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Left: WLRN, Right: Ron DeSantis' Twitter

The men who are vying to be Florida's next governor cast votes for themselves Tuesday morning, with Republican Ron DeSantis near Jacksonville and Democrat Andrew Gillum in Tallahassee.

DeSantis, who represented a northwest Florida district in Congress before resigning his seat to focus on his gubernatorial campaign, went to the polls in Ponte Vedra Beach with his wife Casey early Tuesday morning.

Jessica Bakeman / WLRN

Activist Emma González, who became famous after giving an impassioned speech in Fort Lauderdale days after the shooting at her Parkland high school in February, stood on the steps of Florida's old state Capitol building on Monday and urged people to vote.

"Gun violence is on the ballot," González said. "Our lives are in the hands of the people that we elect. Vote in every election like it's your last, because it very well could be."

Jessica Bakeman / WLRN

Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis told voters at a Jewish deli in Aventura on Tuesday he'd be a champion for Israel if elected governor.

Andrew Gillum and Ron DeSantis.
Miami Herald

Longtime Republican strategist Mac Stipanovich says the Florida governor’s race between Democrat Andrew Gillum and Republican Ron DeSantis  is shaping up to be an echo of the 2016 presidential race.

Miami Herald

South Florida voters will need to do some homework before heading to the ballot box in the upcoming November general election. Some voters may have more than one page of items and races to vote on. That includes 12 amendment items to be considered for inclusion in the state constitution.

Some of those amendments are actually more than one item that had to be bundled together as to not have too many items on the ballot. A couple of those are being challenged in court.

Leslie Ovalle / WLRN

Churches and local organizations met voters at their polling places on Sunday with food and music to celebrate the last day of in-person early voting before Florida's primary Election Day on Aug. 28.

The voting drives held on this day--the Sunday before Election Day-- have come to be known as "Souls to the Polls." It stems from a long-standing tradition in the black community to combat voting disenfranchisement by providing transportation to the polls.  

Leslie Ovalle / WLRN

Supporters waving campaign signs and a warm cup of Cuban coffee awaited Republican candidate for governor Adam Putnam this afternoon at La Carreta Restaurant on Bird Road in Miami. 

"South Florida is an engine of our state," Putnam said. "Where would we be without the vibrant South Florida economy?"

Miami Activist Aids Nicaraguans Fleeing to Costa Rica

Aug 2, 2018
Courtesy of Dimitri Largaespada

Some Nicaraguans in Miami who have been organizing to aid those opposing President Daniel Ortega are now focusing their efforts on the country's neighbor, Costa Rica.

Claire Thornton / WLRN News

Fast food workers  attending a rally in Lauderhill Tuesday said their lives consist of nothing but work and paying bills. They're unable to go to school, they're worried about taking time off to go to the doctor and their homes often lack electricity.

But they're fighting to change that, starting at the local level.

Jessica Bakeman / WLRN

A woman who was separated from her two sons at the U.S. border paid $15,000 in bond to be released from detention. But the federal government did not make arrangements to send her from the West Coast to Florida, where her children were being held, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said after meeting the woman on Friday.

Claire Thornton / WLRN News

During rush hour in downtown Ft. Lauderdale, March for Our Lives activists rallied for increased gun control  on the steps of the federal courthouse - the same place where they challenged lawmakers by "calling BS" over four months ago.

Friday's rally was part of a state-wide bus tour that includes all of Florida's 27 congressional districts. The students say their main goal is increasing the youth voter turnout rate.

Gage Skidmore (Flickr)

A group of Democratic lawmakers criticized what they say is a slow response from Governor Rick Scott to the Trump administration policy of separating migrant families at the border.

State Representative Javier Fernandez, a Democrat from South Miami, said during a Tuesday conference call that Scott has a track record of being hostile towards immigrants. Fernandez's main concern is to make sure that state resources aren’t used to enforce what Democrats say is a “cruel and inhumane policy.”

Claire Thornton

Hundreds of protesters representing 23 advocacy groups rallied on Saturday against the Trump administration’s family separation policies at a Homestead detention center for children who crossed the Southern U.S. border.

Chants of “Hey, Trump, leave the kids alone!” remained steady throughout the protest, even when it began to rain heavily. Many of those leading chants were children themselves.

Sam Turken / WLRN

"If you could wave a magic wand and have the governor do one thing, what would it be?"

That was among the questions asked of those attending Monday's Democratic primary gubernatorial debate.

The Color of Change political action committee passed out bingo cards as an ice-breaker for representatives of different Democratic organizations at the event. The bingo cards prompted attendees to answer questions about challenges facing Floridians and what they are looking for in a governor.

Claire Thornton

Nicaraguans in Miami eager to provide aid to their home country are planning to deliver medical supplies to those in need.

Recent anti-government protests in Nicaragua have caused the country to nearly shut down, and injured protesters do not have access to proper medical care, according to the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights. The United Nations human rights office has asked Nicaragua's government to let it enter the country and gather evidence about the deaths of protesters, many of whom were students. Over 800 people have been injured, according to IACHR.

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