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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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.

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 Gillin 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 Gillin.

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 Gillin 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:

Democrat Patrick Murphy must have seemed like the perfect candidate when he announced he was running for U.S. Senate. The 33-year-old Palm Beach Congressman is young, telegenic and politically moderate.  But recently, a spate of controversies, along with GOP incumbent Marco Rubio’s surprise entry into the race, have called Murphy’s front-runner status into question.

Steve Newborn / WUSF News

Groups of community and religious leaders held news conferences throughout the state today to call for restoration of the right to vote for convicted felons who have completed their sentences. One such group met in Tampa.

A nonprofit group called The Sentencing Project estimates nearly 6 million Americans are affected. And about 1 1/2 million Floridians - nearly one in every 10 Floridians - can't vote. That's the highest rate in the country.

There's a lot of talking going on in Philadelphia this week, as Democrats host their national convention. So with a lot of promises being bandied about, we check in with PolitiFact editor Angie Holan to do some on-site fact-checking.

Here's the scoop from PolitiFact:

1. "For families making less than $125,000 a year, we will eliminate tuition" for in-state students at public colleges.

Nick Solari (Wikimedia Commons)

There's been a lot of heartburn at the Democratic convention in Philadelphia as Bernie Sanders supporters bemoan the lack of respect they think their candidate has been getting. But Ramsay McLauchlan of Pinellas County, the Deputy Whip of the Florida delegation, said that's changing.

Steve Newborn / WUSF News

Gov. Rick Scott was at Port Tampa Bay today to unveil two huge cranes that will allow port workers to unload cargo from larger ships going through the newly-widened Panama Canal. 

Scott and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio pushed a ceremonial button that activated a pair of towering gantries at Tampa's port. The 30-story cranes are part of a $24 million effort by the state and the port to accommodate larger ships coming from the Panama Canal.

In the past couple of decades, "unions" has become a dirty word in Florida. This is a right to work state, and it seems even mentioning the word has become kind of a political dagger - just think of teacher's unions.  Most of the remaining unions are focused on trades, so when news came about newspaper reporters at The Ledger in Lakeland wanting to unionize, that made headlines.