2020 presidential election

WUSF FILE

When Martha Santiago moved to Polk County, Florida, from Puerto Rico in 1979 to teach in one of the county’s first bilingual schools, there were two certainties.

One was that oranges were an economic engine in the county that is wedged between Tampa and Orlando. The other was that orange picking and other agricultural labor was done mostly by undocumented workers from Mexico.

Updated at 12:25 p.m. ET

Viewers tuning in for the latest Democratic presidential candidates' debate Tuesday night may sense something missing in Des Moines.

Wilfredo Lee / AP

With the presidency on the ballot this year, there are real fears of attempts by foreign powers to interfere in Florida’s election. Increasing election security is a priority for local, state and federal officials.

Miami Herald

Among the news that will likely dominate headlines in 2020 is the upcoming presidential election — and ever the swing state, Florida typically plays a crucial role on Election Day.

Voters will first cast their ballots in March during the presidential primary. Several Democratic candidates began rallying in South Florida last year — especially during the first debate held in Miami.

Updated at 10:30 a.m. ET

Julián Castro, the only Latino candidate in the Democratic field, has ended his presidential campaign.

Castro released a video on Twitter on Thursday, saying that his campaign had "stood up for the most vulnerable people" and had "given a voice to those who are often forgotten."

He adds in the video: "I'm not done fighting. I'll keep working toward a nation where everyone counts."

Castro served as secretary of housing and urban development in the Obama administration and, before that, was mayor of San Antonio, Texas.

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Seven candidates are onstage Thursday night for the sixth Democratic presidential debate. It is the smallest and least diverse group yet.

PBS NewsHour and Politico are hosting the debate in Los Angeles, beginning at 8 p.m. ET. It is expected to last about three hours.

Wilfredo Lee / Associated Press

Despite much-publicized efforts by the Florida Democratic Party and its allies, state data shows Republicans in the swing state are far outpacing Democrats when it comes to the raw number of registered voters.

Joe Biden is dismissing calls from President Trump and his allies that Biden testify during an impeachment trial in the Senate, saying any effort to compel his testimony should be viewed as part of a strategy to distract from the president's conduct.

"No, I'm not going to let you take the eye off the ball here. Everybody knows what this is about," the former vice president told NPR when asked whether he would cooperate with a subpoena. "This is a Trump gambit he plays. Whenever he's in trouble he tries to find someone else to divert attention to."

Updated at 12:22 ET

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is making a late entry into the presidential race, a move that could upend the Democratic nominating contest this spring.

Bloomberg said in a statement Sunday that he is running to rebuild America and defeat President Trump, whom he says "represents an existential threat to our country and our values."

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Wednesday's Democratic presidential debate in Atlanta took place in the middle of a flurry of impeachment hearings and less than three months away from the first primary votes.

Updated at 9:05 a.m. ET

Candidates seeking the Democratic presidential nomination took to the debate stage for the fifth time Wednesday night. There weren't any groundbreaking or game-changing moments, but here are five things that stood out:

1. Impeachment hearings may have taken some steam out of the debate

Let's face it: The biggest story of Wednesday was not the debate, it was the impeachment testimony of Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union.

Atlanta's Tyler Perry Studios has been home to Wakanda, the White House and The Walking Dead, but on Wednesday night it will host its most topical production yet: the next Democratic presidential primary debate, hosted by MSNBC and The Washington Post.

Amid a slew of public impeachment hearings, Democratic presidential candidates are gathering in Atlanta to debate once again. This round also comes less than three months before the first primaries and caucuses.

Ten candidates made the cut, down from a record of 12 in October's debate.

For decades, the cybersecurity community has had a consistent message: Mixing the Internet and voting is a horrendous idea.

"I believe that's about the worst thing you can do in terms of election security in America, short of putting American ballot boxes on a Moscow street," howled Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., on the Senate floor this year.

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