Steve Bousquet, Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau

Steve Bousquet

Steve Bousquet is the Tampa Bay Times' Tallahassee bureau chief. He joined the Times in 2001 after 17 years at the Miami Herald, where he held a variety of positions including Tallahassee bureau chief, and he previously was a reporter at TV stations in Miami and Providence, R.I. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Rhode Island and a master's in history from Florida State University.

Bousquet was a contributor to two editions of The Almanac of Florida Politics and to The Miami Herald Report: Democracy Held Hostage, an account of the 2000 presidential recount in Florida.

Phone: (850) 224-7263


Twitter: @SteveBousquet

  1. Bousquet column: Panhandle key to Rick Scott's re-election bid

    State Roundup

    The country song Where I Come From, an anthem of small-town pride, was blaring from speakers outside a Panama City Beach landmark Friday morning.

    Inside Captain Anderson's seafood restaurant, Gov. Rick Scott told the crowd of local Republicans where he came from.

    "I don't even know my natural father," he said. "My mom was going through a divorce when I was born. She had an abusive husband. She remarried a year or so after I was born, and I have an adopted father. We lived in public housing, because my parents struggled for money."...

  2. Scott appoints fewer blacks to judgeships than Crist or Bush


    Florida is the most diverse state in the U.S., but a review of Gov. Rick Scott's record of appointing judges shows that the bench has become whiter since he became governor nearly four years ago. Scott has appointed fewer African-American candidates to judgeships than his predecessors, Charlie Crist and Jeb Bush, did during a comparable 44-month period of time. 

    Scott says he looks to appoint people to the bench who understand that there are three branches of government and "they don't get to legislate." If Scott is re-elected in November, it's likely he will have the opportunity to replace the two African-American justices on the Florida Supreme Court, Peggy Quince and James Perry. Both must retire in the next few years....

  3. Florida Gov. Rick Scott appointing fewer black judges than predecessors

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — After nearly four years, Gov. Rick Scott has appointed fewer African-Americans to Florida judgeships than either Charlie Crist or Jeb Bush did in the same period of time.

    Scott has appointed nine black attorneys to judgeships in nearly four years, according to data from his office. They include reappointments of three judges who hear job-related injury claims and four county judges who decide small claims and traffic cases....

    James Perry was appointed to the Florida Supreme Court by then-Republican Gov. Charlie Crist.
  4. Charlie Crist's party switch is like no other in Florida history



    Candidates in Florida have been switching parties for decades, so Charlie Crist's unprecedented bid to be the state's first governor to serve as a Republican and as a Democrat may not be as outlandish as it seems.

    But study a sampling of those who made the switch — and then won — and it's clear that Crist's candidacy really is unlike any other, for a host of reasons....

  5. In Southerland-Graham race, the subject turns to lingerie


    UPDATE: Buzz received this statement from Southerland after publication of this blog post: "I regret that my comments are being misused for political gain. I was trying to make the point that some organizations host men-only events and some host women-only events. Gwen Graham should be more focused on explaining her background as a D.C. lobbyist and political insider than she is on mischaracterizing my remarks."...

  6. N.J. Gov. Chris Christie catches Gov. Rick Scott's campaign bus, slams Charlie Crist

    State Roundup

    PANAMA CITY BEACH — Gov. Rick Scott's campaign for re-election got a jolt of partisan energy Friday when New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie fired up crowds in two North Florida cities by mocking Charlie Crist's candidacy.

    With his intense style, Christie framed the contest as a referendum on character, with Scott as a steady leader who does his job and Crist as a job-hopping, party-switching opportunist who can't be trusted....

    Florida Gov. Rick Scott, left, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, right, during a campaign stop Friday at a Sonny's restaurant in Lynn Haven. Christie ordered pulled pork; Scott ordered turkey. [STEVE BOUSQUET   |   Times]
  7. On the trail, trying to turn Scott's liability into a (non-Crist) asset


    Gov. Rick Scott's two-week campaign bus tour rolled through the Panhandle Thursday, where he cast himself as an economic problem-solver in contrast to the opportunism of his opponent and predecessor, Democrat Charlie Crist.

    Riding in a giant blue bus adorned with white "Let's Keep Working" signs, Scott mingled with customers at The Donut Hole in Destin and rallied Republicans, who chanted "Four more years," at a sparsely-attended event at a Crestview Buick dealer. On Friday, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, president of the Republican Governors Association, will help Scott rally the GOP faithful in Panama City....

    Gov. Rick Scott speaks at a campaign stop.
  8. Scott's refusal to lift Dade official's suspension before high court


    Gov. Rick Scott is a defendant in a case before the Florida Supreme Court involving a former mayor of Miami Lakes who wants his old job back after being acquitted of criminal charges.

    Scott issued an executive order in August 2013 suspending Michael Pizzi as mayor of the Miami suburb after he was indicted on a charge of conspiracy to commit extortion. Pizzi was later acquitted of charges in a jury trial, and he wants Scott to revoke the executive order. Scott refuses, calling it "a local issue" subject to the town charter, not state law, "and the governor has no further role."...

  9. Disability groups sue Florida prisons, alleging inmate abuses


    Disability rights groups, backed by one of the state's largest law firms, Holland & Knight, have filed a federal lawsuit against the state Department of Corrections, alleging systematic abuse and discrimination of mentally ill inmates at Dade Correctional Institution near Homestead.

    Florida Institutional Legal Services Project and Disability Rights Florida filed the suit in U.S. District Court in Miami. Corrections Secretary Mike Crews is also named as a defendant, along with Wexford Health Sources, the company hired two years ago to provide all inmate health care in South Florida prisons. The lawsuit was filed in the wake of the death of a mentally ill inmate, Darren Rainey. More here from The Miami Herald. ...

  10. Former Hillsborough Judge Fred Buckine, 75, husband of Justice Peggy Quince, dies


    Fred Buckine, a former Hillsborough County judge and prosecutor and the husband of Florida Supreme Court Justice Peggy Quince, died Saturday.

    He was 75 and lived in Tallahassee. Quince, the first black woman to serve on the state's highest court, was appointed in 1998. They were married for 38 years.

    Known for his love of the law and for his public speaking ability, Buckine grew up in Bradenton and served in the U.S. Air Force for 13 years, including two tours of duty in Vietnam. He received his law degree from the Catholic University of America law school in Washington, D.C....

    Fred Buckine, center, holds the family Bible as his wife, Peggy Quince, right, takes her oath to serve on the Florida Supreme Court.
  11. Bousquet column: Rick Scott faces different landscape this election


    Timing is everything in politics. Ask Gov. Rick Scott.

    When Scott ran for office in 2010, he was an outsider with a pitch-perfect message in the depths of a recession: Let's Get to Work.

    He spent more than $70 million of his own money on a campaign heavy on TV ads.

    He had the enthusiastic backing of the ascendant tea party movement, which you don't hear much about anymore. He had an opponent, Alex Sink, who stirred little enthusiasm among Democrats, especially African-Americans....

  12. Fred Buckine, 75, husband of Justice Peggy Quince, has died


    Fred Buckine, a former Hillsborough County judge and prosecutor and the husband of Florida Supreme Court Justice Peggy Quince for 38 years, died Saturday.

    He was 75 and lived in Tallahassee. Quince, the first black woman to serve on the state's highest court, was appointed in 1998.

    Known for his love of the law and for his public speaking ability, Buckine grew up in Bradenton and served in the U.S. Air Force for 13 years, including two tours of duty in Vietnam. He received his law degree from The Catholic University of America law school in Washington, D.C....

  13. Two more prison guards suspended in new inmate abuse case


    As Florida corrections secretary Mike Crews declared a zero tolerance policy on abuse of inmates, two more correctional officers have been suspended following a new allegation of inmate abuse at a North Florida prison.

    It happened Aug. 7 at the regional medical center at Lake Butler, not far from the sprawling state prisons at Raiford and Starke. An unidentified inmate said he was sexually assaulted. The same inmate had earlier filed a grievance saying he was assaulted on July 30. "I am not going to continue to take this abuse!" the inmate wrote....

  14. Gov. Rick Scott promises $1 billion in tax cuts for second term

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott is promising Florida voters a $1 billion package of tax and fee cuts in a second term, including new limits on property tax increases and another cut in auto tag fees.

    Every one of the proposals Scott will roll out in a two-week statewide tour starting Monday would require the approval of the Legislature, which previously has been lukewarm to Scott's call for a phase-out of the state corporate income tax and a sales tax break for manufacturers....

    Gov. Rick Scott's most ambitious tax cut idea would require approval of 60 percent of voters: a constitutional amendment to prevent property tax increases on homesteaded property if a home's value stays level or goes down. [AP photo]
  15. Charlie Crist's big win clouded by low turnout questions

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — As Charlie Crist celebrates winning the Democratic nomination for Florida governor, red flags are flying that raise questions about whether he can defeat Republican Gov. Rick Scott in November.

    Crist trounced underfunded rival Nan Rich with 74 percent of the vote, nearly a 3-1 margin. But Democrats in the state's three largest counties, Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach, largely stayed home, displaying a lack of enthusiasm that threatens to hand Democrats a fifth straight loss in the race for governor....

    Charlie Crist celebrates his Democratic primary victory in the Florida governor’s race Tuesday. The Democrats’ effort to build momentum for November now begins.