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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. Two sheriffs appeal budget decisions to Gov. Scott, Cabinet


    Gov. Rick Scott and the three elected Cabinet members are being drawn into contentious budget battles between two Florida sheriffs and their county commissions.

    Sheriffs Sadie Darnell of Alachua County in Gainesville and Nick Finch of Liberty County in the Panhandle have filed appeals of county votes to reduce their budget requests. Scott and the Cabinet must decide which side is right, at a tense time when police officers in a number of cities have been targeted and murdered. The Florida Sheriffs Association adopted a resolution Tuesday calling on all elected officials to support law enforcement officers and to denounce hate speech against police....

  2. Ballot is in the mail for near-record 2.2 million Florida primary voters

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — More than a month before Florida's statewide primary election, nearly 2.2 million mail ballots are on their way to voters, a pace certain to set a record.

    By late Tuesday, 2,185,619 ballots had been mailed. Florida has about 12.3 million registered voters, so nearly one in five could vote by mail before the Aug. 30 primary.

    With five weeks left, the mail ballot total already nearly equals the 2.3 million total votes cast in the last presidential year primary in 2012....

    Hillsborough’s first pallets of ballots went out Tuesday. [STEVE BOUSQUET   |   Times]
  3. More than 2 million primary ballots headed to Florida voters


    Five weeks before Florida's statewide primary election, nearly 2.2 million voters have requested ballots.

    As of Tuesday morning, requests totaled 2,185,397. Nearly half of the requests (about 978,000) were from Republicans, and 819,000 were from Democrats, with most of the rest from voters with no party affiliation.

    Election supervisors took to social media to show huge stacks of ballots headed to mailboxes. Hillsborough Supervisor of Elections Craig Latimer posted a photo on Twitter of one of eight pallets and said all voters will get "I Voted!" stickers with their ballots....

    Hillsborough's first batch of mail ballots went out Tuesday.
  4. Bondi: State, feds break $1 billion Miami health care fraud ring


    Attorney General Pam Bondi on Monday announced the arrests of three Miami-Dade residents on felony charges of operating a $1 billion fraud scheme involving Medicaid, Medicare and various Miami-based health care providers.

    Bondi said her offices' Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, working with federal agencies, charged Odette Barcha, 49; Arnaldo Carmouze, 56; and Philip Esformes, 47, with conspiracy, obstruction, money laundering and health care fraud. Bondi said her agency identified more than $100 million in fraudulent Medicaid charges connected to the scheme....

  5. Gov. Scott's statement on mass shooting at club in Fort Myers


    Gov. Rick Scott issued a statement Monday in response to a mass shooting overnight at a club in Fort Myers in which two people were reported dead and at least 16 people injured, according to multiple news reports. The shooting took place at Club Blu, which held a special "teen night" Sunday for children as young as age 12.

    It was the second time in six weeks that a Florida club was the target of a mass shooting after 49 people were slaughtered at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, on June 12....

  6. Hillary Clinton names Virginia Sen. Timothy Kaine as her vice presidential running mate



    Hillary Clinton on Friday evening named U.S. Sen. Timothy Kaine of Virginia as her vice presidential running mate.

    Minutes after 8 p.m., Clinton tweeted her selection: "I'm thrilled to announce my running mate . . . a man who's devoted his life to fighting for others."

    The announcement came after Clinton spent Friday on the I-4 corridor, the fulcrum on which America's biggest swing state turns, to respond to two words in Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's acceptance speech — "I alone," as in "I alone can fix it" — with two words of her own: "Stronger together."...

    Hillary Clinton meets with families of Pulse nightclub victims and holds round table with Orlando community leaders. [Steve Bousquet | Tampa Bay Times]
  7. Bill Nelson says Tim Kaine would be 'steady hand' as VP


    U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson said Friday that Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine would be an "absolutely outstanding choice" as Hillary Clinton's vice presidential running mate.

    Speaking to reporters in Orlando, where Clinton scheduled a roundtable meeting with community leaders, Nelson said: "He is a steady hand. There is no question about Tim Kaine's ethics, his morality, nor about his competence, if that's who she chooses."...

    Is Tim Kaine Clinton's choice for VP?
  8. Clinton comforts Pulse victims' families, holds roundtable


    A somber Hillary Clinton met privately on Friday with family members and friends of victims of last month's Pulse nightclub killings in Orlando and later held a roundtable with community leaders.

    Three days before the start of the Democratic National Convention, Clinton said the massacre of 49 innocent patrons at a popular gay club by an ISIS loyalist underscores the need for gun control and of the dangers faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people....

    Hillary Clinton meets with families of Pulse nightclub victims and holds round table with Orlando community leaders.
  9. Mail ballot requests for Florida's primary surpass 2 million


    One of every six voters in Florida, or more than 2 million, will receive a mail ballot in advance of the state's Aug. 30 statewide primary election, and the number will keep growing over the next month.

    The state Division of Elections reported Friday that the requests so far total 2,062,551, with Republican voters outpacing Democrats by about 926,000 to 778,000. The growing number of requests shows the increased popularity of voting by mail, or what used to be known as voting absentee (the Legislature passed a law in 2016 removing the word "absentee" from the statutes)....

  10. Pam Bondi's 'lock her up' speech gives critics new ammunition


    Attorney General Pam Bondi followed Gov. Rick Scott to the national stage Wednesday to give Florida an unusual 1-2 punch at the Republican National Convention. She said Trump will secure America's borders, roll back President Barack Obama's executive orders, and appoint conservatives to the U.S. Supreme Court.

    "Winning this election means reclaiming something to which I’ve dedicated my entire career: the rule of law," said Bondi, a former Hillsborough assistant state attorney and Florida's first two-term attorney general since Democrat Bob Butterworth left office in 2002.

  11. Gov. Rick Scott kicks off Day 3: 'How many more Orlandos?'


    Gov. Rick Scott kicked off the third night of the Republican National Convention Wednesday by calling on Americans to elect Donald Trump president because he's the only candidate who can defeat terrorism.

    He began on a personal note, by thanking Americans everywhere for their sympathy and support for the families of the victims at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando in which 49 people were killed on June 12....

  12. Florida judge under investigation for racist and sexist remarks


    Another Florida judge is in serious trouble, this time for allegedly making sexist and racist remarks from the bench. Circuit Judge Mark Hulsey III of Jacksonville faces an investigation by the Judicial Qualifications Commission that could result in his removal. Here's more from The News Service of Florida:

    Hulsey is accused of using epithets to refer to a female staff attorney and saying blacks should "go back to Africa." A panel of the state JQC found probable cause to pursue charges against Hulsey for being "discourteous and condescending to staff," of having "expressed unnecessary criticism" of staff attorneys and using "language inappropriate for your judicial office." The notice of formal charges was filed Tuesday with the Florida Supreme Court....

  13. Scott's storm-free convention presence is FL's biggest in years


    With his prime-time speaking slot and a role as a Donald Trump surrogate, Florida Gov. Rick Scott has a much bigger presence at this Republican convention than he did four years ago in his home state in Tampa. Not only that, but this is the biggest mark a Florida governor has made at his party's political convention in a long time, and you can thank the weather for that.

    Scott's abbreviated appearance at the Tampa convention in 2012 was due to Tropical Storm Isaac. The storm had dissipated by the time he made an appearance, which added to a perception that Scott wasn't very enthusiastic about Mitt Romney's candidacy. ...

  14. Graham: Unsealed 28 pages 'point very strong finger' at Saudis


    Former Florida Sen. Bob Graham told a Tampa radio interviewer Tuesday that the recently declassified 28 pages of a report that studied possible links between Saudi Arabia and the Sept. 11 terror attacks strongly points in the direction of the Saudi government.

    Interviewed on public radio's WMNF, Graham said: "I think they point a very strong finger that Saudi Arabia was a collaborator with the hijackers."...

  15. High praise for one high-profile GOP'er for skipping convention


    Quick, now, as in Quicken Loans Arena: Who's the only statewide elected Republican state official in Florida not attending the party's convention in Cleveland?

    That would be Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, who was at work in South Florida Monday before heading back to Tallahassee.

    Atwater has the distinction of being the highest vote-getter in each of the past two mid-term elections. He got nearly 3 million votes in 2010 and 3.4 million in 2014. But he had no interest in going to the convention, and told a Republican club in Sarasota that he wouldn't be endorsing Donald Trump "any time soon," and that was in March. Gov. Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi will speak to the convention and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam is there too....