Around the South for Feb. 20: FL, OK & VA


Florida: Acosta picked for Labor Secretary. Alexander Acosta became the first Latino named to his cabinet by President Trump. A graduate of Harvard College and HarvardLaw School, Acosta served on the National Labor Relations Board and as Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights under President George W. Bush. He is currently the dean of the Florida International University Law School ……. Oklahoma: Pruitt confirmed to head EPA. By a vote of 52-46 – a wider margin than many of Trump’s cabinet nominees – the Senate confirmed Sooner State Attorney General Scott Pruitt (R) to head the Environmental Protection Agency. Democrats urged a delay, so they could examine emails Pruitt must release per a federal judge’s order. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell insisted on a prompt vote, however. “If it wasn’t one thing, it would be another. The effort has been to delay the nomination that they have made controversial as long as possible in order to play to their left-wing base which will not accept the results of the election.” ……. Virginia: Poll favors Democrats in governor’s race. In a Quinnipiac Poll in this year’s gubernatorial race, either of two Democratic candidates would defeat GOP frontrunner Ed Gillespie. Lt. Gov. Frank Northam (D) was favored by 43% to Gillespie’s 35%; former US Rep. Tom Perriello (D) led Gillespie 41% to 35%. Among Democrats only, Northam and Perriello each had 19%. Among Republicans, Gillespie led with 25%, with 14% for three other contenders combined. More than 60% were undecided among both parties’ supporters …….