- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 16, 2017

HIALEAH, Fla. (AP) - The Latest on Republican Governor-Latvala announcing he’s entering the governor’s race (all times local):

9:31 a.m.

Republican state Sen. Jack Latvala entered the race to replace Republican Gov. Rick Scott with an announcement at a Miami-area fire station.

In the crowd were groups of senior citizens, police officers and state employee union members. He was also joined by his son Chris, who is a state representative.

Latvala is considered a moderate Republican and told the group he is proud to have friends on both sides of the political aisle.

Latvala is challenging Agriculture Culture Commissioner Adam Putnam for the Republican nomination. Democrats seeking the seat Scott must leave due to term limits include former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham, Orlando-area businessman Chris King and Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum.

_____

6:13 a.m.

Republican Jack Latvala, a powerful, sometimes surly state senator, is entering the Florida governor’s race.

Latvala is kicking off his campaign Wednesday morning near Miami before flying to his hometown of Clearwater in the Tampa Bay area and finishing the day in Panama City.

He filed his paperwork to seek the seat being vacated by Republican Gov. Rick Scott on Friday but waited before publicly launching the campaign.

He becomes the second major Republican to get in the race. Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam entered the race in May and was immediately considered the front-runner.

Latvala, though, has shown during two stints in the Senate that he isn’t afraid of a fight. He has been a powerful force in the chamber, where he’s often stood up to other Republican leaders.


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