Associated Builders and Contractors of Florida, representing more than 2,600 companies across the state, is not waiting for the likes of Ron DeSantis, Jack Latvala, and Richard Corcoran to decide on mounting campaigns for governor. ABC of Florida announced its endorsement Adam Putnam for governor tonight at its state convention in Marco Island.
“There’s no question that Adam Putnam is the right choice for Governor of Florida. His conservative values and free market approach will ensure that every individual and every business has the opportunity to compete on a level playing field,” said Mary Tappouni, President of Breaking Ground Contracting and State Chair of ABC of Florida.
“Adam Putnam knows what it means to run a small business. He will fight for the Floridians who are sick and tired of government getting in the way of prosperity. And he’ll work to ensure we have a well-trained workforce that can support our growing economy. As the largest single provider of Apprenticeship Training in the state, acknowledging our skilled worker shortage is of critical importance to our association.” ...
ST. PETERSBURG — It's an extraordinary state of affairs, this mayoral election.
So much is going so well for this city increasingly recognized as one of the coolest places to live in Florida. And yet there is a better than even chance that voters will toss out incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman and replace him with former Mayor Rick Baker.
Democratic strategist Steve Schale breaks down the Florida Senate District 40 special election contest between Republican Jose Felix 'Pepi' Diaz and Democrat Annette Taddeo, saying primary voters chose right and that either could win. Read the whole thing, but here's an excerpt:...
Amy Sherman and PolitiFact Florida look into Richard Corcoran pollster's claim that Adam Putnam "was for amnesty":
....Fabrizio said that Putnam "was for amnesty."
While in Congress, Putnam supported legislation that would have expanded work visa categories for undocumented immigrants and put them on a path to legal permanent status. After leaving Congress, he supported the 2013 immigration legislation, which wasn’t blanket legal residency but did include a path, albeit a long one, to legal status....
From our friends at The News Service of Florida: Ryan Torrens is the first, and so far only, Democrat to take the initial step toward trying to succeed term-limited Attorney General Pam Bondi in 2018.
Torrens, a 32-year-old attorney from Hillsborough County, went to the University of Tampa and George Washington University Law School. He owns a law practice, which focuses on foreclosure-defense and consumer-protection litigation....
Winner of the week
Peter Antonacci. Gov. Rick Scott tapped his go-to utility player to lead his Florida job recruiting agency, Enterprise Florida, having previously picked him for his general counsel, to lead the South Florida Water Management District and to serve as Palm Beach state attorney.
Loser of the week
Rick Scott. The governor who made his millions in the health care industry has yet to articulate what he wants for federal health care reform beyond more federal money for Florida and an end to Obamacare. The strong Trump ally early on claimed he was a key force in shaping the GOP’s new health care policy, which so far has been nothing but a failure. ...
This month's Florida Insider Poll questions: Who would be the strongest Democratic/Republican nominee for governor? Whom do you expect will win the Democratic/Republican gubernatorial nomination? Which party do you expect will win the Senate District 40 special election? Do you expect Rick Scott to run for president some day?...
From today's column:
...Much of Florida's political intelligentsia view him as a long shot, which makes sense. Latvala is old school, the kind of pragmatic, generally moderate Republican today's GOP primary electorate has shunned and pilloried in recent years. He looks more like a rumpled granddad who should lay off the ribeyes and ramp up his blood pressure meds than the sort of TV-primped candidate that usually wins statewide elections in Florida....
Reubin Askew tried. So did Bob Graham. And Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio. When you've shown an ability to win statewide elections in America's biggest swing state, you're almost automatically a credible contender for president.
Could Rick Scott be the Floridian who finally winds up in the White House?
We surveyed nearly 200 experienced Florida political experts for our July Florida Insider Poll, and nearly seven in 10 said they don't expect our 64-year-old two-term governor and likely 2018 Republican nominee for U.S. Senate to seek the presidency. That, of course, leaves nearly one in three who exect he will....
CLEARWATER — Jack Latvala, the wily Republican state senator and longtime fixture of Tampa Bay politics, probably will announce his candidacy for governor on Aug. 16. He said as much to the more than 100 friends at his vacation home in Maine last weekend.
Much of Florida's political intelligentsia view him as a long shot, which makes sense. Latvala is old school, the kind of pragmatic, generally moderate Republican today's GOP primary electorate has shunned and pilloried in recent years. He looks more like a rumpled granddad who should lay off the ribeyes and ramp up his blood pressure meds than the sort of TV-primped candidate that usually wins statewide elections in Florida....
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris King today made his case for how economic growth and fighting climate change go hand in hand. His rivals for the Democratic nomination, Gwen Graham, Andrew Gillum and possibly Philip Levine, make climate change and environmental protection top priorities too....
Our latest Florida Insider Poll asked most of the smartest and most experienced politicos in Florida about the race to succeed former state Sen. Frank Artles in Miami-area Florida Senate District 40. Among the more then 190* participants (56 percent of them Republicans, 38 percent Democrats), more than two thirds expect the GOP to hold onto that competitive seat.
"The problem for Democrats in the SD40 Special is that the electorate that will show up will be disproportionally older Cuban compared to normal midterms or presidential cycles," said on Democrat. "This is a group that still votes GOP down ballot and has no trouble splitting their ticket."...
The Tallahassee Democrat reports:
The Leon County Sheriff's Office has concluded its investigation into Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum's use of political email software paid for by the city.
LCSO spokesman Lt. Grady Jordan said the report has been turned over to State Attorney Jack Campbell's office.
Jordan said the report makes no recommendations but is "merely a presentation of our investigation and the facts." Any decision to bring charges related to the investigation would be the decision of Campbell's office.......
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gwen Graham is scheduled to headline the Hillsborough Democratic Party'sannual Kennedy King Dinner fundraiser Sept. 16 at the Hilton Downtown Tampa. It's the biggest fundraiser of the year for the party. Tickets go for $100 each and sponsorships cost up to $10,000. People can register here....
The husband of the former Florida chair of the Trump campaign obtained a front-row seat to a June 2016 House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing for Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian attorney who had met with Donald Trump Jr. at Trump Tower eight days prior....