The Daystarter: Election aftermath: Here come the recounts; how did Andrew Gillum lose Florida?; and a mass shooting in California

Check for the latest breaking news and developments.
Check for the latest breaking news and developments.
Published November 8 2018
Updated November 8 2018

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what to know today.

• Expect highs in the mid 80s and some pretty muggy weather, according to the National Weather Service. There’s also a chance of isolated showers and thunderstrorms inland, but that’s a slight chance later on in the day.

• Want to catch up on all the results from the 2018 Midterm Election? They’re all just one click away.

• Here are the top things to do today in Tampa Bay.

• Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean says 13 people are dead, including a sheriff’s sergeant and the gunman, after a shooting inside a crowded Southern California bar late Wednesday. Dean says sheriff’s Sgt. Ron Helus responded to the scene and was shot after he entered the building. He died at a hospital early Thursday. The gunman opened fire inside a country dance bar crowded with hundreds of people on "college night." Stay with for updates.

• See the historic front pages of newspapers across the country after 2018’s historic Midtern Election, including a certain front page from Florida’s best newspaper.

• Florida just wrapped up another election, which means it’s time to talk recount. Kirby Wilson explains how recounts would work in the race for U.S. Senate, Florida Agriculture Commissioner and other close races across the state.

So will there be a recount in the U.S. Senate battle between Republican Gov. Rick Scott and Democratic incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson? Nelson’s campaign says they expect one. But the Scott camp says it’s over. But Steve Contorno reports that Scott’s 30,239 lead appears to automatically trigger a recount.

• There may also be a recount coming for the super-tight race for Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Samantha Gross reports that Fort Lauderdale Republican Matt Caldwell leads Democrat Nicole "Nikki" Fried by about 0.16 percentage pointsor just 12,521 votes with just under 8 million votes cast.

• Here in Tampa Bay there’s also a recount looming: Just 289 votes separate Janet Cruz and Dana Young in the race for Florida Senate District 18, and a recount may be imminent. Still, that didn’t stop Cruz from telling reporter Paul Guzzo that she isn’t waiting to declare victory.

• What cost Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum the governor’s race? It was a 2016 fundraiser that Gillum held in the apartment of lobbyist Adam Corey — a former friend of Gillum’s who 30 months later would turn on him and dump emails in the wake of an FBI investigation that clouded the chances of the man who could have been Florida’s first African-American governor.

• Republicans took over the Hillsborough County Commission majority from Democrats in 2004, locking up power for decades to come. But after Tuesday’s election, Hillsborough is barely recognizable. Charlie Frago and Christopher O’Donnell explain how the blue wave helped Democrats retake a majority of the commission and pass two sales tax referendums to help fund schools and improve transportation.

• For the latest fallout from the 2018 election, make sure to check The Buzz.

• Only one of the 12 amendments to the Florida Constitution did not pass on Election Day: Amendment 1, which would have increased the homestead exemption for homeowners and cost municipalities hundreds of millions in tax revenues. Mark Puente takes a look at why it just barely failed to pass and why local government officials are so relieved that it didn’t.

• For the past 37 years, University of Florida scientists have been studying monarch butterfly populations at the former home of author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings south of Gainesville. What they’ve seen in the last 13 years has alarmed them. The butterfly numbers have plummeted by 80 percent. Read environmental reporter Craig Pittman’s story about the study.

• Derby Lane opened in 1925, but it won’t be the same business come 2020 when Amendment 3 takes effect. Richard Danielson explains what happens next now that voters have approved the constitutional amendment that bans greyhound racing.

• For the latest business news, check out the Times business section.

• Principals of Pinellas County’s worst-performing elementary schools gathered together to share their progress in closing the academic achievement gap between black students and their peers. Megan Reeves was there to hear them talk about their successes and challenges.

• For the latest education coverage, make sure to check The Gradebook.

• Demand for luxury condos in downtown Tampa is so great that Tampa Riverwalk developer Larry Feldman says he’s no longer planning on 14 floors of office space. Instead, Susan Taylor Martin reports, the 50-plus story tower will be totally residential except for restaurants on the ground floor.

• The Rays might have already found the right-handed hitting catcher they are looking for in Seattle’s Mike Zunino. The basic framework of the deal is Zunino and outfielder Guillermo Heredia to the Rays in exchange for outfielder Mallex Smith, but there are more players involved. Stay with for updates.

• Bucs receiver DeSean Jackson spoke out during an open locker room session with the media and did not rebuff reports that he asked to be traded. But he also told Eduardo Encina that it’s time to move on and try to get the team out of it’s 3-5 slide: "It’s over and done with now, and I’m looking forward. We’ve got eight games left to continue to try our best to get in the playoffs and win here."

• Washington will visit Tampa Bay on Sunday and columnist Martin Fennelly takes the time to explain why Washington owner Daniel Snyder is the worst member of a billionaire boys club filled with scalawags. Remember Bucs’ fans: Things could always get worse.

• The latest Bucs news is just a few clicks away. Check out the Tampa Bay Times coverage all season long. And on @Twitter follow Rick Stroud at @NFLSTROUD and Eduardo A. Encina at @EddieInTheYard for the latest updates.

• The Tampa Bay Times can keep you up-to-date on the Lightning’s quest for the Stanley Cup, just click here throughout the season. And for the latest updates on @Twitter, follow Diana C. Nearhos at @dianacnearhos and Nick Kelly at @_NickKelly.

• To get the latest Rays’ news from the Tampa Bay Times this offseason, click here and follow Marc Topkin on @Twitter at @TBTimes_Rays.

• Check out the Tampa Bay Times coverage of the Gators throughout the season and keep up with beat writer Matt Baker on Twitter at @MBakerTBTimes.

• All the Bulls news you can use is just one click away and Tampa Bay Times beat writer Joey Knight has the latest on Twitter at @TBTimes_Bulls.

• Ed Sheeran, at 27 the world’s most bankable male pop star, packed some 50,000 fans into Raymond James Stadium on a school night with little more than an acoustic guitar and some pedals. Six and a half years after playing one of his first stateside shows at Jannus Live in St. Petersburg, he sounded just as amazed by this as anyone. Jay Cridlin has the review.

• We asked four favorite crime fiction writers who will appear at the Times Festival of Reading on Nov. 17 one question: Who is your favorite author who does not write crime fiction, and why? Here’s what they had to say.