’s nomination for the 2018 Florida Gubernatorial Election.
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