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.

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Cathy Carter / WUSF News

Hillary Clinton spent her 69th birthday in Tampa.

The Democratic presidential nominee was at Curtis Hixon Park in downtown Tampa Wednesday to urge Florida voters to take advantage of in-person early voting.

Several amendments to the state constitution will be on the ballot on election day, including one that would regulate solar energy. The wording of Amendment 1 has created some confusion, so WUSF's Steve Newborn shines a little light on that with PolitiFact Florida's Josh Gillin.

Many people believe the presidential campaign has sunk to new lows. Former Florida Governor and Senator Bob Graham suggests the name-calling and mud-slinging could be corrosive to democracy -- but it could also be an opportunity for people to try to change the country by getting more involved.

Steve Newborn / WUSF News

President Obama's decision to open the U.S. market to Cuban cigars could impact Tampa. Wednesday, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio toured the city's sole remaining cigar manufacturer, J.C. Newman Cigar Co., and he has more than the island nation in his sights.

He also took aim at new U.S. regulations. Those include government approval of new cigar blends and requiring larger warning labels on cigar boxes. Rubio says that's something the Cubans won't have to do.


After a campaign that seemingly has lasted years, the two main candidates for U.S. Senate finally met for a debate. Monday night's match in Orlando between incumbent Republican Marco Rubio and Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy revolved around a lot of allegations - and mostly about how little each other has accomplished while in office.

Steve Newborn / WUSF News

Both Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio appeared in Tampa over the weekend at the Florida GOP Victory 2016  fundraising dinner. 

Indiana Gov. Pence talked about how a Hillary Clinton presidency would change the country. How it would change the makeup of the Supreme Court  for generations. How it would enshrine Obamacare forever. He said despite all the talk about Donald Trump's comments about women, there is a great hunger out there for change.  


Fracking in Florida and marijuana-laced candy have become campaign fodder during this political season. So PolitiFact Florida's Josh Gillin has dug into these claims, and talks about these "half-truths" with WUSF's Steve Newborn.

Steve Newborn / WUSF News

One of the most hotly contested races for Congress in the Tampa Bay area pits two well-known candidates: Former Gov. Charlie Crist and the incumbent, Congressman David Jolly. The two debated recently at the Suncoast Tiger Bay Club in St. Petersburg.

In this excerpt from this week's Florida Matters, they were asked by an audience member what they would do to achieve meaningful campaign finance reform. First, we'll hear from the Democratic challenger, Crist.

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 Gillin 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 Gillin 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 Gillin 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.