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Sunday, October 24, 2021


TALLAHASSEE, FL — Both incumbents — one Democrat and one Republican — lost their seats Tuesday in Florida’s two most hotly-contested congressional races.

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One-term Democratic U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia lost to Republican challenger Carlos Curbelo 51.56 percent to 48.44 percent in the 26th Congressional District, which includes parts of Miami-Dade and Monroe counties.

And Democratic challenger Gwen Graham — daughter of former governor and U.S. Sen. Bob Graham — ousted two-term incumbent Steve Southerland, a Panama City Republican who was elected in the tea-party wave of 2010. Graham garnered just over 50 percent of the vote to 49.4 percent for Southerland, making her the first woman to represent Northwest Florida’s 2nd Congressional District.

Garcia and Southerland had been considered two of the most vulnerable incumbents in the country — which drew national endorsements and large sums to both districts.

Southerland estimated that the 2nd Congressional District had attracted $14 million or $15 million to the two candidates and their outside allies.

The races also drew large amounts of vitriol.

Graham was elected by 2,420 votes — about 1 percent, Bob Graham told cheering supporters at the Florida State University Center Club.

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And Gwen Graham said she’d spoken with Southerland, “and he was very gracious…I thanked him for his service to the district.”

Garcia, after one term that was hobbled by scandals involving two former aides, lost to Curbelo, a well-funded Miami-Dade School Board member. Garcia, who was elected to the seat on his third try, has denied knowing that his chief of staff set up a plot to make fake online requests for absentee ballots in the 2012 contest. The chief of staff wound up resigning and going to jail for 90 days.

Curbelo, 34, owns a political consulting firm called Capitol Gains. He served as state director for U.S. Sen. George LeMieux before winning his seat on the school board in 2010.

Garcia released a statement saying that he called Curbelo and conceded, adding that he hoped Curbelo ” will serve, as I have, by putting the people of South Florida over party politics.”

In another South Florida Congressional race, incumbent Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy held on to his Treasure Coast area seat, defeating Republican challenger Carl Domino, a former state House member.

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Previous articleParadise Suzanna Style Suzanna Leigh Book Surge c/o Create Space 4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406 www.createspace.com, E-bay suzanna leigh autographed copy 9781439209684, $20.99, www.amazon.com “Paradise, Suzanna Style” is the actress Suzanna Leigh talking to readers about her life in the film industry. She was lucky enough to have worked with Elvis Presley, Roger Moore, Tony Curtis, Jerry Lewis, and Thelma Ritter and now tells lots of interesting stories about them and other actors. She also deals with her mother who was never really there for her, how she stood up to major producers, her drive and ambition to become a film star, and lots more. There are many aspects that deal with Elvis that include the sections of the book, the title that is a play on one of the Elvis pictures, and her brother sister relationship, as well as the day he died and how she learned of his passing. “Paradise Suzanna Style” is a behind the scenes look at the film industry of many years ago and how it is very different today. . My Lucky Life in and out of Show Business Dick Van Dyke Crown Publishing Group c/o Random House www.crownpublishing.com 9780307592231, $25.99, www.amazon.com Finally Dick Van Dyke tells about his life in his memoir “My Lucky Life in and Out of Show Business” and it is worth the wait to hear from Van Dyke about his life. He tells ups and downs but warns this is not a kiss and tell book. Instead he talks about his profession as well as some of his personal life. Some of the things he goes into are the making of “Mary Poppins,” how the “Dick Van Dyke Show” began and why it was so successful, other shows he was part of and why “Diagnosis Murder” is so popular. “My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business” will have readers loving Dick Van Dyke even more than before. Hope to Die James Patterson Little Brown and Company c/o Hachette Book Group USA 237 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017 www.HatchetteBookGroupUSA.com 97803210966, $28.00 www.amazon.com “Cross My Heart,” the last Alex Cross novel left things in the air for his family that had been kidnapped. In “Hope to Die” Patterson ties up that story line with a nail biting tale of suspense as Alex Cross searches for the people who took his family hostage. He is more determined than ever before because this time it’s personal. The novel moves along with plenty of twists and turns and brings in some new characters who help Cross on his mission to find his family. “Hope to Die” was worth waiting for. Death of a Christmas Caterer Lee Hollis Kensington Publishing Corp 119 West 40th Street, New York, NY 10018 www.kensingtonbooks.com 9780758294517, $7.99, www.amazon.com A caterer is killed and columnist Hayley Powell is determined to help the police solve the case in the newest installment of the Hayley Powell food and cocktails mystery series. Hollis once again fills the story with fun characters and situations that move the story along to the revealing reason the caterer was murdered. “Death of a Christmas Caterer” is a delightful mix of mystery and mayhem in time for the Christmas season. The Last Alibi David Ellis Berkley Prime Crime c/o Penguin Group USA 375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014 www.penguin.com 9780425267745, $9.99, www.amazon.com Before “The Last Alibi” the only David Ellis novels I had read and reviewed were the ones he has co-authored with James Patterson. A man named James Drinker hires attorney Jason Kolarich to represent him. Simple enough but Drinker is not the name of the client and things get more complicated as the story unfolds to the point of Kolarcch being charged for the murder of a woman he was dating. “The Last Alibi” is an enjoyable tale of the dark side of attorneys and what they will do to win a case that is a fast paced well crafted legal thriller that will have readers turning pages to its final surprising ending. Neurotic November Barbara Levenson CreateSpace 4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406 wwwbarbaralevenson.com 9781500519452, $10.50 www.amazon.com Mary Magruder Katz is back in action in the fourth novel of the series “Neurotic November”. This time she has several cases unfolding at the same time. One involves an athlete who is accused of sexual misconduct while a private investigator her firm uses is blamed for the murder of her secretary’s former husband while she also has to defend her boyfriend’s father in another case. Her plate is full but she also has to deal with her parents and their issues. Levenson moves the story along with tight writing, believable characters and tense situations that unfold throughout this great addition to this fun series. “Neurotic November” is a page turner legal thriller that will have readers asking for more. Theodore Boone the Abduction John Grisham Puffin Books c/o Penguin Young Readers Group 375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014 www.penguin.com/youngreaders 978142421376, $7.99, www.amazon.com “Theodore Boone the Abduction” is the second novel of the series that began with “Theodore Boone Kid Lawyer” The writing here is a bit different from Grisham’s adult novels that are so much more complicated in their plots. Theodore Boone believes that something happened to one of his friends when she disappears in the middle of the night. Theodore is obsessed with finding out what happened to his friend. What he finds is not what he expected but Grisham makes the story very interesting to the very end. “Theodore Boone the Abduction” is for Grisham fans and anyone who wants a fast paced mystery. Pluto the Starfish Bonnie M. Anderson Illustrated by Malinda Raines Outskirts Press Inc 10940 South Parker Road, #515, Parker, CO 80134 www.outskirtspress.com 9781478730408, $16.95, www.amazon.com Pluto the starfish wants to know his purpose in life so he asks all of his friends to help him understand why he exists. He talks to a lobster, a shark, a sea turtle and many others of the sea to learn that his life is not as bad as he first believed. There are many underlying positive messages for all of us as we encounter the interesting characters that take the story along to the end. “Pluto the Starfish is a fun book for all ages to enjoy. The Old Harper House Deborah L. Kanic WC Publishing c/o On Target Words Company 4825 Cedar Ford Blvd, Hastings, Fl 32145 USA www.ontargetwords.com 9780692205914, $6.99 www.amazon.com From the first sentence “The Old Harper House” is a prime example of what a writer should not do. The writing is stilted and slow moving throughout the rest of the book. A glaring mistake the author makes is the overuse of certain words. An example is “row” in the same paragraph four or five times. “The Old Harper House” could have been a fun ghost story with much tighter editing. Letters to my Angels Wikki and Blue Pomes Reflecting the Depth of a Father’s Love Muro Lannini Outskirts Press Inc 10940 South Parker Road, #515, Parker, CO 80134 www.outskirtspress.com 9780578151748, $14.95, www.amazon.com I found “Letters to my Angels Wikki and Blue” to be a very confusing books of poems and prose beginning with the foreword that talked about a real father’s love for his children. My first thought was what is a real father? Later the author’s writings were too difficult to understand, except for the fact there was a lot of crying Another problem for me was the title lettering on the cover that was not easy to read because of the style of print. An example is Blue looks like Blve in the title. I got the feel from these pieces and the title that the author is grieving over the loss of his two children. Poetry is a personal taste, and for me “Letters to my Angels Wikki and Blue” was not worth my time.
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