Around the South for Apr. 14: FL, OK & MS

Florida: Atwater won’t run for Senate. The Sunshine State’s Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, considered the GOP favorite to seek the US Senate seat being vacated by now-presidential candidate Marco Rubio, announced over the weekend that he will not run for that office, citing family concerns. Other GOPers are in the wings: Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, former state House Speaker Will Weatherford, and US Rep. Tom Rooney, as well as other Republican members of Congress, reports the Palm Beach Post ……. Oklahoma: Fallin signs police protection bill. Gov. Mary Fallin (R) last week signed into law legislation making attempts to reach or take a law enforcement officer’s weapon subject to a charge of assault and battery, reports the Tulsa World. If the attempt involved physical contact, it would be classified as aggravated assault and battery ……. Mississippi: McDaniel bills languish in state Senate. Proposals introduced by state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R) to make changes to the state’s election laws are assigned to his Elections Committee and simultaneously to other committees that don’t act on the measures, leaving McDaniel stymied, reports the Clarion-Ledger. McDaniel nearly defeated US Sen. Thad Cochran (R) in a primary last year and would like to introduce a closed primary system so that voters of one party could not participate in the primary of the other party …….