Around the South for Jul. 2: TX, TN & FL

Texas: Abbott crosses Trump on tariffs. Gov. Greg Abbott (R), a usually staunch ally of President Trump, has sent him a letter urging him to reconsider his imposition of tariffs on steel and aluminum. While Abbott acknowledged that “Our country’s steel and aluminum workers are a vital part of the national workforce … attempting to protect these jobs through the new tariffs could jeopardize the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of Texans and other Americans employed in the oil and gas industry,” reported the Texas Tribune……. Tennessee: Blackburn uses Supreme Court vacancy. US Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R), making a bid for an open US Senate seat, issued a statement that she would support President Trump’s nomination for the US Supreme Court, while her opponent, former Governor Phil Bredesen (D), would not make that commitment. Bredesen responded saying his vote would be based on qualifications, not “partisan politics,” reported The Tennessee Journal ……. Florida: Confederate statue moves from DC to Lake County. A museum housed in the same building that is also home to the county sheriff’s office is the new home of a statue of Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith. Several years ago, the legislature voted to remove the statue from the National Statuary Hall in Washington. The museum’s director promised that the statue will be guarded around the clock, reports the News Service of Florida …….