Florida has always been a state to watch, if only as a guilty pleasure or perhaps in self-defense. But some major political stars are aligning and the pundits are beginning to agree, Florida will really be a State To Watch from now at least through the 2016 election.
The personalities-of-the moment are here. The game-changing demographics are here. And the Florida stage is set for epic -- and deeply symbolic -- political confrontations.
Rep. Dennis Baxley, an Ocala Republican and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, has been all over the news this week. On Monday, responding to the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, he said all remedies must be "on the table" legislatively, including allowing teachers and principals to arm themselves on school grounds.
On Tuesday, after his comments had been reported widely, Baxley issued a statement that this is a time to respect the victims. "Contrary to media reports, no specific proposals have been advanced or filed by me," he wrote.
Republican Governor Rick Scott Friday reacted to speculation that newly registered Democrat Charlie Crist will run against him in 2014. Crist, a former Republican governor who became an independent in 2010, and is now formally registered as a Democrat. Scott says the state lost hundreds of thousands of jobs and saw its debt soar during the Crist administration. "In my first two years, we've turned the corner. Biggest drop in unemployment - it's down to 8.5 percent - and 175,000 private sector jobs. So that's what I'm doing.
The Allen West - Patrick Murphy Congressional standoff is now over. The one-term congressman came close to winning the new District 18 that he had to move to run in, but not close enough, so he conceded today on Fox News. West maintains there were enough ballot irregularities to warrant a close look. And there is no disputing there were voting problems in St. Lucie County. The outgoing GOP Congressman gave no definitive plans for his future. Winner Patrick Murphy has already been through freshman orientation in Washington.
Two strikes and he may be out. A second judge has ruled that he will not hear GOP Congressman Allen West's request for a recount, virtually assuring Patrick Murphy of the District 18 Congressional seat. It happened in St.
For those of you who just don't want to let this election season go, then we have the story for you. Congressman Allen West has one last chance to pull out a win in the 18th congressional district. The race still hasn't been certified. Lawyers for West are scheduled to be in court in St. Lucie County on
Friday to try to get a full recount in his contest with Democrat Patrick Murphy, who is so convinced he's won the seat that he's already gone to Congressional freshman orientation.
The Miami-Dade absentee ballots have all been counted. And color us blue. That blank on the U.S. map usually known as Florida is now filled in. Mitt Romney has conceded Florida. Miami-Dade County itself turned out for Barak Obama in a big way. The final results are : 62% for the President and 38% for Mitt Romney. Now the attention turns to what took so long and how to prevent a repeat performance. Elections Supervisor Penelope Townsley admits more and larger locations are needed and says her department, along with the mayor's office, will examine what can be done differently.