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A new poll out of the University of North Florida says a potential 2018 matchup for the U-S Senate seat held by Democrat Bill Nelson between the incumbent and Republican Governor Rick Scott is too tight to call.

Michael Binder directs the UNF public opinion research lab. 

"The really surprising aspect for me was the fact that 49 percent of the sample didn't know how to rate Bill Nelson on his job approval. And that's a really shocking number for a three-term sitting U.S. Senator," Binder said.

As political insiders look to whether term-limited Gov. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) will run for the U.S. Senate, a new UNF poll out this morning shows that if he does, incumbent Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) will have a tough battle ahead.


Daylina Miller/WUSF News

A music festival Sunday in Pasco County featured not only local bands, but local political candidates.

"VoteFest" featured five local bands taking the stage in between three-minute speeches by candidates for city, county, state, and national offices.

Photo courtesy PolitiFact Florida

Now that the election season is in full swing, the claims are coming fast and furious from political aspirants.

Due to Hurricane Irma, Florida lawmakers are warning their constituents that they may not have a lot of money this year for local projects. It comes as legislators across the state hold legislative delegation meetings where the public, local governments, and organizations outline their funding requests.

Florida Governor Rick Scott is declaring a state of emergency ahead of a white supremacist speech at the University of Florida in Gainesville.  Richard Spencer will speak at the University of Florida Thursday.

In a swift, 20-minute meeting, the panel charged with updating the Florida Constitution on Tuesday rejected all but a few of the 2,012 public proposals submitted to the Constitution Revision Commission, advancing only six of them, after months of encouraging the public to submit ideas.

SAN JUAN – Like many in Congress, Florida Senator Bill Nelson had been frustrated by not being able to see Puerto Rico’s hurricane destruction first hand. So Sunday he took a commercial flight to the U.S. island territory – and voiced some criticism of U.S. relief efforts.

Former Congressmen David Jolly, a Republican, and Patrick Murphy, a Democrat, are currently on a speaking tour to address the lack of bi-partisanship in Congress. 

State Lawmakers Target Stadiums on Public Lands

Oct 10, 2017
Wikipedia Commons

A ban on professional sports franchises building or renovating stadiums on publicly owned land is ready to go to the full Florida House, after speeding through only one committee in advance of the 2018 legislative session.

The House Government Accountability Committee on Tuesday voted 15-6 to approve the measure (HB 13), which would also prohibit the state or local governments from leasing existing facilities to sports franchises below fair market value.

A Republican primary for Florida’s House of Representatives District 58 will be held Tuesday, Oct. 10. The candidates are Republicans Yvonne Fry and Lawrence McClure.

Florida lawmakers are heading back to the state capitol Monday. They’ll discuss some of the issues expected to dominate the 2018 legislative session.

Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, shutting down the island’s roads and power systems, leaving many isolated and in the dark. Now thousands are evacuating the U.S. territory for the mainland. Many may settle in Florida’s purple counties ahead of the 2018 elections.

Bob Mack/The Florida Times-Union via AP)

Are Florida's beaches and stormwater systems up to the test in the face of perhaps more - and more intense - hurricanes because of global warming? 

A member of the state Constitution Revision Commission wants to open up Florida’s primary elections, at least somewhat. The proposal would close the state’s loophole for write-in candidates.

Suncoast Tiger Bay Club

Orlando attorney John Morgan continued his flirtation with running for governor during a stop Wednesday in St. Petersburg. There, he didn't hide his opinions.

The differing views of St. Petersburg mayoral candidates were on display Tuesday night as Rick Kriseman and Rick Baker gathered with residents for a forum to discuss issues affecting the city.

Photo Courtesy PolitiFact Florida/Miami Herald

The subject of illegal immigration is never far from the front burner of politics, especially in the wake of President Trump's recent decision to look at rescinding DACA. That could revoke the legal status of children brought illegally into the country.

Second Democrat To Seek Sarasota House Seat

Sep 22, 2017
Florida House of Representatives website

A second Democratic candidate has opened a campaign account to run in a special election for the House seat vacated by former state Rep. Alex Miller, R-Sarasota. 

Clearwater Republican Senator Jack Latvala wants Florida’s utility companies to stop contributing to campaigns this election cycle and invest in improving equipment instead.

A state legislator wants to reaffirm Florida’s commitment—to a horse and a turtle.

A Florida lawmaker is once again trying to reform the state’s community redevelopment agencies. The taxpayer-funded programs would have to meet stricter reporting and ethics requirements.

‘Dreamers' Decision Creates Dilemma For Florida Republicans

Sep 6, 2017
Rick Scott (Facebook)

President Donald Trump's decision to do away with his predecessor's policy that benefited hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants known as “dreamers” has put Florida Republicans in a bind.

Updated at 3:57 p.m. ET

The Trump administration Tuesday formally announced it will end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program — also called DACA — putting an expiration date on the legal protections granted to roughly 800,000 people known as "DREAMers," who entered the country illegally as children.

President Trump issued a statement, saying, "I do not favor punishing children, most of whom are now adults, for the actions of their parents. But we must also recognize that we are nation of opportunity because we are a nation of laws."

President Donald Trump is likely to announce the end of a program that extends legal protections to people who were brought into the U.S. illegally as children, multiple news agencies report.

Gov. Rick Scott has taken two more capital murder cases from a prosecutor who is opposed to the death penalty.

Florida’s largest registered club for Trump supporters has broken away from the state’s Republican Party. The Orange County Trump Republican Club was chartered in March under the Republican Party of Florida. Since then, its mission has been to maintain the momentum of election season and expand grassroots organizing ahead of the president’s re-election bid in 2020.

Undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children face an uncertain future in Florida and across the country as the the federal program that's given them paperwork for school and jobs and shielded them from deportation faces a pivotal moment under the Trump Administration. Trump is expected to decide by Sept. 5 whether to end or renew the program known as DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

The 2018 Governor’s race could lead to Florida’s Senate Budget Chairman and House Speaker squaring off against each other in the primary. But, for now, Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran says he does not think the campaign trail will affect the legislature’s handling of the upcoming year’s budget.

The race for St. Petersburg mayor is technically non-partisan. But party politics may have been a factor in the razor-thin primary finish Tuesday night.

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