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In year of Democratic hopes, GOP comes out on top in Florida

Nov 19, 2018
Wendy Whitt

This was the year Florida's Democrats spoke ambitiously of ending their 20-year journey in political exile in this battleground state. Instead, election results after a tense and bruising recount showed Republicans coming out on top for governor and even picking up a U.S. Senate seat.

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Sen. Bill Nelson, a Florida political icon who first arrived on Capitol Hill in the decades when Democrats dominated this presidential battleground state, conceded his bitterly close re-election bid to Republican Rick Scott on Sunday, ceding a razor-thin race to the outgoing governor after a bruising recount.

Updated at 3:21 p.m. ET

After two recounts, a deluge of lawsuits and loaded political rhetoric, the 12-day election marathon in Florida is finally drawing to a close.

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Siding with U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson’s campaign and national Democrats, a federal judge early Thursday gave voters until 5 p.m. Saturday to fix ballots that were rejected because of mismatched signatures.

Longtime U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson is not conceding defeat in his attempt for a fourth term in Washington. If he doesn't prevail, it will leave the Democrats without a single statewide elected official.

Roberto Roldan / WUSF Public Media

Governor Rick Scott is sweeping through Tampa this week, making a final appeal to voters ahead of next Tuesday's midterm election.

Two U.S. senators and three congressmen are asking federal officials to bring recreational vehicles and mobile homes to the Florida Panhandle to help residents who lost their homes to Hurricane Michael.

Daylina Miller/WUSF

Former Vice President Joe Biden rallied support for the Florida Democratic candidates for governor and U.S. Senate at a campaign event in Tampa today.

Bethany Tyne / WUSF Public Media

A group of hospitality workers, fishermen, a surf shop owner and scientists gathered Wednesday to share their concerns about the damage red tide is having on the environment and local businesses.

Roberto Roldan / WUSF Public Media

Residents are headed to early voting sites across Tampa Bay this week, while politicians and elections officials try figure out whether Florida's voting system has been hacked.

YUISA RIOS / FEMA

The federal program that has provided hotel vouchers to Puerto Rican families displaced by Hurricane Maria will end on Saturday, and advocates are worried some Tampa Bay families will be left with nowhere to go.

Photo courtesy the City of Sarasota

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced they will give $13.5 million to revitalize the shorelines of Lido Beach.

Update 2:55 p.m., May 14: A spokesperson with Fiat Chrysler has designated May Airbag Recall Repair Month statewide, with an emphasis on Miami, Orlando and Tampa. The designation also applies to Jacksonville residents.

Florida has the highest number of injuries and fatalities as a result of defective Takata airbags, according to automakers.

Nelson, Democrats Blast Proposed Medicaid Cut

May 11, 2018

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson and Democratic U.S. House members Thursday called for the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to reject a move by Gov. Rick Scott’s administration to cut $98 million by trimming the length of time people have to apply for the Medicaid program.

“I rise here today because the state of Florida has again proposed to harm thousands of seniors and folks with disabilities who rely on Medicaid for their health care,” Nelson, a Democrat who faces an election challenge this year from Scott, said on the Senate floor.

Florida Leaders Blast Oil Drilling Changes

Apr 30, 2018

Members of Florida’s congressional delegation from both sides of the political aisle denounced a White House proposal Friday that they say would weaken offshore oil-drilling regulations.

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.

U.S. Senator Bill Nelson won’t support Supreme Court Nominee Neil Gorsuch. 

Florida U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson on Wednesday unveiled a $1 trillion plan aimed at rebuilding the nation's crumbling, roads, bridges and airports. During a visit to Tampa, Nelson says it would create more than 15 million new jobs by fixing roads, expanding bus and rail systems and modernizing ports and rebuild public schools.

Politico

Florida Senator Bill Nelson wants the Department of Justice to investigate the state's Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles for selling peoples' private information.

Sen. Nelson Calls For More Zika Funding

Apr 21, 2016

Florida Democratic Senator Bill Nelson is calling on Congress to approve Zika response funding.

Many Americans watched in shock as the Space Shuttle Challenger disintegrated over the Florida sky 30 years ago.

U.S. Senator Bill Nelson, D-FL, was one of the viewers who had tuned in to the national broadcast. Then a U.S. representative, Nelson arrived back to earth only 10 days earlier after a six-day mission in space. 

It would be the final successful mission to space before the Challenger disaster.

Loose Ends Remain After USF Issues Report on Dozier

Jan 22, 2016
Steve Cannon / AP Photo

University of South Florida researchers presented their final report on the Robert G. Dozier School for Boys to the state cabinet Thursday, and even though this closes one chapter in a lengthy saga, a number of loose ends remain.

Sen. Bill Nelson announced Thursday that he has prostate cancer and will have surgery on Monday.

The cancer was discovered early during a routine medical exam, Nelson's office said in a statement. Extensive scans showed no evidence that the cancer had spread.

The 72-year-old Democrat said the diagnosis does not affect his plan to run for re-election in 2018. He said he had no symptoms.

"I've been blessed with good health, which has allowed me the great privilege of public service, and I look forward to continuing serving our country and Florida," Nelson said.

Katy Hennig / USF News

UPDATE 3/18/15 10:45 a.m.
Updated headline to indicate the Florida Department of Law Enforcement will conduct "an inquiry" and not "an investigation" into USF's findings.

In an email sent to WUSF 89.7 News Wednesday morning, FDLE Communications Director Gretl Plessinger said, "We are conducting a preliminary inquiry to assess any new information from the January USF report.  If there is criminal predicate, we will open an investigation."

ORIGINAL POST 3/17/15 5 p.m.
With a single sentence, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement indicated it will look into what investigators from the University of South Florida have turned up at the Dozier School for Boys in the Panhandle town of Marianna.

Katy Hennig / USF News

Florida Senator Bill Nelson has asked the Department of Justice - and not Florida law enforcement officials - to open an investigation into the Dozier School for Boys.

In 2009, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement concluded there was no criminal wrongdoing at the now closed Marianna reform school, despite decades of allegations of abuse of students by school officials.

Nelson Calls for Travel Bans After Ebola Concerns

Oct 8, 2014
Wikimedia Creative Commons

Senator Bill Nelson wants to suspend travel from some countries in West Africa affected by the Ebola virus.

Nelson met with U.S. Customs officials at Orlando International Airport on Wednesday to try and gain support for the ban.

Nelson asked Secretary of State John Kerry to stop issuing new visas to citizens of three countries in West Africa - Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say have the highest rates of Ebola infections.

Senator Nelson Speaks Out Against E-Cigarettes

Jul 11, 2014
fr.wikipedia.org

Tobacco commercials were banned in 1971. However, nicotine has found its way back into the marketing game via e-cigarettes. Florida U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson says e-cigarette advertising should be banned and e-cigarette liquid containers need to be childproofed.

E-cigarettes contain a nicotine infused liquid that can be deadly when ingested.

PolitiFact Says Promise Kept for Scott on Taxes

Jun 25, 2014
politifact.com

Florida Republican Governor Rick Scott is no fan of taxes, promising to "oppose and veto any and all efforts to increase taxes."

And PolitiFact Florida says Scott has followed through on that promise.

politifact.com

U.S. Senator Bill Nelson wants Florida to be ready if and when a hurricane strikes.

That's why during a recent Senate Armed Services committee hearing, Nelson argued against cuts to the Florida National Guard.

As he made his argument, Nelson also took a little jab at New York State.

Nelson said, ""My state of Florida is now the third-largest state. We have surpassed New York in population."

What Santa Gave Your Senator This Year

Dec 19, 2013

In a year that featured divisive fights over the budget, health care and presidential nominations, the United States Senate took a break from partisan bickering Tuesday night to get in the Christmas spirit.

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