Steve Newborn

Assistant News Director

Steve Newborn is WUSF's assistant news director as well as a reporter and producer at WUSF covering environmental issues, politics and transportation in the Tampa Bay area.

He’s been with WUSF since 2001, and has covered events such as President George W. Bush’s speech in Sarasota as the Sept. 11 attacks unfolded; the ongoing drama over whether the feeding tube should be removed from Terri Schiavo; the arrest and terrorism trial of USF professor Sami Al-Arian; how the BP Deepwater Horizon spill affected Florida; and he followed the Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition through the state - twice.

Before joining WUSF, he covered environmental and Polk County news for the Tampa Tribune and worked for NASA at the Kennedy Space Center during the early days of the space shuttle.

Ways to Connect

Clyde Butcher

The renowned photographer Ansel Adams once said, "Sometimes I do get to places just when God's ready to have somebody click the shutter."

Clyde Butcher, whose expansive nature photographs of Florida have been compared to Adams, seemingly has to wait a bit longer. He's been known to wallow in alligator-infested waters an entire day - just waiting for the right light.


It was 90 nonstop minutes of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump all over the airwaves Monday night, and the claims came thick and fast from both candidates.

They talked about everything from Clinton's claim that Trump's tax plan will add trillions to the national debt; whether the debt has been doubled under President Obama; if more black men have been killed by guns than the next nine causes combined.

Joe Berg/Way Down Video - Courtesy Mote Marine Laboratory

Mote Marine Laboratory has announced it has raised more than $50 million in the Sarasota laboratory's first comprehensive fundraising campaign. President and CEO Michael Crosby said the money will be used for long-term sustainable projects to help preserve unique marine life.

Several longtime politicians were sent packing by voters in the recent primaries. Those include former Hillsborough County Commissioner Jim Norman, current commissioner Kevin Beckner, and state Rep. Ed Narain. All these candidates had been in public office a long time, and now they're out of the game. But do old politicians really fade away, or do they - ala former Gov. Charlie Crist - reinvent themselves and run again?

WUSF's Steve Newborn asks veteran political analyst William March what happens to the losers.

Associated Press photo/courtesy PolitiFact Florida

Sparks were flying during Monday's debate between Congressman David Jolly and Charlie Crist for the Congressional District 13 seat. Jolly brought up Crist's former nickname, "Chain Gang Charlie," from 20 years ago and accused the former governor of looming over black prisoners in chains and calling it "a great sight." But did he? WUSF's Steve Newborn asks that question to Katie Sanders of PolitiFact Florida.

Steve Newborn / WUSF News

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Patrick Murphy talked to about a dozen Democratic faithful at the Arco Iris Restaurant in West Tampa  Monday. There, Murphy refused to say if he will participate in all six debates incumbent Republican Sen. Marco Rubio has proposed.

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The battle of the airwaves is heating up in the race for Florida's U.S. Senate seat. So WUSF's Steve Newborn talks with PolitiFact Florida's Josh Gillen to look at two claims lobbed by a Republican lobbying committee against Democrat Patrick Murphy.

Steve Newborn / WUSF News

There were lots of times during the recent presidential debates where Marco Rubio was taken to task for missing more than his share of votes in the Senate. But does he have the worst voting record of any Florida senator in half a century? WUSF's Steve Newborn looks into that and a claim that Rubio helped a woman get an experimental drug, with Josh Gillen of PolitiFact Florida.

Steve Newborn / WUSF News

Hillary Clinton spoke to more than 1,000 people Tuesday afternoon in a gymnasium at the University of South Florida Tampa. There, before a crowd mixed with students and others, she took jabs at her presidential opponent, Republican Donald Trump, and spoke directly to Floridians.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

UPDATED: Wednesday, 11:00 a.m.

It appears we won't know the official winner of the State Senate District 19 race until at least Friday.

Only 61 votes separated the apparent winner, State. Rep. Darryl Rouson of St. Petersburg, and State Rep. Ed Narain of Tampa.

That's well within the threshold of one-half of 1 percent needed to trigger a recount.

Meredith Beatrice, communications director for the Florida Division of Elections, says a "machine recount" is automatically triggered if the numbers are less than that amount. She says they won't know the official tally until all ballots are delivered to the Division from elections officials in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties by noon Friday.

Republican Party of Florida

Now that the results are in from Florida's primaries, let's take a look at some of the claims from politicians who are continuing to vie for your vote in November. WUSF's Steve Newborn talks with PolitiFact Florida's Josh Gillen about recent comments from U.S. Senate candidate Patrick Murphy and the Republican Party of Florida.

Courtesy Manatee Education Television

One of the most hotly contested races is for the newly redrawn state Senate District 23 seat held by Nancy Detert. It's been shifted south to include Sarasota and parts of coastal Charlotte counties. The five Republicans vying for the seat during Tuesday's primary are seemingly trying to out-conservative each other.

Steve Newborn / WUSF News

Donald Trump spoke to several thousand people Wednesday at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa. There, he expanded his appeal to African-Americans and Hispanics, saying they can benefit from his proposed job programs as much as the rest of Americans.

Battling claims about the upcoming referendum on medical marijuana are creating a cloud of confusion. So WUSF's Steve Newborn attempts to clear the air on Amendment 2 with Josh Gillen of PolitiFact Florida.

Steve Newborn / WUSF News

One of the more heated races coming up during the August 30 primaries is for State Senate District 19. It's a majority-minority district, being vacated by Arthenia Joyner, the longtime Tampa politician and the Senate minority leader.

Reporter Steve Newborn looks into this race with WUSF's political analyst William March, who says it's pitting a lot of black politicians in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties against each other.

What's the buzz on claims that Gov. Scott somehow abetted the Zika crisis by cutting back on funding to combat mosquitoes? And how much of a "Charlie Crist Republican" is U.S. Senate candidate Carlos Beruff?   WUSF's Steve Newborn digs down to the truth with Amy Hollyfield of PolitiFact Florida.

Ledger of Lakeland

Journalists at The Ledger newspaper in Lakeland voted overwhelmingly Thursday to form a union.  The 22 to 3 vote comes after years of cutbacks at the paper.

Unions are a rare thing in Florida, and amost unheard of at newspapers. So it made news when employees of The Ledger voted to become the only unionized newsroom in the state.

Does Florida really offer wages way below the national average? And are the Clintons really worth $100 million? We take a look at these claims with PolitiFact Florida's Josh Gillen.

Steve Newborn / WUSF News

Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton took to the stage of the Coliseum in St. Petersburg Monday afternoon where she bashed rival Donald Trump's economic plan and promoted her own.

There's still a big hole in the ground where a 52-story tower was supposed to have been built by Donald Trump in downtown Tampa. But did he really "pocket the money and walk away" when it didn't get built? To answer that question, and see if Rick Scott is right on the economy, we talk with Josh Gillen of PolitiFact Florida.

During the recent Democratic convention in Philadelphia, vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine took aim at Donald Trump, well, more than a few times. But one comment perked the ears of many people in Florida: