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A new Florida politics newsletter is coming next week. Here’s what to expect.

Each week, the Tampa Bay Times politics team will walk you through the biggest stories in Florida.
Florida's 46th Governor Ron DeSantis was sworn in Tuesday, January 8, 2019 in front of Florida's Old Capitol in Tallahassee. SCOTT KEELER  |   Times
Florida's 46th Governor Ron DeSantis was sworn in Tuesday, January 8, 2019 in front of Florida's Old Capitol in Tallahassee. SCOTT KEELER | Times
Published Jul. 22, 2019
Updated Jul. 22, 2019

There is so much going on in the political world, it can be hard to keep up. From leaders in Tallahassee and the chaos in Washington to our local mayors, it seems every hour there are compelling stories about your elected officials and the political forces operating behind the scenes.

Their decisions affect your lives. We want to make it easier for you to follow along.

Next week we will unveil a new and improved Buzz political newsletter. (You can sign up for it now so you’re ready to go when it launches.) We’ve redesigned and reimagined it with you in mind.

You’re busy, you’re active. You want something in your inbox that will get you caught up on the biggest stories in Florida politics in a few minutes. Our newsletter will do that.

But it also will go deeper than just the headlines, the rat-race and the exhausting “he said, she said." We have a team of reporters and editors dedicated to holding your leaders and government accountable and explaining their decisions. We’re digging into the money in politics and the powerful businesses trying to influence the system. Our email newsletter will share stories that pull back the curtain on what’s happening in Tallahassee and in this important political battleground.

We first launched a newsletter in March 2016. Since then, we’ve delivered five headlines from our political coverage to your inbox five days a week. We’ve built a dedicated audience who we know look forward to seeing what our team is working on. We think we can do better.

The new newsletter will be fresh and distinctive. Our goal is to carefully curate the news for you into an entertaining and enlightening read — whether you’re a concerned citizen or political junkie.

FROM THE EDITOR: Why the Tampa Bay Times plans to deliver more email newsletters

We’re putting a lot of time and thought into what we’re sharing with you, so the newsletter won’t hit your inbox every day. Most weeks, it will arrive Thursday mornings. It will catch you up on what’s happening and what we’re working on, and let you know what you can expect in the week ahead. And you can look forward to it publishing more frequently when the political calendar busies — election time or when lawmakers are in session.

The changes are part of a larger Tampa Bay Times newsroom effort to revamp our email newsletters and other digital offerings. We want to reach you where you are. Our political team publishes dozens of stories a week about enormously important topics — water quality, health care, education, taxes, firearm policies, criminal justice reform, voting rights, sea level rise. We’re speaking with presidential candidates and covering changing voting patterns of our critical swing state. This newsletter will deliver all that great coverage right to your inbox.

It launches Aug. 1. Sign up now.

Contact Steve Contorno at 813-226-3433 or Follow @scontorno.


  1. Visitors head to Florida's Old Capitol building on Tuesday, the first day of the annual session. The same day, the advocacy group Equality Florida denounced four bills filed by Republican lawmakers, calling them “the most overtly anti-LGBTQ agenda from the Florida legislature in recent memory.” [SCOTT KEELER  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    Most of the bills try to eliminate local ordinances, and Republicans say they’ve been unfairly labeled.
  2. Attorney Joseph Bondy tweeted this photo of his client, Lev Parnas (right) with former Florida attorney general Pam Bondi on Friday, Jan. 17. Bondi on Friday was named on of President Donald Trump's impeachment lawyers. [Twitter]
    Parnas’ lawyer tweeted out the photo of the former Florida attorney general along with #TheyAllKnew.
  3. Florida Senator Rob Bradley, R- Fleming Island, watches the action on the first day of the session, 1/14/2020.  [SCOTT KEELER  |  TAMPA BAY TIMES]
    A popular bill would allow judges to dole out punishments less than the mandatory minimum sentences spelled out in state law for many drug crimes if the defendant meets certain criteria.
  4. Vice President Mike Pence take selfies with supporters after giving a campaign speech during the "Keep America Great" rally at the Venetian Event Center at St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church in Tampa, Florida on Thursday, January 16, 2020.  [OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times]
    ‘Come November the American people are going to have our say,’ Pence said.
  5. Rep. Stan McClain, an Ocala Republican, presents a bill that would allow Florida public colleges and universities to sponsor charter schools, during a January 2020 meeting of the House PreK-12 Innovation subcommittee. [The Florida Channel]
    Alternative authorizers have been found unconstitutional in the past. But that isn’t stopping the effort.
  6. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, members of the Florida Cabinet, left, and the Florida Supreme Court, right, stand at attention as the colors are posted in the Florida Senate during the first day of the Florida legislative session in Tallahassee, Tuesday, January 14, 2020.  [SCOTT KEELER  |  TAMPA BAY TIMES]
    The court ruled that Amendment 4‘s “all terms of sentence” include the payment of all court fees, fines and restitution.
  7. Thousands rallied and marched from the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center to the Florida Historic Capitol to demand more money for public schools Monday, Jan. 13, 2020. Thousands of school workers from around the state thronged Florida's Capitol on Monday to press Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Legislature to more than double the nearly $1 billion the governor is proposing for teacher raises and bonuses.  (Tori Lynn Schneider/Tallahassee Democrat via AP) [TORI LYNN SCHNEIDER  |  AP]
    The PreK-12 Appropriations subcommittee cutting exercise would come in nearly 25 percent below Gov. Ron DeSantis’ proposal.
  8. Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.,, center, speaks as fellow candidates businessman Tom Steyer, from left, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., former Vice President Joe Biden, former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn. listen, Tuesday during a Democratic presidential primary debate hosted by CNN and the Des Moines Register in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) [PATRICK SEMANSKY  |  AP]
    The candidates’ proposals reveal differences in how they plan to approach the issue.
  9. Vice President Mike Pence points to supporters before speaking during a campaign rally at the Huntington Center, Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020, in Toledo, Ohio. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak) [TONY DEJAK  |  AP]
    Vice President Mike Pence will take the stage in New Tampa, at the Venetian Event Center at St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church, at 1:30 p.m. It wasn’t planned that way.
  10. <Samsung D70 / D75 / S730 / S750>
    For the first time since he was nominated by Gov. Ron DeSantis for the job of Florida Surgeon General, Scott Rivkees appeared before senators to answer questions that have been percolating for nine...