Around the South for Feb. 9: FL, MS & VA

Florida: Wilson means more than her hats. US Rep. Frederica Wilson (D), widely known for her colorful collection of cowboy hats, is making news for more than her attire. While conservatives often dismiss her as “all hat and no cattle,” writes Jeff Henderson in Sunshine State News, Wilson got notice last week for introducing a resolution honoring Trayvon Martin on what would have been his 20th birthday, and attacked “stand-your-ground” laws. On Thursday, she will hit another high-profile issue, introducing a bill requiring all public school students to be vaccinated. And she’s been high-tech savvy, using her Twitter account to take the lead in condemning Boko Haram for kidnapping girls in Nigeria …….Mississippi: Nunnelee, dead at 56. US Rep. Alan Nunnelee (R), who had represented theMagnolia State’s 1st District (Tupelo, etc.), since his election in 2010, died last Friday after months of illness, from a stroke and cancer. Prior to his election to Congress, Nunnelee served 12 years in the Mississippi state Senate, and following his death, was praised by public officials from both parties. By state law, Gov. Phil Bryant (R) must order a special election within 60 days, to be held within 60 days of the governor’s order ……. Virginia: Lawyers file sentencing briefs for Maureen McDonnell. In filings last Friday, prosecutors asked for an 18 month prison sentence for former First Lady Maureen McDonnell, while defense attorneys asked for 4,000 hours of community service in lieu of incarceration. Mrs. McDonnell’s husband, former Gov. Robert McDonnell (R), has been sentenced to two years in prison, but he is free pending an appeal. Both were convicted of doing favors for businessman Jonnie R. Williams, exchange for money and gifts when Robert McDonnell was governor …….