Here are some quick takes from state Sen. Joe Negron, who was in Fort Lauderdale this week to speak to Broward Days, the organization that brings business and government together to advocate for the county in Tallahassee.
Negron, a Stuart Republican, represents part of Palm Beach County. And as the Senate appropriations chairman, he drew a large crowd to the Riverside Hotel.
Good luck getting a room there. Negron said the general manager told him season is going so well that his February occupancy was 97 percent. “I love staying here at this hotel,” he said.
On to the politics:
• Senate presidency. He’s competing with state Sen. Jack Latvala, R-St. Petersburg, for the two-year term as Senate president beginning after the 2016 elections. “I think our team is in very strong position. I’m several votes ahead in the race for the 2016 Senate presidency. And we’re going to continue to work hard and earn support every day, but I feel very good about where we are.”
• Congressman Patrick Murphy. Negron said he didn’t get into the race to challenge the freshman Democrat Murphy because “I really am committed to running for Senate president in 2016. I have a great team of senators that are supporting me. And there’s a lot to accomplish there on behalf of my community and on behalf of Florida, and I’m committed to seeing that through. That’s something that I’ve been working on for several years, and I want to see it through to completion.”
• Partisan sniping. At the Broward Days reception for more than 200, he referred to state Sen. Eleanor Sobel, D-Hollywood, as a “partner” in the Senate. “In Washington, apparently, it is sort of standard operating procedure for both sides, D’s and R’s, to insult each other, and call each other names,” he said. “We don’t operate that way in the Florida Senate.”
That was true of some members of the state House of Representatives – traditionally more partisan than the Senate – when Negron served there at the same time as Seiler and now County Commissioner Tim Ryan. They were among a group of Wednesday night basketball players, where Ryan said Negron was a tough competitor. “If you weren’t playing on Joe’s team, you better look out for Joe’s elbows.”