State Rep. Eric Eisnaugle (R) “said that he’s giving serious thought to mounting” a bid to take on Rep. Alan Grayson (D). “If his family is ‘excited about it’ — and ‘not just okay with it’ — Eisnaugle said he would evaluate if he’s the best person to take on” Grayson. Eisnaugle: “And if it’s me. I’m pretty sure I’ll throw my hat in the ring.”
Want More On This Race? Check out the Hotline Dashboard for a comprehensive rundown of this race, including stories, polls, ads, FEC numbers, and more!
The “race wasn’t on his radar a couple weeks ago. But when” the GOP’s “top dogs — Orange Co. Mayor Rich Crotty (R), state Rep. Stephen Precourt (R) and ex-state Sen. Dan Webster (R) — “all bailed on a possible run, calls started coming in asking him to take a look, he said.”
Eisnaugle: “It gave me a sense of duty that I needed to start looking at this. The people of Central Florida deserve a congressman who represents the district. We don’t have that right now” (Damron, “Central Florida Political Pulse,” Orlando Sentinel, 10/15).
There’s “a scramble” by GOPers to “quickly unify” behind a candidate to take on Grayson,, and ideally, one with name ID “and deep pockets.” That’s probably why there were “so many hopeful whispers” recently that Keiser Univ. founder Belinda Keiser (R) would enter the race. But she took her name out of the running last week. A Keiser spokesperson: “While she will not be a candidate in this race, Mrs. Keiser believes public service is a privilege and a responsibility and may seek office at a later time” (Damron, “Political Pulse,” Orlando Sentinel, 10/16).
Meanwhile, ex-Gov. Bush son George P. Bush endorsed developer Armando Gutierrez Jr. (R) in the race. Activists Patricia Sullivan (R) and Dan Fanelli (R) are also running (Damron, “Political Pulse,” Orlando Sentinel, 10/19).
What We're Following See More »
"American spies collected information last summer revealing that senior Russian intelligence and political officials were discussing how to exert influence over Donald J. Trump through his advisers." The conversations centered around Paul Manafort, who was campaign chairman at the time, and Michael Flynn, former national security adviser and then a close campaign surrogate. Both men have been tied heavily with Russia and Flynn is currently at the center of the FBI investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
"Former FBI Director Robert Mueller has been cleared by U.S. Department of Justice ethics experts to oversee an investigation into possible collusion between then-candidate Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign and Russia." Some had speculated that the White House would use "an ethics rule limiting government attorneys from investigating people their former law firm represented" to trip up Mueller's appointment. Jared Kushner is a client of Mueller's firm, WilmerHale. "Although Mueller has now been cleared by the Justice Department, the White House may still use his former law firm's connection to Manafort and Kushner to undermine the findings of his investigation, according to two sources close to the White House."
Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) and ranking member Mark Warner (D-VA) will subpoena two businesses owned by former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Burr said, "We would like to hear from General Flynn. We'd like to see his documents. We'd like him to tell his story because he publicly said he had a story to tell."