FLA Politics Week in Review

Thumbs Up of the Week

Rick Scott

It was a really solid week for Governor Scott’s campaign for the United States Senate. He won support from Florida’s Police Chiefs in their first ever endorsement in a U.S. Senate race; 55 of Florida’s 67 sheriffs endorsed him; and two polls out this week show him leading Senator Bill Nelson. Granted it’s a long way from election day in November, but Governor Scott is doing all the right things early in the campaign.

Thumbs Down of the Week

Bill Nelson

As good of a week Governor Scott had, Bill Nelson had one of the worst weeks of his political career. Democrats are privately grumbling Nelson is being out-hustled by Governor Scott. A story in Politico Florida highlighted an additional concern Democrats have with Nelson – his lack of outreach to Hispanics. Scott is hammering Nelson with TV ads, while Nelson is pretty much absent from the airwaves. Senate Majority PAC, which supports Democrats, are riding to Nelson’s rescue with an ad hitting Scott’s business and government records. Nelson flip-flopped on his support of an appointment to the federal bench to appease liberal groups. And finally, a story seen only on FLA News Online, we ask the question – How long is too long for Bill Nelson?

Other Political News of the Week

Is Adam Putnam still the front runner for the Republican nomination for Governor? You betcha’. How can we tell? There are a few signs. A new Florida Chamber poll shows Putnam with a 17-point lead over his Republican opponent Congressman Ron DeSantis; Putnam has a sizable money advantage and is using it on TV ads across Florida while DeSantis is taking the Fox News frequent guest strategy (at least for now); and Democrats are attacking Putnam not DeSantis.

After weathering the revelation that his office issued nearly 300 concealed weapons permits to people ineligible to receive them because a former employee didn’t do her job, Democrats are on the attack on this subject, and others – including a roller coaster mishap in Daytona Beach (Putnam’s office inspects amusement park rides). One of the old rules of politics, don’t waste your time on second place candidates.

There’s one factor that could change that front runner status — President Donald Trump. DeSantis touts an endorsement from Trump (he did a quasi-endorsement on Twitter). If Trump goes all-in for DeSantis before the late August primary, it could turn the race on its ear.

Quick Bites

The Democrats efforts to go after rural voters seems like a waste of time. One rural county Republican chairman says Democrats abandoned them long ago.

Judge blames Legislature for failing to fully fund voter-approved land conservation constitutional amendment.

Looking Ahead

It’s qualifying week for candidates running for Governor, Attorney General, Chief Financial Officer, Agriculture Commissioner, state House and Senate, state attorneys, public defenders and local elected offices. It starts Monday and ends Friday at noon. Will there be any last many surprise candidates? Democrats are hoping to win the majority in the state Senate. They have fielded candidates in each race with a Republican incumbent except for the seat held by Wilton Simpson (Citrus, Hernando and Pasco counties).


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