Susan McManus

While he’s still mulling over a run for the U.S. Senate, Cong. Jeff Miller collected about $677,000 in the second quarter of this year for his campaign coffers.

According to papers filed with the Federal Election Commission, the funds were raised through campaign and leadership PACs. The $677,000 total is higher than what was amassed during the last election cycle when he won a seventh term to the House.

“It’s very rare that you have a seat open up where there is no clear front runner,” said Miller. “This is the case, so we’re looking at it.”

As expected, Sen. Marco Rubio announced Monday that he will seek the Republican nomination for president. Under Florida law Rubio cannot run for both offices simultaneously, which sets up another major race in Florida next year.

“Marco Rubio has always been a risk taker. Nobody expected him to win the U.S. Senate seat in 2010 against a sitting governor (Charlie Crist) and a sitting congress member (Kendrick Meek). And lo and behold, he’s in the U.S. Senate today,” said Susan McManus, a political scientist at the University of South Florida.

Wikipedia

Florida’s new second-in-command began work on Monday. Carlos Lopez-Cantera is the state’s 19th lieutenant governor and first Latino to hold that office.

The 40-year-old Lopez-Cantera -- a former state legislator and Miami-Dade Property Appraiser -- was sworn in by Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Ricky Polston in a small, private ceremony held in the governor's office. A public swearing-in was held Monday afternoon.

As part of his remarks, Lopez-Cantera recited some of the talking points he and Governor Rick Scott will carry onto the campaign trail this year.