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Kirby Wilson - Politics Reporter

Politics Reporter

Since I joined the Times in September 2017, I’ve spent much of my time covering the people who lead Florida and what attracts voters to them. That includes a two-year stint covering state government from our Capitol bureau in Tallahassee. With my work, I hope to contribute to a more informed and curious community. I’m a native of Pinellas County who attended Duke University, where I majored in English. When I’m not in the office, I like to travel, sing show tunes and play chess. Email me tips and baseball trivia. If you’re nice, I might send back pictures of my cat.

  1. The first drone photos of Florida's Horseshoe Beach in the Big Bend area show it has been inundated with water.
  2. Jeff Erickson hoists the debris blocking authorities from entering Horseshoe  Beach.
  3. Jamie Davis of Gainesville, center, secures a sheet of plywood on the entrance of St. Johns Tavern with the help of Cody Randall, Zachary Johnson and Jeremy Onorato on Tuesday in downtown Crystal River, where a storm surge of up to 11 feet could inundate Citrus County as Hurricane Idalia moves toward Florida's west coast.
  4. The National Hurricane Center said its likely the Tampa Bay area could see a storm surge as high as 7 feet when Idalia makes landfall on Florida's west coast.
  5. File photo of Tim Heidecker from April. 6, 2022. He's bringing his comedy and music tour to Tampa on Saturday, Aug. 5.
  6. Then President Donald Trump introduces Florida Governor Ron DeSantis during a homecoming campaign rally at the BB&T Center on Nov. 26, 2019, in Sunrise, Florida. Earlier this month, Trump criticized DeSantis' record of gubernatorial appointments.
  7. This combination of photos shows Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaking on April 21, 2023, in Oxon Hill, Md., left, and former President Donald Trump speaking on March 4, 2023, at National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Md.
  8. Pro-Ron DeSantis merchandise is sold outside First Baptist North Spartanburg church in Spartanburg, S.C., during an appearance there by Florida's governor on April 19. The appearance was part of DeSantis' first public trip to the early voting state before he kicked off his 2024 Republican presidential bid.
  9. Gov. Ron DeSantis will need to walk a numerical tightrope. Former President Donald Trump leads DeSantis by an average of more than 30 points in national polls, according to RealClearPolitics.
  10. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at a political roundtable, Friday, May 19, 2023, in Bedford, N.H. The Florida governor is one of Donald Trump's main contenders for the Republican nomination.
  11. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis takes to the stage during a press conference at Cambridge Christian School, 6101 North Habana Avenue, on Wednesday, May 17, 2023 in Tampa.
  12. May 24• The Buzz on Florida Politics
    Yard signs promoting Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in 2024, financed by the super PAC promoting DeSantis for president, line the street leading up to a Republican congressional fundraiser on May 13. 2023, in Sioux Center, Iowa.
  13. Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis with his wife, Casey DeSantis, speaks during an election night watch party at the Convention Center in Tampa on Nov. 8, 2022. On Tuesday, Casey DeSantis tweeted a video allowing supporters to sign up for text messages from "Ron DeSantis for President."
  14. Wind turbines stand at an offshore wind farm in Britain.
  15. Gov. Ron DeSantis at a news conference Tuesday. His recent campaign finance moves hint at a run for higher office.
  16. When he was a U.S. representative, Ron DeSantis was known by his colleagues in Washington to be aloof and uninterested in forming relationships. Will he need better relationship-forming skills if he wants to win the presidency?
  17. Then-President Donald Trump stands behind then-gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis at a rally in Pensacola on Nov. 3, 2018.
  18. April 26• The Buzz on Florida Politics
    The monorail passes over a 75,000-bloom lakeside garden at Walt Disney World. Disney has filed a lawsuit against Gov. Ron DeSantis in federal court.
  19. April 18• The Buzz on Florida Politics
    “Some will say this bill will end the hemp industry. The current wild, wild West situation, selling anything to anyone, is going to end," said Wilton Simpson, the state's commissioner of agriculture, who appears with Gov. Ron DeSantis on Nov. 18, 2021, when Simpson was still Senate president.
  20. April 15• The Buzz on Florida Politics
    Gov. Ron DeSantis' office sent out a news release shortly after 11 p.m. Thursday with this photo, showing legislative leaders and a few dozen people cheering as he signed a bill that would ban most abortions after six weeks.
  21. A Pinellas County lifeguard stand at Sand Key Park on April 8, 2022, in Clearwater. Some of Pinellas' beaches are in need of renourishment, but a federal easement requirement has jeopardized the future of the project.
  22. Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri supports the state taking over child investigations in Pinellas, but noted that there was some unease in his department about the change.
  23. U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Palm Harbor, has written a letter on behalf of Jeremy Michael Brown, a Jan. 6 protester who is facing sentencing over illegally possessing weapons, grenades and a classified document.