Around the South for Nov. 11: AR, FL & TX

Arkansas: GOPers draw primary foes. US Sen. John Boozman (R) will face conservative businessman Curtis Coleman in the March 1 primary. Coleman received 4.9% in the 2010 senatorial primary and 27% in the 2014 gubernatorial primary. And in the 2nd District (Little Rock), US Rep. French Hill drew a primary challenge from Brock Olree, who is associated with Truth for Today World Mission School. Overall, 132 Republicans, 67 Democrats and 17 Libertarians filed for office, reports ArkansasOnline ……. Florida: Bush backers stay put, but also like Rubio. Eleven Republican members of the US House from Florida have endorsed Jeb Bush for president, to only one – Thomas Rooney – who is backing Marco Rubio. But even Bush’s supporters say they like Rubio, reports the Washington Post. US Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R), a Bush backer, said, “Could Rubio be a great president? Absolutely.” And Bush supporter US Rep. David Jolly, who is running for Rubio’s seat, praised Bush’s experience, but said, “I would be excited to support Rubio as well.” ……. Texas: Cruz camp optimistic. Insiders in the presidential campaign of US Sen. Ted Cruz, noting that in recent weeks he has risen from sixth to fourth in the national polls, believe that as Donald Trump and Ben Carson fade, the GOP contest will come down to Marco Rubio for the party establishment and Cruz representing the conservative insurgents. Cruz also has “one of the most impressive political operations in the field,” reports The Hill …….