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This Week in Politics: Trump, DeSantis speak; 3rd party launched and Republicans block veterans bill

We're wrapping up all the political happenings from the Tampa Bay area this past week.

TAMPA, Fla. — This week in politics...Tampa was the spot to be.

The weekend kicked off with the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit — thousands of young conservatives and political heavy hitters were in town for the annual conference.

Gov. Ron DeSantis and former President Donald Trump were among some of the big names who spoke at the event, as the two find themselves as GOP voters’ top choices among potential 2024 presidential nominees.  

President Joe Biden was also supposed to be in town for a DNC rally, but that trip was cancelled due to his COVID-19 diagnosis.

After the conference, Gov. DeSantis came back to Tampa later in the week to hold a press conference at a seafood restaurant, where he called on state lawmakers to take aim at “woke" corporations, and prohibit state investment in companies he believes are discriminating against people for their political beliefs.

His administration also filed a complaint against a popular Miami restaurant over kids attending drag shows at the venue. The restaurant's liquor license is now on the line.

The August Primary is just weeks away and the campaigns for candidates aiming to unseat DeSantis in November continue to spar after their first and only debate. Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and former GOP Governor now Democratic U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist (St. Petersburg) are vying for the Democratic nomination.

On Capitol Hill, it was an emotional week after veterans and advocates blasted the U.S. Senate for blocking the PACT act, legislation that would have helped vets impacted by exposure to toxic burn pits get the healthcare they deserve.

Florida Senator Marco Rubio voted in favor of the bill but a few dozen senators flipped their votes and blocked it, including Senator Rick Scott, who was called out directly by Jon Stewart.

Scott claims Democrats delayed the process and he'll vote in support of its final passage soon.

A third political party will be launching soon with the help of a former Florida congressman.

Former Democratic presidential Candidate Andrew Yang is launching  a centrist "Forward Party," alongside Democrats, Independents and Republicans, one of them being former U.S. Rep. David Jolly out of Pinellas County.

In an op-ed in the Washington Post, the group says, “today's outdated parties have failed by catering to the fringes, as a result most Americans feel they aren't represented."

A Gallup poll from last year, found 62% of Americans want a third party

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