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Florida Supreme Court backs Ron DeSantis on removal of Soros-backed prosecutor

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The Florida Supreme Court ruled in favor of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ decision to remove a Soros-backed prosecutor on Thursday.

DeSantis had suspended State Attorney Monique Worrel in August 2023, accusing her of “dereliction of duty” when it comes to crime. Worrel sued for reinstatement, arguing her removal was an “arbitrary, unsubstantiated exercise of the suspension power.” Thursday’s 6-1 ruling shut down her plans.

“We cannot agree with Worrel that the allegations in the Executive Order are impermissibly vague, nor that they address conduct that falls within the lawful exercise of prosecutorial discretion,” the opinion read.

“We have said that a suspension order does not infringe on a state attorney’s lawful exercise of prosecutorial discretion where it alleges that such discretion is, in fact, not being exercised in individual cases but, rather, that generalized policies have resulted in categorical enforcement practices,” the majority opinion reads.

FLORIDA EDUCATION COMMISSIONER SAYS STATES NEED TO BE MORE ‘AGGRESSIVE’ WITH POLICY, GO BACK TO BASICS

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The Florida Supreme Court ruled in favor of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ decision to remove a Soros-backed state attorney. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

DeSantis touted Worrel’s removal in a press conference last year as he was running for president.

RON DESANTIS SHAKES UP LIBERAL UNIVERSITY, APPOINTS SIX MEMBERS TO THE NEW COLLEGE OF FLORIDA

“The practices and policies of her office have allowed murderers, other violent offenders, and dangerous drug traffickers to receive extremely reduced sentences and escape the full consequences of their criminal conduct. In some cases, these offenders have evaded incarceration altogether,” DeSantis said at the time.

Split image of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and State Attorney Monique Worrell

DeSantis accused Worrel of dereliction of duty, pointing to her refusal to impose mandatory minimums and other consequences for criminals. (Getty Images)

State Attorney Worrel’s practices undermine Florida law and endanger the safety, security, and welfare of the communities that Ms. Worrell was elected to serve,” he added.

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Worrel had enjoyed support during her 2020 campaign from Our Vote Our Voice, an organization that received $1 million from the George Soros-backed group Democracy Now, the Orlando Sentinel reported. Our Vote Our Voice spent $1.5 million in support of Worrel, according to the Sentinel.

Worrel was the second Florida prosecutor to face DeSantis’ wrath. He also suspended Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren in August 2022 for refusing to enforce the state’s abortion ban. That decision was upheld in federal court.

DeSantis speech

DeSantis has so far suspended two Soros-backed prosecutors in Florida.

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Thursday’s ruling comes weeks after a federal judge blocked part of DeSantis’ illegal immigration bill from taking effect. The law, which DeSantis signed in 2023, in part amends human smuggling statutes to make it a felony to bring individuals without lawful immigration status into Florida. 

U.S. District Judge Roy Altman issued a temporary injunction against that provision and in his decision cited testimony from plaintiffs that they were “now too afraid to travel in and out of Florida with their undocumented friends or family members – for fear of being arrested or prosecuted or of having their family members deported.”

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Southeast

Nancy Mace wins South Carolina 1st Congressional District primary over Kevin McCarthy-backed challenger

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For a second straight election, Republican Rep. Nancy Mace of South Carolina has survived a serious primary challenge. 

The Associated Press on Tuesday projects that Mace will win renomination in South Carolina’s competitive Low Country-based 1st Congressional District by defeating Catherine Templeton, a former director of South Carolina’s labor agency who ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2018, and Marine Corps veteran Bill Young.

Templeton was backed by millions spent by outside groups aligned with former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

“We did it – You, Lowcountry voters did it! A thousand times over – THANK YOU!,” Mace wrote in a social media post moments after her race was called.

HEAD HERE FOR THE LATEST FOX NEWS PRIMARY NIGHT RESULTS

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Mace, who was first elected to the House in 2020, survived a Republican primary challenge two years ago from a rival backed by former President Trump. 

Trump had targeted Mace after she blamed him for the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters aiming to upend congressional certification of President Biden’s 2020 election victory.

Fast-forward two years, and Mace now has Trump’s backing after she endorsed the former president and campaigned for him earlier this year in South Carolina’s crucial GOP presidential primary.

Rep. Nancy Mace speaks at the 13th annual South Carolina Prayer Breakfast on July 26, 2023, in Washington, D.C. (U.S. Senator Tim Scott)

However, unlike two years ago, when then-Speaker McCarthy had her back, the now-former House speaker targeted Mace, who last year was one of eight House Republicans to break ranks and vote to oust McCarthy. The former speaker is seeking revenge as he works to defeat the eight Republican lawmakers.

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NANCY MACE SPARS WITH BILL MAHER, EXPLAINS HER FLIP ON TRUMP

Around $9 million was shelled out to run ads in the primary, according to the national ad tracking firm AdImapct. Nearly half of the money came from McCarthy aligned outside groups that targeted Mace.

Republican California Rep. Kevin McCarthy

Then-Rep. Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from California, was voted out of his role as House speaker. (Nathan Howard/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Mace, who was also backed by Republican Gov. Henry McMaster and current House Speaker Mike Johnson, had roughly $3 million in outside spending on her behalf.

Templeton was supported by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Rep. Joe Wilson of the neighboring 2nd Congressional District.

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Mace has faced controversy as several of her congressional staffers quit late last year and earlier this year. Additionally, a former Mace chief of staff briefly launched a primary challenge against his former boss.

If none of the three candidates in the GOP primary had won a majority in Tuesday’s contest, the top two contenders would have faced off in a runoff in two weeks.

Businessman Michael B. Moore and veteran Mac Deford were vying for the Democrat nod in the 1st District.

Get the latest updates from the 2024 campaign trail, exclusive interviews and more at our Fox News Digital election hub.

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Trump-backed pastor advances to runoff in red state GOP primary to succeed outgoing Rep. Duncan

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Mark Burns, an evangelical pastor backed by former President Trump, has advanced to a runoff for Republican nomination for South Carolina’s 3rd Congressional District to replace outgoing Rep. Jeff Duncan.

Seven Republicans were vying for the typically Republican seat, but no true frontrunner had emerged ahead of the primary.

Ultimately, Trump’s endorsement may provide a boost to get Burns the GOP nomination. 

WIFE OF SOUTH CAROLINA REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMAN FILES FOR DIVORCE, ALLEGES EXTRAMARITAL AFFAIR

Pastor Mark Burns speaks during the American Priority conference in Washington, D.C., Dec. 6, 2018.  (Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

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“Pastor Mark Burns is an America First Fighter, and has my complete and total endorsement – he is a good man, a hard worker, and will not let you down!” Trump said as part of his endorsement of Burns on Truth Social.

Trump cited Burns’ positions on border security, upholding the rule of law, the economy and defending “our always under siege Second Amendment.”

Burns has touted his positions on the border and pushing back against the “woke” agenda. He had also loudly touted his endorsement by President Trump on his campaign website. A former member of the South Carolina National Guard, Burns set up a church in Easley and has embraced the label by Time Magazine as “Donald Trump’s favorite pastor.”

CRUCIAL PRIMARY RACES TO BE DECIDED TUESDAY, SETTING UP FIGHT FOR BALANCE OF POWER

Duncan decided not to run again for the seat after seven terms. Duncan’s wife filed for divorce last year, accusing him of several affairs.

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JEFF duncan

Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-S.C., walks down the House steps following votes in the Capitol May 25, 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

“At some point in a career, one needs to step aside and allow others to bring fresh ideas and abilities into the fight for liberty,” Duncan said in a statement in January.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster had endorsed nurse practitioner Sheri Biggs, while former Sen. Lindsey Graham staffer Kevin Bishop, state House Rep. Stewart Jones and businessman Franky Franco also put their hats in the ring. 

The Democratic primary in the 3rd District is between high school science teacher Frances Guldner and Byron Best, who manages a Sherwin Williams paint store in Greenwood.

The district is a mostly rural area in the northern and western part of the state. A Democrat has not won the district since Graham flipped the seat in 1994.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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McMaster-backed nurse practitioner advances to runoff in South Carolina GOP primary to succeed Rep. Duncan

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Sheri Biggs, a nurse practitioner who won the backing of Gov. Henry McMaster, advanced to a runoff in the crowded race for the Republican nomination to replace outgoing GOP Rep. Jeff Duncan in South Carolina’s 3rd Congressional District.

Biggs was among seven Republicans in contention, but no true frontrunner emerged ahead of the primary.

Biggs, a lieutenant colonel in the Air National Guard ran as a “pro-life, pro-Second Amendment lifelong Republican.”

WIFE OF SOUTH CAROLINA REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMAN FILES FOR DIVORCE, ALLEGES EXTRAMARITAL AFFAIR

Sheri Biggs, who is running for the Republican nomination in South Carolina’s 3rd Congressional District. (Sheri Biggs for Congress)

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“I’m running for Congress to continue my lifetime of service and treat Washington’s health problem with bold, conservative, servant leadership,” she said on her campaign website.

Jones had been endorsed by McMaster and had also highlighted her commitment to work with former President Trump, although Trump backed another candidate in the race.

“Sheri Biggs epitomizes the greatness of the people of South Carolina — an unwavering belief in God, a commitment to selfless service and a true resolve to fight for our shared values,” McMaster said in his endorsement. 

“While her distinguished military and health care careers are truly admirable, her passion to help heal our nation’s fiscal, mental and spiritual health problems is exactly what we need representing us in Congress. Sheri Biggs will work with President Trump to secure our border, protect tax dollars, defend our conservative values, keep the promises to our veterans and drain the swamp.”

CRUCIAL PRIMARY RACES TO BE DECIDED TUESDAY, SETTING UP FIGHT FOR BALANCE OF POWER

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Duncan decided not to run again for the seat after seven terms. Duncan’s wife filed for divorce last year, accusing him of several affairs.

jeff duncan

Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-S.C., walks down the House steps following votes in the Capitol May 25, 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

“At some point in a career, one needs to step aside and allow others to bring fresh ideas and abilities into the fight for liberty,” Duncan said in a statement in January.

Trump had backed Pastor Mark Burns who also advanced to the runoff, a longtime supporter, in the race. Former Sen. Lindsey Graham staffer Kevin Bishop, state Rep. Stewart Jones and businessman Franky Franco were among those who had also thrown their hats in the ring. 

The Democratic primary in the 3rd District is between high school science teacher Frances Guldner and Byron Best, who manages a Sherwin Williams paint store in Greenwood.

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The district is a mostly rural area in the northern and western part of the state. A Democrat has not won the district since Graham flipped the seat in 1994.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 



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