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Government

  • Qualifying opens for local candidates

    By WILLIAM SNOWDEN
    Editor

    Qualifying for local candidates got underway on Monday at the Supervisor of Elections office.
    County Commission Candidate Quincee Messersmith was the first candidate to qualify for the ballot. Messersmith is currently unopposed to replace District 4 Commissioner Jerry Moore, who is retiring.
    County Commissioner Randy Merritt, who has filed to run for re-election in District 2, has yet to draw an opponent.
    For School Board District 1, Verna Brock is seeking re-election and so far as no opposition.

  • Judge sides with environmentalists in land dispute

    By JIM TURNER
    News Service of Florida

    TALLAHASSEE –Striking a blow to the Legislature, a Tallahassee judge said state lawmakers failed to comply with a voter-approved constitutional amendment to buy and preserve environmentally sensitive lands.

  • Democrats go from nasty to nice

    By DARA KAM
    NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

    TALLAHASSEE – Two debates, two days apart – between the same candidates – may have left many viewers wondering what happened.
    On Saturday night, four feisty Democrats vying to replace Gov. Rick Scott tore into each other’s records, hammering on a range of issues that included the minimum wage, coal-fired power plants, and Syrian refugees.
    But 48 hours later, the boxing gloves were on the shelf and the kid gloves were back on.

  • Politics, pot, and grim numbers

    By DARA KAM
    NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

    TALLAHASSEE – The Sunshine State was packed with political news this week, along with the perennial twists and turns in Florida’s budding marijuana industry.
    But even the most politically plugged-in foodies and fashionistas focused their attention elsewhere, after two American icons reportedly took their own lives within days of each other.

  • Bring back partisan elections?

    By ERIN HILL
    Staff Writer

    Wakulla County commissioners rejected an idea to bring back partisan elections for county office.
    At the June 4 meeting, commissioner Jerry Moore proposed amending the county charter to allow a return to partisan elections, but his motion ultimately died for lack of a second.
    In 2014, citizens voted to amend the county charter to require non-partisan election of all elected county officials. (The only local political office that is still partisan is school superintendent.)

  • Politics of Puerto Rico and pot

    By DARA KAM
    NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

    TALLAHASSEE –Friday marked the onset of the 2018 hurricane season, but the political squalls are already brewing throughout the Sunshine State, with the August primary and November general elections on the horizon.
    At the top of the ticket, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson and his challenger, Gov. Rick Scott, have been duking it out, with Scott taking a day off from storming the state to travel to Puerto Rico – in his official capacity as governor – as he continues to court Hispanic voters.

  • A food fight and a power play

    By DARA KAM
    NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

    TALLAHASSEE – For a while, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and Congressman Ron DeSantis were in danger of serious elbow injuries in a “who’s the Trumpiest” contest that’s part of their larger battle to capture the Republican nomination to succeed Gov. Rick Scott.
    But it seems that Fox News darling DeSantis has captured the heart not only of President Donald Trump but perhaps the entire First Family.

  • Guns, ganja and gambling

    By DARA KAM
    NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

    TALLAHASSEE – With Florida’s primary elections just three months away, intraparty sniping on the campaign trail is on overdrive, but the legal arena dominated the bulk of the action this week in and around the Capitol.
    The courts decided or considered a variety of issues, including issues once considered vices in some circles. But thanks to voters and lawmakers, issues such as ganja and gambling have morphed into mainstream activities.

  • Friends and foes

    By DARA KAM
    NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

    TALLAHASSEE – Former foes Adam Putnam and Richard Corcoran began a public bromance this week, with Corcoran clearing the deck for the agriculture commissioner in what will now largely be a two-man Republican primary for governor.
    But in contrast to the lovey-dovey development in GOP-land, the situation took a decidedly nasty turn on the other side of the aisle in the race to succeed outgoing Gov. Rick Scott.

  • Qualified excitement

    By JIM SAUNDERS
    NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

    TALLAHASSEE –Florida’s first round of qualifying for the November elections played out this week. But it was, well, kind of anticlimactic.
    Sure, Gov. Rick Scott and U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson formally entered the battle royale for Nelson’s Senate seat. And that’s a big deal – both in Florida and nationally.