Negron (R-Stuart) claims victory in Florida Senate power play, but Latvala won’t concede

Senator Joe Negron (R-Stuart) watches Senator Joe Latvala (R-Clearwater) during Florida Senate session. The tradition-bound Senate faces a period of extreme uncertainty and political tension for the next three months.  (Source: Tampa Bay Times)

The drama in Florida’s Capitol intensified Wednesday as Sen. Joe Negron of Stuart declared victory in his marathon battle with Sen. Jack Latvala of Clearwater to become Senate president next year, according to The Tampa Bay Times.

Negron released the names of 14 of 26 Republican senators, including himself, to form a majority that would secure the powerful two-year post, and Senate President Andy Gardiner scheduled a caucus vote in early December to seal Negron’s long climb to power.

A relentless Latvala refused to concede and said the political dynamics will change after a special session in October to redraw district boundaries in a Senate where Republicans control 26 of 40 seats.

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