Sunday, November 18, 2018
Politics

Gov. Scott draws two Republican challengers in re-election bid

TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott's road to re-election got more crowded Monday as two little-known Republicans paid the filing fees to challenge him on the Aug. 26 primary ballot.

Democrats also will have a statewide primary for governor as Charlie Crist, a former Republican governor, filed his candidacy papers, and former Sen. Nan Rich expects to file hers today.

Scott's challengers, both women, are Yinka Abosede Adeshina of Tallahassee and Elizabeth Cuevas-Neunder of Sarasota.

Neither has much chance of upsetting Scott, a well-financed and well-known incumbent who also qualified on Monday. But their presence on the ballot could force Scott to pay more attention to the Republican voter base for the next two months.

Adeshina, 43, paid the $7,800 filing fee even as she reported a net worth of $8,000 with no income last year.

Her bare-bones campaign website says she is a 1997 graduate of Wayne State University in Detroit and has twin sons. She also is an announced candidate for president in 2016, and her website lists her goals as health care for all Florida residents by 2017.

She could not be reached for comment.

Cuevas-Neunder, 60, has a higher political profile. She ran unsuccessfully for the state House in 2006, for the Sarasota County School Board in 2004, and for governor in 1998.

She filed to challenge Jeb Bush in the 1998 Republican primary but was forced to withdraw after her lieutenant governor running mate resigned.

Cuevas-Neunder founded Miss Latina Program, a mentoring program for teen Hispanic girls, and she used to host a TV program promoting Hispanic culture on a Sarasota station. She said she would not be available for comment until today.

Crist's candidacy papers were filed by a sixth-grade language arts teacher, Sheria Griffin, to underscore Crist's claim that school funding has suffered under Scott.

Griffin was one of 13 teachers who attended a roundtable discussion on education with Crist in Tallahassee on Monday.

Crist said he would be a governor who "understands how precious education is and how important it is to honor our teachers and not demoralize the heck out of them."

Scott, at a Tampa campaign stop, said the new budget has the "highest funding for K-12 in the history of the state."

The budget Scott signed sets aside $18.9 billion for education, the largest overall amount in state history. But per-pupil spending of $6,937 falls short of the $7,126 spent per student in 2007-08, when Crist was governor.

"We're heading in the right direction. I've spent almost four years now cleaning up Charlie Crist's mess," Scott said.

All three Republican Cabinet members also qualified for the fall ballot Monday: Attorney General Pam Bondi, Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam.

Staff writers Kathleen McGrory and Zack Peterson and Times researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report. Contact Steve Bousquet at [email protected] or (850) 224-7263.

     
Comments
Andrew Gillum concedes in race for governor to Ron DeSantis

Andrew Gillum concedes in race for governor to Ron DeSantis

The Democratic candidate for governor lost a close race.
Updated: 8 hours ago
Bill Nelson’s ending: Sluggish campaign couldn’t overcome Rick Scott’s millions

Bill Nelson’s ending: Sluggish campaign couldn’t overcome Rick Scott’s millions

It brings to a close one of the longest careers in the history of Florida politics and one of the last vestiges of the Democratic Party of a bygone era.
Updated: 10 hours ago
Pinellas woman arrested after 3-month-old is exposed to cocaine and suffers brain damage

Pinellas woman arrested after 3-month-old is exposed to cocaine and suffers brain damage

Police said she waited 11 hours before seeking medical attention.
Published: 11/17/18
Andrew Gillum ends campaign for Florida governor

Andrew Gillum ends campaign for Florida governor

Democrat Andrew Gillum says he is ending his hard-fought race for Florida governor and has congratulated Republican Ron DeSantis.
Published: 11/17/18
Recount adds to Florida's reputation for bungling elections

Recount adds to Florida's reputation for bungling elections

To much of the world, vote-counting confusion is as authentically Florida as jam-packed theme parks, alligators on golf courses and the ubiquity of Pitbull (the Miami rapper, not the dog).
Published: 11/17/18
He raped a high school student as she died. His sentence: Three years in prison.

He raped a high school student as she died. His sentence: Three years in prison.

A 20-year-old man charged with raping a high school student as she died from a drug overdose was sentenced this week to less than three years in prison. The case out of Washington state has attracted national attention. Both the dead girl’s mo...
Published: 11/17/18
A woman has died on a Princess cruise out of Florida. A report says she went overboard after a fight.

A woman has died on a Princess cruise out of Florida. A report says she went overboard after a fight.

A puzzled passenger who was apparently aboard The Royal Princess wrote a cryptic post Tuesday on cruise community website Cruise Critic.com.The 19-deck ship had departed Nov. 9 from Port Everglades on a seven-day Southern Caribbean cruise and is set ...
Published: 11/17/18
Bill Nelson’s Broward County problem: Some voters saw ‘confusing’ ballot design

Bill Nelson’s Broward County problem: Some voters saw ‘confusing’ ballot design

The Times reached out to more than 3,500 registered voters in those precincts, to see what they thought. Of some 40 responses, most voted with no issue. But several recalled almost missing the Senate race box.
Published: 11/16/18
Updated: 11/17/18
Plant City police: Fleeing driver kills man as he walks to work

Plant City police: Fleeing driver kills man as he walks to work

The driver is in custody, but the fugitive who sparked Friday’s deadly incident is still being sought.
Published: 11/16/18
Federal judge denies request to extend mail-in ballot deadline

Federal judge denies request to extend mail-in ballot deadline

The lawsuit sought to allow the counting of late-arriving absentee ballots, which don't count if they arrive after 7 p.m. Election Day.
Published: 11/16/18