Bidens now have a new family foothold in politically important Florida

NAPLES, Fla. -- If Vice President Biden decides to run for president, he now has a new family foothold in one of the country’s most important battlegrounds.

The lead story in Tuesday’s Naples Daily News reports that Biden’s brother James B. Biden Sr. and sister-in-law Sarah Jones Biden have purchased a five-acre, oceanfront estate on an exclusive barrier island near this Republican stronghold in southwest Florida. His other brother Frank lives in Palm Beach.

The 3,500-square-foot manse, which was listed for $2.79 million, is located on the largely undeveloped Keewaydin Island, accessible by boat only, according to the newspaper. The island is a popular destination for local tourists, who charter boats and scour the beaches in search of shells and wildlife.

The area has strong political connections – though not necessarily ones friendly to a Biden. Two nearby residents are Florida Gov. Rick Scott, and Jack Donahue, a prominent GOP fundraiser who hosted a $10,000-a-plate event in 2008 for John McCain’s presidential campaign – an event attended by vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, according to the newspaper. The house sits on the water and has a dock, and offers views of the Gulf of Mexico and Rockery Bay.

According to the Daily News, the couple closed on the estate Dec. 23. The paper found public records showing a $2.1 million mortgage that comes due in 2018.

The purchase received big treatment in the paper. The lead headline reads, “A Biden in the neighborhood.” The story, with an aerial photo of the property, occupies about two-thirds of the page above the fold.

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Aaron Blake · December 30, 2013

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