Thursday, February 22, 2018
Politics

Five things for Hillsborough voters to know

TAMPA — With primary elections coming up Tuesday, here are five things for Hillsborough County voters to know:

What's at stake?

Most of the attention in the governor's race has been on Rick Scott and Charlie Christ. But there actually are two other Republicans and one other Democrat on the primary ballot, with 18 candidates overall trying to be the next governor. There are many other races as well, some of which include Florida Legislature, Hillsborough County School Board, Hillsborough County Commission and state and county judgeships.

How can I vote?

The chance to vote early ended Sunday. On Tuesday, polling places will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Your voter ID card will tell you the address of your precinct. Or you can find that and get a sample ballot customized to your address at votehillsborough.org.

I'm registered without a party affiliation. Why should I bother?

It's true that your choices are limited in this primary if you have a minor party or no-party affiliation registration. But there are several nonpartisan races in which any eligible voter in the county can cast ballots. These include countywide races for four circuit judgeships and one county court judgeship. They also include three races for School Board, although the district you live in will determine how many board races you will find on your ballot.

Do I need to take an umbrella to the polls?

It wouldn't hurt. The forecast from Bay News 9 on Tuesday calls for partly cloudy skies with only a 20 percent chance of an afternoon shower or storm throughout Hillsborough County. For now — this is August in Florida after all. Temperatures should top out around 92 degrees across Tampa Bay.

What happens next?

After voters winnow the number of candidates in the primary, winners advance to the general election Nov. 4. In addition, there are a few more races for Congress, state office and local seats in the general election for which there weren't enough candidates to call a primary. If you haven't registered to vote yet, the deadline for registering in time for the general election is Oct. 6.

Comments
Romano: Welcome to Florida, a state more afraid of conversation than guns

Romano: Welcome to Florida, a state more afraid of conversation than guns

Gun advocates are absolutely right about this:A ban on assault weapons will not end school shootings.How do we know?Because there was a federal ban on assault weapons for 10 years, and mass killings persisted. That’s because a ban deals only with fut...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Focused on Cuba’s future, Rep. Castor skips meeting with Raul Castro

Focused on Cuba’s future, Rep. Castor skips meeting with Raul Castro

TAMPA — One highlight of a congressional delegation’s visit to Cuba this week was an impromptu meeting with President Raul Castro.But not for U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor.The Tampa Democrat joined five other Democrats on the trip, in part to investigate th...
Published: 02/21/18
Melania Trump’s parents are legal permanent residents, raising questions on ‘chain migration’

Melania Trump’s parents are legal permanent residents, raising questions on ‘chain migration’

The parents of first lady Melania Trump have become legal permanent residents of the United States and are close to obtaining their citizenship, according to people familiar with their status, but their attorney declined to say how or when the couple...
Published: 02/21/18
Alex Trebek will moderate a Republican debate in the Pennsylvania governor’s race

Alex Trebek will moderate a Republican debate in the Pennsylvania governor’s race

We’ll take "surprising side gigs" for $1,000! "Jeopardy" host Alex Trebek will moderate a debate among Republican hopefuls vying for the Pennsylvania gubernatorial nomination.The longtime game show star will be questioning candidates at an Oct. 1 for...
Published: 02/21/18
Spring Hill candidate for Congress: ‘I care about this community — I will scream that from the rafters’

Spring Hill candidate for Congress: ‘I care about this community — I will scream that from the rafters’

SPRING HILL — A Hernando County woman new to the political arena has filed as the fifth Democrat to run against longtime Florida lawmaker U.S. Rep. Daniel Webster for his spot in the U.S. House of Representatives.Dana Cottrell, 49, has lived in Sprin...
Published: 02/20/18
Updated: 02/21/18
St. Petersburg regatta to Havana again buffeted by politics

St. Petersburg regatta to Havana again buffeted by politics

The 2017 St. Petersburg-Habana Yacht Race was celebrated as more than a competitive regatta to Cuba’s capital city of Havana.The relaunch of the maritime competition canceled since 1959 was hailed as a reflection of the detente started under former P...
Published: 02/20/18
Special counsel files new charge in Russia probe

Special counsel files new charge in Russia probe

WASHINGTON — The special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election charged an attorney Tuesday with lying to federal investigators about his interactions with a former Trump campaign official. A charging document filed in federa...
Published: 02/20/18
Man featured on ‘Trump Dating’ site has child sex conviction

Man featured on ‘Trump Dating’ site has child sex conviction

GREENSBORO, N.C. — A North Carolina man with a felony conviction for indecent liberties with a child was one-half of the poster couple for a new "Trump Dating" website.News outlets reported Monday that visitors to the dating site geared toward suppor...
Published: 02/20/18
Ex-workers at Russian ‘troll factory’ trust U.S. indictment

Ex-workers at Russian ‘troll factory’ trust U.S. indictment

Associated PressST. PETERSBURG, Russia — While Russian officials scoff at a U.S. indictment charging 13 Russians with meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, several people who worked at the same St. Petersburg, Russia, "troll factory" say t...
Published: 02/19/18
Trump offers support for limited effort on background checks

Trump offers support for limited effort on background checks

Associated PressWEST PALM BEACH — From the confines of his Mar-a-Lago golf club, President Donald Trump offered support Monday for a limited strengthening of federal background checks on gun purchases while staying largely mum in the past few days ab...
Published: 02/19/18