Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Editorials

Editorial: Gillum would check excesses of one-party rule in Tallahassee

Florida’s election for governor presents voters with a stark choice: Between one candidate with the right priorities and another with the wrong ones. Between one who inspires and another who peddles fear. Between one who would check the excesses of one-party rule and another who would fuel them.

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum offers a fresh, promising direction for Florida. He came from behind to win the Democratic primary against better-financed opponents. He energizes young people and minority voters, and he connects by talking about real issues such as the need to invest in public schools, expand access to health care and preserve the environment.

Gillum sketches out a vision for Florida and an agenda for governing. He supports providing health care to hundreds of thousands of low-income Floridians by accepting federal money to expand Medicaid, as most states have done. He wants bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, which most Florida voters support. He wants to invest more in public education, raise teacher salaries and de-emphasize high stakes testing, echoing the concerns of parents across the state.

Ron DeSantis offers none of that. The former member of Congress won the Republican primary over a more qualified candidate because of President Donald Trump's endorsement, not the strength of his record or his ideas. He voted regularly in Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and he opposes Medicaid expansion. Like most Republican state legislators, he opposes sensible gun controls. He would continue to redirect more state money away from traditional public schools toward private schools and charters. And while DeSantis supports some sensible environmental policies, such as ending federal government supports for the sugar industry, he is vague or evasive on broader concerns, from an offshore drilling ban to environmental spending. He can’t be counted on to restore funding to water management districts, embrace growth management or enforce environmental regulations.

DeSantis has failed to speak to core issues facing this state and focused on bashing Gillum rather than offering his vision for the future. The long federal investigation of city government in Tallahassee is a concern, and Gillum could have better handled questions about his interactions with undercover FBI agents and a former longtime friend and lobbyist. But there is no indication he is the target of the criminal investigation.

State government needs a reset, and Gillum would act as a check on the Republican-controlled Legislature. He would be a moderating force in the swing state and curb the Legislature's increasing assault on local control. Gillum's compelling life story and personal appeal also could bring more Floridians of all backgrounds into the political process, and he would make history as the state’s first African American governor. He has shown a genuine ability throughout the campaign to inspire, to appeal to hopes rather than fears. That's what real leaders do.

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Editorial: Warren takes positive step to advance justice in Hillsborough

Editorial: Warren takes positive step to advance justice in Hillsborough

The Conviction Review Unit follows through on a campaign pledge to review past conviction cases.
Updated: 8 hours ago
Editorial: Tone down the rhetoric, focus on counting votes

Editorial: Tone down the rhetoric, focus on counting votes

President Donald Trump, Sen. Marco Rubio and Gov. Rick Scott should stop making unfounded claims of voter fraud.
Published: 11/13/18
Editorial: Get Hillsborough transit priorities in shape

Editorial: Get Hillsborough transit priorities in shape

Hillsborough County scored a historic win this month when voters approved a one-cent sales tax to pay for transportation improvements. The $9 billion or more it will generate over the next 30 years should transform mobility across the region and impr...
Published: 11/12/18
Editorial: Deadly danger of wrong-way driving

Editorial: Deadly danger of wrong-way driving

The state is taking action to minimize wrong-way crashes
Published: 11/11/18
Updated: 11/12/18
Editorial: Makeover on the Pinellas School Board

Editorial: Makeover on the Pinellas School Board

Three veterans depart, clearing the way for new faces
Published: 11/09/18
Updated: 11/12/18

Editorial: Count every vote

Elections have two parts: You vote, then count the vote. Floridians did their part by turning out in record numbers in Tuesday’s midterm elections. Now it falls to local election supervisors to ensure that every vote is accurately counted.
Published: 11/09/18
Updated: 11/12/18
Editorial: A progressive shift in Hillsborough

Editorial: A progressive shift in Hillsborough

Tuesday’s elections should create a more constructive climate in Hillsborough politics, easing the social wars in recent years between Democrats and Republicans that too often resulted in polarizing urban and suburban constituencies.
Published: 11/09/18
Editorial: A smart plan for helping mom-and-pops

Editorial: A smart plan for helping mom-and-pops

St. Petersburg would limit the size of storefronts on two commercial corridors
Published: 11/09/18

Editorial: Good houseguests

A donation of furniture to schools shows how thoughtful little things can make a big difference
Published: 11/09/18

Friday’s letters: Making sense of the midterms

Friday’s letters to the editor
Published: 11/09/18