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Coming off what may be his worst night of the primary season, Marco Rubio's make-or-break moment has arrived.

And the Florida senator, a home-state underdog with a week to prove he belongs in the 2016 presidential race, insists Florida will be his salvation.

"It has to happen here, and it has to happen now," he told a swelling Sarasota crowd Tuesday evening.

Steve Newborn / WUSF News

Just when Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio needs them the most, big-dollar contributors from the party's wealthy mainstream are having second thoughts about his future in the 2016 race.

Fresh misgivings about Rubio's path forward are the latest in a series of obstacles that threatens the Florida senator's future in this roller-coaster Republican campaign, with a must-win March 15 primary looming in his home state.

Associated Press

A bill establishing guidelines for law enforcement agencies in Florida that use body cameras is headed to Gov. Rick Scott.

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Marco Rubio finds his Oval Office ambitions squeezed by Donald Trump's outsider ambush and the Republican Party's resulting identity crisis.

The Florida senator has struggled to reconnect with the kind of voters who sent him to Capitol Hill six years ago as a tea party favorite, instead watching them fuel Trump and his closest challenger to winning the GOP presidential nomination, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

A proposed $3 billion deal negotiated between Gov. Rick Scott and the Seminole Tribe of Florida that would have expanded gambling across the state collapsed Friday after it was rejected by state legislators.

The deal died after the Florida House failed to consider a major gambling bill that would allowed the tribe to add craps and roulette at their existing casinos. The bill would have also allowed slot machines to be added at existing dog and horse tracks across the state.

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SpaceX has another launch under its belt, but not another rocket landing.

The leftover first-stage booster hit the floating platform hard Friday, said SpaceX chief Elon Musk. The company never expected to nail this landing, he said, because of the faster speed of the booster that was required to deliver the satellite to an extra-high orbit.

AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson said he is effectively ending his bid for the White House Wednesday, concluding a roller-coaster campaign that briefly took him to the top of a chaotic GOP field but ended with a Super Tuesday whimper.

"I do not see a political path forward," Carson said in a statement posted on his campaign website, though he added, "I remain deeply committed to my home nation, America" and promised to offer details of his future when he speaks Friday at a conservative conference in Washington.

Steve Newborn / WUSF News

Republican U.S. Rep. David Jolly and Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson aren't waiting to win their parties' Senate nominations before holding one-on-one debates.

Each candidate announced Tuesday they'll meet for four debates across the state, regardless of the fact that Jolly still has four other Republicans to beat and Grayson has to defeat U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy before they can get on the November ballot.

Dr. John Armstrong's future as Florida's Surgeon General is in doubt after the Senate's Ethics and Election Committee temporarily postponed his confirmation vote for a second time.

Abortion opponents hailed an appeals court decision Friday that allows the state to begin enforcing a law requiring women to wait 24 hours before getting an abortion, while a group suing to overturn the law vowed to keep fighting.

Associated Press

Marco Rubio released summaries of his last five years of tax filings on Saturday, revealing him to be a candidate with a senator's steady annual income of $176,000 who reaped repeated windfalls from book deals.

AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File

The U.S. House Ethics Committee said Monday it is investigating Rep. Alan Grayson, the Florida Democrat who is running for Senate and whose business activities have come under scrutiny for the past several months.

The committee's Republican chairman and senior Democrat said in a joint statement that the panel is reviewing a referral from the independent Office of Congressional Ethics and will decide its next step by April 5.

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

The campaign trail turned rough Wednesday for former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush as he reached for a strong showing in South Carolina's GOP primary Saturday.

First, news leaked that Gov. Nikki Haley will endorse rival Marco Rubio, a development that Bush said left him "disappointed."

Then, at his own town hall event at a Charleston-area club, he got more unsolicited advice — mostly about how to handle front runner Donald Trump — than policy questions.

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Setting up a potential clash over the future of gambling in the state, the Florida Senate is pushing ahead with a proposal that could bring slot machines to counties outside of South Florida.

A Senate panel Wednesday approved a sweeping gambling deal with the Seminole Tribe of Florida, but the panel also voted 8-4 for a measure that would allow dog and horse tracks to add slot machines with the approval of local voters.

White House

President Barack Obama said Thursday his history-making visit to Cuba next month was part of an effort to “improve the lives of the Cuban people. He vowed to press the communist government on human rights and other policy differences.

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Jeb Bush, John Kasich and Marco Rubio are locked in a high-stakes political chess match in South Carolina, strategically moving money and other campaign resources around in a bid to pull ahead in the Republican primary race — or at least keep their campaigns afloat.

Steve Newborn / WUSF News

Environmental groups contend that the Republican-controlled Florida Legislature is again snubbing voters who want the state to purchase conservation land.

They contend the budget proposals the Legislature is now developing violate Amendment 1, passed overwhelmingly in 2014, directing that a third of the revenue from documentary stamp taxes on real estate transactions go to buy land.

The hospital where a black woman died after she was forcibly removed from the emergency room by a white police officer was cited for 10 "deficiencies," including failing to properly examine the woman when she complained of difficulty breathing, state health officials said.

A state-sanctioned hunt on public lands for invasive Burmese pythons ended this weekend.

Florida Senate

The Florida Senate approved a nearly $81 billion budget this afternoon, and now, the Florida Legislature has less than a month left in its regular session to reach a deal over a new state budget.

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Florida's Republican-controlled Legislature on Tuesday finally took up legislation that would allow the Seminole Tribe of Florida to add craps and roulette at its casinos.

A divided House panel voted in favor of a bill that would ratify a deal between the state and the tribe that would guarantee $3 billion to Florida over a seven-year period. The same committee also approved a proposed constitutional amendment that would require voter approval for any future gambling expansion.

Federal health officials have sent the state of Florida an additional 950 kits to test for viral antibodies in people who have shown Zika symptoms after traveling to affected countries.

Gov. Rick Scott’s office released a statement Tuesday saying none of the 16 Zika cases confirmed in Florida were contracted in the state, and none involve pregnant women.

Legislation requiring a unanimous verdict from the jury to recommend the death penalty will head to the state Senate floor after passing a committee vote Monday.

A South Florida clinic that promotes controversial stem-cell treatments for a wide range of ailments is among the centers receiving a written warning that it is violating federal public health laws.

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A shooting at a strip club early Saturday morning in Tampa left one person dead, seven injured and police searching for answers.

Hours later, Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay said it was offering a reward of up to $3,000 for information leading to the identification and arrest of the person — or people — who fired the shots.

Associated Press File Photo

Gun confiscations at Tampa International Airport security checkpoints have been rising, and if the numbers stay high, the airport could become among the top three in the nation for firearms seizures.

Media outlets report that last year, Transportation Security Administration officers discovered 49 guns on passengers or in their carry-on luggage at the Tampa airport.

Andrew Harnik/Associated Press / AP Photo

A Florida man who pleaded guilty to landing a gyrocopter outside the U.S. Capitol as a political protest is getting a little bit more freedom as he awaits sentencing and works to plan a congressional campaign.

Douglas Hughes, a Democrat from Ruskin, has said he plans to challenge South Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

Because of his court case, however, a judge had ordered him to largely stay in the county where he lives. He sought permission to travel throughout Florida.

Three Florida nurseries filed a lawsuit Tuesday asking for an injunction to delay the state's medical marijuana process in three of five state regions.

McCrory's Sunny Hill Nursery, San Felasco Nurseries and Tornello Landscape's 3 Boys Farm filed the suit in Leon County Circuit Court against Florida's Department of Health and the nurseries approved to cultivate medical marijuana.

AP Photo

Florida Democrats must decide whether their best shot at winning the Senate seat now held by Marco Rubio is a liberal firebrand who has said the GOP health plan was to hope people die quickly, or a moderate Democrat who often votes with Republicans.

A proposed constitutional amendment to allow medical use of marijuana will be back on the ballot in November and organizers said Wednesday that growing public support and a larger voter turnout in a presidential election year should help pass the measure that narrowly failed in 2014.

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