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Running for president is expensive and exhausting — but this year, some 22 people seem to think it's a good idea. There are five major candidates for the Democratic nomination and a whopping 17 on the Republican side.

But why? As it turns out, there are many reasons.

They Think They Have A Real Chance

Florida Attorney General's Office

Attorney General Pam Bondi put added pressure Wednesday on lawmakers to increase funding for crime labs as she detailed a massive backlog of untested rape kits across the state.

"Those need to be tested because, hidden in those estimated thousands of untested rape kits, we have the potential to solve cold cases and lock up sexual predators and make Florida the safest place to live and raise a family," Bondi said during a news conference at The Crisis Center of Tampa Bay.

This story was updated on Wednesday, September 9, at 5:30 PM with an estimate of the plan's revenue effects and a table of its tax brackets.

Jeb Bush's tax plan tries to do a lot. The plan aims to lower the highest tax rate, offer some relief to low earners, reform corporate taxes, stick it to hedge-fund managers and also, by the way, "unleash 4 percent growth" in the economy, as the former Florida governor puts it.

Residents of Puerto Rico are U.S. citizens but can't vote for president. Yet Republican Marco Rubio and Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton are campaigning there, following two other 2016 White House hopefuls.

Why the journey? Despite its crimped political clout, Puerto Rico is seen as one path to presidential victory. Five million Puerto Ricans live on the U.S. mainland, including nearly 1 million in the key swing state of Florida, and they care about what happens back on the island.

Justices Send State Redistricting Battle To Lower Court

Sep 8, 2015

After lawmakers failed last month to agree on a congressional redistricting plan, the Florida Supreme Court on Friday sent the issue back to a circuit judge who will try to piece together a map that meets constitutional requirements.

The Supreme Court left open the possibility that the Legislature could still hold another session and redraw districts. But it also made clear it won't wait long, giving Leon County Circuit Judge Terry Lewis until Oct. 17 to handle the case --- and refusing a House request for more time.

Harvard Law professor Lawrence Lessig met his self-imposed goal of crowdfunding $1 million by Labor Day, and Sunday on ABC announced he's running for the Democratic nomination for president.

Lessig, an activist with a grass-roots following among some progressives, says he's running on a singular platform — the Citizen Equality Act of 2017. It would expand voting access, ban gerrymandering and institute campaign finance reform.

Ever since the Tea Party began in 2009, various Republicans have been auditioning to lead this populist revolt. Rand Paul took a chainsaw to the federal budget. Ted Cruz almost shut down the government. Chris Christie and Scott Walker have been bashing Washington elites.

But it wasn't until Donald Trump came along that the populist base of the Republican Party found the right mouthpiece for all its grievances.

David Santiago / El Neuvo Herald

Vice President Joe Biden met with more than two dozen South Florida Jewish leaders Thursday to soothe fears about a White House deal to monitor the Iranian weapons programs.

The deal would end trade and foreign aid restrictions in exchange for international inspections of Iranian nuclear sites.

“If we can take the nuclear bomb off the table, it’s better dealing with those guys than if we’re dealing with those bad guys and the nuclear bomb is on the table,” he said.

Vice President Joe Biden is headed to Florida, where he's sure to get a glimpse of his presidential prospects as he considers a late entry into the 2016 Democratic primaries. 

Republican presidential hopeful Marco Rubio says the U.S. doesn't need a federal Education Department, arguing that its recommendations to state and local governments often turn into mandates tied to money.

The Florida senator made the comments Tuesday during a town hall meeting in Carson City. About 200 people attended the gathering in a community center, part of a tour of northern Nevada.

Mention the words "email" and "presidential candidate," and Hillary Clinton immediately comes to mind. That’s because Clinton has faced constant questions about her use of a private email server while she was Secretary of State.

But PolitiFact Florida has found that Clinton isn’t the only presidential candidate to use a private email server while holding a government office.

“When I was governor of the State of Florida, I released all of my emails,” former Gov. Jeb Bush told a crowd at the Iowa State Fair.

Evan Vucci / AP

Central Florida congressman Alan Grayson has gained national notoriety for his comments on the House floor, claiming that the only healthcare plan being offered by Republicans is to "hurry up and die."

Grayson, D-Orlando, doesn’t regret that comment or other remarks that have gotten him in trouble with the media and Democratic Party leaders. 

“It’s interesting that honest is misperceived as inflammatory,” Grayson says. 

Kenny Malone / Flag photo: Lindsay Shaver Creative Commons

Maybe Barry White missed his calling.

In a new study, potential voters inherently favored political candidates with lower-pitched voices.

“We’re not saying that this is the Holy Grail of how we understand how voting works, but it’s in there somewhere as something that affects how we vote,” says Dr. Rindy Anderson, a biologist at Florida Atlantic University and one of three authors on the study.

SolarCity / AP

Backers of a proposed constitutional amendment to expand the use of solar energy say it might be four years before they would again seek voter approval if the current ballot language is rejected by the Florida Supreme Court.

Florida Roundup: Who Makes Up The Hispanic Vote?

Aug 31, 2015
Charlie Neibergall / Associated Press

When Donald Trump kicked Univision anchor Jorge Ramos out of a press conference last week in Iowa, polls showed that Trump was lacking support among "Hispanic voters." 

What exactly does it mean to be a Hispanic voter, considering the vast differences between the groups that make up the Hispanic voter demographic?

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