TALLAHASSEE — Both Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater are shoo-ins for re-election on Nov. 4.
But that hasn't stopped either man from major fundraising efforts: Each candidate is headed toward more than $3 million in campaign contributions.
The heavy hauls may be a sign of their larger ambitions.
"Putnam especially has been moving very aggressively toward a governor's run (in 2018)," Miami pollster and Florida International University professor Dario Moreno said. "He's raising money. He's going to meetings of Republicans across the state. He's reaching out to Republican leadership."...
10/21/14 State Roundup
More than 1 million Floridians have cast pre-Election Day ballots now that early in-person voting began Monday while mail-in absentee ballots continue to pour in.
Right now, it looks like good news for Republicans. They're still out-voting Democrats, who tend to dominate early voting just as Republicans do at absentee voting.
"The first day of early voting is in the books, and Charlie Crist's campaign is in complete meltdown," Gov. Rick Scott's deputy campaign manager, Tim Saler, wrote in a memo Tuesday morning to donors....
For the 6th time, at least, Rick Scott tells us there was $80 million in the budget for cancer funding10/21/14 Blog
Gov. Rick Scott sure does love telling people about the $80 million in cancer center funding included in the 2014-15 budget that he signed into law earlier this year.
H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa will get $25.5 million, the University of Miami's Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center will receive $16 million and the University of Florida Health Cancer Center gets $18.5 million. Combined with another $20 million in state dollars for two cancer research grant programs, and that adds up to $80 million in state dollars for cancer research....
U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland, a Republican incumbent facing a serious Democratic threat on Election Day, got some help today from one of his party's rock stars.
Sen. Marco Rubio visited Southerland's office in Tallahassee this afternoon, meeting with the congressman and campaign volunteers. Both men thanked the staffers for helping with ground game and voter turnout, which will be crucial in this Northeast Florida race against challenger Gwen Graham that is currently too close to call....
A delay caused by technical difficulties with the conference call phone line took almost as long as the meeting itself. But Florida State University's Board of Trustees has approved John Thrasher's contract, including a $430,000 base salary....
Charlie Crist collected $6 for every $1 donated to Gov. Rick Scott during the most recent campaign finance reporting period covering Oct. 4 through Oct. 10.
Scott's campaign and political committees raised just $606,656 in cash and in-kind services, compared to Crist’s $3.2 million. This allowed Crist to move much closer to Scott in the amount of cash he has on hand to spend in the final two weeks of campaigning....
Chief financial officer
Chief financial officer Jeff Atwater seems all but assured re-election. His opponent, Democrat William Rankin, struggles to raise money, has no name recognition and is getting no help from the state party. The bigger question seems to be if Atwater is laying the groundwork for a 2016 gubernatorial bid. By Tia Mitchell, Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau
William "Will" Rankin, 54 Jeff Atwater, 56 Party Democrat Republican Experience Former director of asset management for Ohio State Treasury; 11 years in the U.S. Army; former Army criminal investigator; publisher of a lifestyle magazine Chief financial officer, 2011-present; State Senate president, 2008-2010; state senator, 2002-2010; Village of North Palm Beach vice mayor, 1993 ...10/16/14Elections
TALLAHASSEE — A Florida appeals court ruled Thursday that a write-in candidate was wrongly disqualified from running for a Tampa Bay state House seat, likely cancelling a primary election for the second time.
Rep. Jamie Grant and fellow Republican Miriam Steinberg were supposed to face off in a primary on Nov. 4 that was open to all voters in House District 64, which includes parts of Hillsborough and Pinellas counties. With only two candidates, the primary — postponed from October over questions involving a write-in candidate — would have settled the question of who represents the district, which includes Carrollwood, Citrus Park, Oldsmar and Safety Harbor....10/15/14College
TALLAHASSEE — Cornell University provost W. Kent Fuchs, who wasn't even a candidate until Friday, was chosen to become the 12th president of the University of Florida on Wednesday morning.
He expects to begin his new job in January, pending approval by the state Board of Governors in November.
Fuchs — pronounced "fox" — and New York University provost David W. McLaughlin were the two finalists who interviewed Wednesday morning. But the 59-year-old Fuchs' enthusiasm and Ivy League connections won out....10/14/14 State Roundup
Attorney General Pam Bondi said Monday night that she wants the state Supreme Court to decide once and for all whether same-sex couples can marry in the Sunshine State.
"That is unquestionably an important issue, and the Plaintiffs, the State, and all citizens deserve a definitive answer," Bondi's office wrote in a filing to the state's 3rd District Court of Appeal. "Until recently, the issue was squarely before the United States Supreme Court, and it appeared that a definitive answer was coming. . . . Unfortunately, the United States Supreme Court decided not to answer the question."...10/14/14 Blog
A draft version of the contract between state Sen. John Thrasher and Florida State University shows that they have negotiated a five-year term starting Nov. 10.
The FSU Board of Trustees plans to meet via conference call Monday to discuss and likely approve the proposed contract. Thrasher, who expects to be re-elected to the Senate on Nov. 4, said he would step down from his Senate seat as soon as the Board of Governors confirms him. That formality should occur when the group meets Nov. 5 and 6....10/13/14 Blog
First Lady Michelle Obama is attending a Friday rally in Orlando to campaign alongside Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist.
Tickets for this free "grassroots event" will be available Tuesday through Thursday, but the Crist campaign is requiring people to pick up paper tickets -- no more than two in total -- by visiting one of Crist's three Orlando field offices....10/13/14 Blog
The next University of Florida president will come from outside of the university, one of three finalists selected by the search advisory committee today.
The Gainesville Sun reported Saturday that the only internal candidate, UF Provost Joe Glover, withdrew his name from consideration after the applicant pool was unveiled. Glover was considered a front-runner for the job early on, but some heavy hitters from prestigious universities put their name in the running and changed the game last week....10/11/14 Blog
From Sunday's paper:
Gov. Rick Scott has used tax breaks and other incentives to attract tens of thousands of new jobs to Florida, but after nearly four years, most of the jobs still don't exist, according to state records.
Scott has built his case for a second term largely on the slow but steady improvement in the Florida economy, especially a drop in unemployment and growth in private sector jobs as measured by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics....