Wednesday, October 17, 2018


Steve Bousquet, Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau

Steve Bousquet, Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau

Steve Bousquet is the Tampa Bay Times' Tallahassee bureau chief. He joined the Times in 2001 after 17 years at the Miami Herald, where he held a variety of positions including Tallahassee bureau chief, and he previously was a reporter at TV stations in Miami and Providence, R.I. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Rhode Island and a master's in history from Florida State University. Bousquet was a contributor to two editions of The Almanac of Florida Politics and to The Miami Herald Report: Democracy Held Hostage, an account of the 2000 presidential recount in Florida.

A rejected mail ballot in Pinellas [Steve Bousquet - Tampa Bay Times]

Republicans mailing in more ballots than Democrats; Lee County is No. 1

It's still early, but there's no sign of a blue wave in the initial wave of mail ballot returns in Florida.Figures filed Wednesday with the state show that more Republicans than Democrats are returning their mail ballots, 20 days before...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Gov. Rick Scott meets with Gadsden County officials in Quincy [Steve Bousquet - Tampa Bay Times]

Disaster politics on display: Raves for Rick Scott in storm-battered Gadsden

QUINCY, Fla. — When the governor of Florida visits Gadsden County, it's a big deal. Especially after a Category 4 hurricane. Even though the governor is a Republican and just about everybody in Gadsden County is a Democrat.Gov.
Updated: 3 hours ago
Building materials lay piled against the home of Robert and Beatrice Baker in Mexico Beach [Douglas R. Clifford -- Times]

After Michael’s fury, hardest-hit counties say changes in voting are needed

TALLAHASSEE — Three weeks before Election Day, county elections officials want Gov. Rick Scott to approve changes in voting in the counties hardest hit by Hurricane Michael in the Florida Panhandle.With no electricity or Internet,...
Published: 10/16/18
FEMA director Brock Long, left, talks with President Donald Trump after he arrives at Eglin Air Force Base to visit areas affected by Hurricane Michael. [AP]

Trump arrives in Panhandle: ‘Many of these people have no home’

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. — President Donald Trump arrived in the Florida Panhandle Monday to view the devastation caused by Hurricane Michael and to personally thank first responders.Air Force One landed at Eglin Air Force Base...
Published: 10/15/18
A screen shot of the state's online voter registration portal Tuesday [Special to the Tampa Bay Times]

In the eye of another storm — this one over voting in Florida

That huge swirling menace in the Gulf known as Hurricane Michael has the attention of Floridians four weeks before Election Day.But a disturbance of another kind is intensifying, and it involves voting.Two controversies erupted at...
Published: 10/09/18
Updated: 10/10/18
Gov. Rick Scott on Tuesday at state emergency headquarters in Tallahassee [Tampa BayTimes}

Gov. Rick Scott warns of ‘monstrous storm’ with massive flooding

TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Panhandle braced itself on Tuesday for its strongest hurricane in decades, a Category 3 monster with storm surge powerful enough to cause massive flooding in the northwest tier of the state."Hurricane...
Published: 10/09/18
An image of Hurricane Michael [Twitter]

As Michael closes in, Florida has its own storm-related issues

As hurricane warnings went up, the state disaster web site went down.Shelters were open, yet a U.S. senator was blocked from a state briefing room. And the state's emergency management management director predicted "plenty of punches"...
Published: 10/09/18
Democrat Andrew Gillum (left) faces Republican Ron DeSantis (right) in the 2018 contest for Florida governor. [Matias J. Ocner/Miami Herald | AP Photo/John Raoux]

Andrew Gillum and Rick Scott hold slight leads in new poll

Democrat Andrew Gillum has a 3-point lead over Republican Ron DeSantis in Florida's race for governor, and Republican Rick Scott leads Democrat Bill Nelson by 1.5 points in the race for U.S. Senate. In both cases, the leader's advantage is...
Published: 10/08/18
Colleen Branam, center, switched her allegiance in 2018 from no party affiliation to the Democratic Party [Facebook]

No party? No more as voters shift toward Democratic Party

Colleen Branam of St. Petersburg was one of the 3.5 million voters in Florida with an independent streak. She was registered with no party affiliation, the fastest-growing segment of Florida's electorate in recent years.But when Branam...
Published: 10/08/18
Martin Munro, Elections Administrator, Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections, moves some of the 257,000 mail ballots Tuesday at the Election Service Center, Largo. The mail ballots were trucked to the U.S. Post Office to be mailed to voters. (SCOTT KEELER  |   Times)

Democrats build advantage over Republicans in mail ballots

More Democrats than Republicans in Florida have been sent mail ballots for the November election — a trend that Democrats say is historic and a result of better outreach to Hispanic voters.As of Friday, the Division of Elections...
Published: 10/05/18