Florida: DeSantis enters Senate race. US Rep. Ron DeSantis yesterday became the first Republican to enter the contest to succeed US Sen. Marco Rubio, who is running for president. DeSantis, 46, is a graduate of Yale and Harvard Law School and served in the Navy JAG Corps. He was encouraged to run by the Club for Growth, the Senate Conservatives Fund and other groups on the GOP right. The only other announced candidate is US Rep. Patrick Murphy (D) ……. Texas: GOPers clash on Jade Helm. Two Republican congressmen have clashed over the US Special Operations Command’s launching of a five-month exercise in the Lone StarState, known as Jade Helm. US Rep. Louie Gohmert concluded in a recent statement, reported in the National Journal, that “patriotic Americans have reason to be concerned.” But US Rep. Mac Thornberry, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, called nearby residents’ fears “silly.” ……. South Carolina: Graham joke not funny? “Al Qaeda, Al Nusra, Al Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula… Everything that starts with ‘Al’ in the Middle East is bad news,” US Sen. Lindsey Graham (R) said in remarks to a pro-Israel audience in Boston. But “al” means “the” in Arabic, prompting inquiries about just what Graham meant. “It’s not a serious policy statement,” a Graham spokesman told the Washington Post, but a “humorous way” to look at issues …….