Scott Powers, Author at Florida Politics - Page 5 of 154

Scott Powers

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at scott@flordiapolitics.com or scottmichaelpowers@yahoo.com.

Democrat Debbie Mucarsel-Powell launches intro video on internet for CD 26 run

Democrat Debbie Mucarsel-Powell has launched an internet video to introduce herself in her new campaign for Florida’s 26th Congressional District.

Mucarsel-Powell, of Miami, who last year ran unsuccessfully for the Florida Senate, seeks to take on Republican U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo in a swing district.

Her video focuses on her background as an immigrant from Ecuador, how her family achieved the American Dream, and how she considers that achievement in jeopardy for anyone else.

“But now, with a dysfunctional government, where parties have become more important than the families they are supposed to serve, those opportunities which we all deserve are in real danger,” she states in the video. “While families struggle to make ends meet, Congress does nothing. While students struggle to find an education they can afford, Congress does nothing. And while all of us fight to provide health care for those we love, Congress does worse than nothing, they vote to make it harder and more expensive for us to get.”

“It’s time we put an end to this. It’s time we say, ‘no más,'” she concludes.

Last week after she announced her candidacy the Republican Congressional Leadership Fund immediately dismissed her with an email describing her as “a perennial candidate.”

 

 

Adam Putnam pushes Florida Forever funding as helping Florida on multiple levels

Speaking to a Florida Chamber of Commerce Foundation meeting on military issues, Florida Agriculture Commissioner and Republican gubernatorial candidate Adam Putnam pushed for funding for Florida Forever.

Putnam said in Orlando Tuesday that lands acquired through Florida Forever purchases not only help all the conservation causes but bolster the state’s economic strength, in particular when its used to develop buffers around military bases.

He expressed strong disappointment that the Florida Legislature allotted no money for Florida Forever this year, and said later, speaking to the press, that even $50 million a year might not be enough.

“I’m pretty disappointed on a lot of levels that that funding was zeroed out this year,” Putnam said.

“I’m not ready to roll out a policy paper, but historically, for the last seven years Florida Forever, I don’t know if it’s ever been above $50” million, he said later to reporters. “You know, I think that’s a minimum, if you’re going to make an impact at today’s real estate values. So I would suggest a significantly higher number than that is necessary to accomplish what we want to accomplish, to have connected corridors in Florida, and protect the things and serve the things that make Florida Florida.”

Putnam is the only Republican in the race so far, though state Sen. Jack Latvala of Clearwater will be announcing his plans next week, and U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis of Ponte Vedra Beach and House Speaker Richard Corcoran of Land O’ Lakes reportedly are weighing the prospect.  The Democrats so far are fielding former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham of Tallahassee, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, and Winter Park developer Chris King.

Most of Putnam’s 17-minute address to the chamber group Monday focused on his vow to make Florida “the most military and veteran friendly state in the nation,” a nod to the theme of the conference dubbed the “Military, Defense and Veterans Opportunities Summit.”

Yet while Putnam went through his agenda of efforts to support the military and veterans, including waiving application fees for veterans and military personnel to receive concealed weapons permits, the talk turned broader as he talked about using Florida Forever money to acquire buffers around military and other federal installations as a way to protect them from base closures and offer opportunities for expansion.

That calls in both Florida Forever and the state’s Rural Family Lands program, which he said have included considerations of creating more buffer around military bases.

“My point this morning was, look at the layers of benefits that come from that program, not only do you have the obvious water recharge, wildlife habitat, connecting corridors, public recreation areas, but in circumstances where those conservation lands are near military training ranges or bases, you’re getting the additional benefit of BRAC-proofing Florida,” he said, referring to the federal base Realignment and Closure program.

In his speech, called for all state agencies to prioritize veterans and their families in offering assistance for them to move on to civilian life, for permit fees to be waived, and for Florida to offer reciprocity to recognize military licensers for professional specialities.

Putnam also predicted that the emerging aerospace assembly industry along the Space Coast and northward to Jacksonville will lead to a new glory day for the space program in Florida, better than the days of the Apollo and space shuttle missions under NASA, which lead to boom and bust impacts.

That is the hope for the region, though the NASA jobs were lost by the thousands and so far the jobs being brought in by the private space companies such as Blue Origin and SpaceX have been numbered in the scores or low hundreds.

“As we look to the future, we’ll see that the glory days of Florida’s space age will not have been the Apollo program, and will not have been the space shuttle program, but will be the joint process of civilian and military investment that is going on in Florida right now, where the factories that will build the satellites will be in Florida,” Putnam said. “The rockets will be assembled in Florida. They will be launched from Florida. They will be landed in Florida. They will be repurposed and refurbished in Florida…. And they will make 60 launches a year.”

Second candidate attacked by shadow group in HD 44 special election

Who is behind the attack ads in the Florida House District 44 special election primary set for a week for Tuesday?

The attack ads went after Republican John Newstreet two weeks ago, and now they’re going after GOP primary rival Bobby Olszewski in what looks like an effort to play both sides against each other.

Everyone denies any connection with the group. Its leadership and ultimate funding sources have not been revealed.

The Florida First Initiative has now been revealed, through a new state filing, as the source of money to another group, Central Florida Republicans for Truth, for a series of campaign mailers that went in late July attacking Newstreet, who is president of the Kissimmee/Osceola County Chamber of Commerce.

Last week Newstreet and his campaign expressed certainty that Olszewski, a small businessman and former Winter Garden commissioner, was behind Central Florida Republicans for Truth and the attack ads. Olszewski insisted that was not true.

But now, The Florida First Initiative is running TV ads attacking Olszewski. And the new attack even criticizes Olszewski  for attacking Newstreet, attacks that were done by the committee that The Florida First Initiative has funded, Central Florida Republicans for Truth.

The latest campaign finance filings posted by the Florida Division of Elections shows that The Florida First Initiative gave Central Florida Republicans for Truth $27,500 on July 28. That’s the only money CFRFT has reported receiving.

The fact that the political committee behind attack ads against Newstreet is now attacking him, is a vindication of sorts for Olszewski, even if the new TV commercial brutalizes him.

“This revelation only confirms what we have been saying all along, that we are running a positive campaign focused on what we can do for District 44,” Olszewski said in a statement to FloridaPolitics.com. “This does highlight the fact that some of my opponents have not been telling the truth about who is behind these attacks. Over the next eight days I will continue to focus on our positive and conservative message.”

Oszewski has previously denied the claims made against him in the TV commercial.

Newstreet’s campaign is sticking to its earlier suspicion, but saying that Olszewski must have made The Florida First Initiative change its mind about him after it initially funded Central Florida Republicans for Truth attack to benefit him.

“We were unaware that The Florida First Initiative was ever supporting our opponent, but, it comes as no surprise they would drop support for him, just like the mayors of Windermere and Ocoee did last week,” campaign spokesman Alan Byrd said in a statement. “We believe it must be because the egregious, misleading and untrue claims made in the mailers against the lifelong conservative John Newstreet.”

There are two other Republicans in the primary, Bruno Portigliatti and Dr. Usha Jain.

“I have absolutely nothing to do with any of these groups and don’t know who’s involved,” Portigliatti said in an email response. “We have been extremely transparent with our campaign. In fact, it surprises me that the group attacking Bobby on TV is the same group that supplied money to attack John – that doesn’t make any sense.”

“I am running a grass root campaign and I have no idea,” Jain said in an email.

They’re all seeking to replace former state Rep. Eric Eisnaugle, who quit the seat this spring. The Republican primary special election is Aug. 15, and early voting began last Saturday. The winner will face Democrat Paul Chandler in an Oct. 10 special general election.

The new TV commercial in the Republican primary fight, which has a disclaimer saying it was sponsored by The Florida First Initiative, begins with a shot of Olszewski stating, at a recent debate, “The best indicator of behavior is past behavior.” A narrator then calls him a career politician and raises past allegations, that he failed to show up for meetings of a MetroPlan Orlando committee he served on, that a deal with a Democratic mayor “fleeced taxpayers” and brought money to his own company, and that “Bobby O and his liberal friends” are “attacking conservative veteran John Newstreet.”

The Florida First Initiative has been around, in a couple of different forms, since 2009, but its leadership has not been revealed. It first came to light in the 2010 gubernatorial election, running attack ads against then-candidate Rick Scott. At least one published report linked The Florida First Initiative to former Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum, who ran against and lost to Scott in the 2010 Republican primary. But on Monday McCollum, of Longwood, said he was never connected to the group and does not know who is behind it.

The Florida First Initiative has received funding from scores of sources over time. However, the group was essentially down to zero money until June when it got $25,000 from R.A. Real Estate Inc. of New York. Bloomberg indicates that company is a subsidiary of of the Great West Life Assurance Co. of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

But it’s unlikely that a Canadian insurance company or its New York real estate subsidiary might be interested in an Orlando state house Republican primary, so all eyes await the July 10 campaign finance disclosure reports.

 

Anna Eskamani raises $52K in first month of HD 47 run

Democrat Anna Eskamani raised more than $52,000 in her first month after announcing her candidacy to run in Florida’s House District 47, her campaign announced Monday.

Eskamani, of Orlando, pulled in $52,517, with her first major fundraiser yet to come, set for Aug. 15, according to her campaign. That has come from more than 300 individual donations.

The campaign also announced the backing of former Orange County Chair Linda Chapin who will be speaking at her campaign kickoff fundraiser.

The swing seat representing north and central Orange County is expected to be vacated, as Republican incumbent state Rep. Mike Miller of Winter Park announced in late June that he is running for Congress instead of re-election. So far, the only other announced candidate is Winter Park businessman Stockton Reeves, a Republican.

“Raising over $50,000 in four weeks was made possible by the over 300 teachers, retirees, students, veterans, physicians, nurses, executives, environmentalists, attorneys, and business owners who donated to our campaign because they want a bold new vision for Tallahassee and a proven community leader who gets things done,” she stated in a news release issued by her campaign. “We all do better, when we all do better. I truly believe that, and Central Floridians from all political persuasions can trust me as their elected voice in Tallahassee.”

Eskamani is senior director of public affairs and communications at Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida and an adjunct professor at the University of Central Florida.

Chris King: ‘I want to be the economy candidate’

Chris King wants to convince Florida voters that the state really doesn’t have it so good, that the economy has stagnated for this entire century, and that it’s the Republicans’ fault since they’ve been in charge the whole time.

King, the Winter Park developer who’s seeking the Democratic primary nomination to run for governor of Florida in 2018, offers data charts, tables, and statistical analysis from various U.S. agencies to back up his claims. He weaves them into almost every speech, highlights them at virtually every event.

Those numbers, showing Florida losing ground, dramatically in some cases, to almost every high-population state regarding household income growth, poverty rates, and per-capita gross domestic product, provide the foundation for King’s theme: a Democrat who talks economics and business strategy.

“This was the big ‘Aha!’ for me. That was the decision to run, run now; and that this would be our message; and that I would be the economy candidate in the Democratic Party,” said King, the 39-year-old political novice whose closest friends say has been preparing for politics his whole life.

King sat down last week with FloridaPolitics.com to discuss his economic vision for Florida.

He described a plan based on his view that under the past 19 years of one-party, Republican rule, the state’s growth has progressed little or regressed, especially compared with rival states; and that it’s time to abandon strategies aimed at attracting low-wage businesses. He said his focus would be on investing in long-term strategies to promote higher-paying jobs while at the same time investing in affordable housing and environmental technologies.

“I will be heavily contested on this concept that Florida is a back-of-the-pack state,” King added. “They will fight me hard on this. But the basic suppositions I make is [based] on 15 years of one party rule, from 2000 to 2015 – it’s obviously been longer than that, but that was the period I really studied. And that during that period it is undeniable, based on Florida’s numbers, state numbers, that when we compare to our peers, Florida went backward.”

King’s background with a Harvard University education and a law degree from the University of Florida, and as a businessman, may give him preparation for such a debate. But he is new to public debate.

Unlike his current rivals and most of his potential rivals, King has little real-world experience in government economics, having never been tested with challenges of competing public interests, taxes, and legislative budget fights.

On the Democrats’ side, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum has run a city. Former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham has waged public money battles in Congress. On the Republicans’ side, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam had run a state department, and before that wrestled with public finances in Congress and the Florida Legislature. Potential candidates include Democratic Miami Beach Mayor Phil Levine, Republican Senate Appropriations Chairman Jack Latvala, and Republican Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran. They likely will relish going after King’s inexperience in public spending and taxing policies as he pushes his economic vision.

Still, King has something most of them do not, save Levine and another potential Democratic candidate, Orlando lawyer John Morgan: a record of high success in running businesses that made him wealthy and created significant equity and jobs.

King spoke of using the governor’s office pulpit and the line-item veto to create a “culture change” in the state’s economic approaches.

“So, Republicans, or our one-party state government, would argue we are growing. And they would point to unemployment numbers being low. They would point to a AAA bond rating, which establishes credit for the state. And a good and healthy rainy-day fund,” King said. “My critique would be: At what cost have those things come? And if those jobs are not paying a wage that a family lives on, or an individual can survive on, isn’t that a problem?”

Point one of his critique: Adjusted for inflation, Florida’s median household income has declined 7 percent from 2000 to 2015, to $49,000, which is well below those of the other four highest-population states, California, Texas, New York, and Illinois, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Point two: Florida’s 2015 per-capita, gross domestic product of $39,000 was virtually unchanged this century, and is at least 27 percent lower than those of California, Texas, New York, and Illinois, which all saw far more growth in GDP this century, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Census Bureau.

Point three:  Florida’s poverty rate has increased dramatically since 2000, reaching 16.2 percent in 2015, moving it well above the poverty rates in California, New York, Illinois, which saw far-more modest increases in poverty, and in Texas, which saw its poverty rate decline during the same period, according to the Census Bureau.

“We haven’t had a leadership who have wanted to invest in the hard things that create long-term value,” he charged. “For two decades we have been spending huge amounts of time and money to recruit out-of-state, large corporations to open up, not flagship offices, not headquarters, but satellite offices, with low-paying jobs.”

King offered broad ideas he wants to pursue but said his detailed proposals would be rolled out this fall, focusing on three themes: promoting small business, driving down the cost of living, and creating pathway options for children.

Among specific ideas he said he would embrace:

— Addressing access to small-business and start-up capital, particularly for new college-graduate, minority, and military-veteran entrepreneurs, through tax policies, small state business incentives, micro-lenders, and financial institutions.

— Aggressively developing affordable housing, including stopping raids on the affordable housing trust fund, and pushing to invest $250 million to $350 million in state money into public-private matches for affordable housing partnerships, which he said would create nearly $1 billion in housing investments. “It’s a winning formula,” said the affordable housing developer, who added his companies do not accept public money for their projects.

— Investing more in community colleges, trade schools, and access and affordability for four-year universities “I’m going to be a governor who is a big, big fan of our community college system in Florida,” he said.

— Increasing money for university research, especially in already-established, commercially-promising specialties such as the University of Central Florida’s optics science and technology programs.

— Fostering openness to diversity in universities, and that includes foreign students and immigrant faculty and researchers, to attract “the best and the brightest.”

— Accepting Medicaid expansion, if it’s still available.

— Pushing for passage of the Florida Competitive Workplace Act, which he said will signal nationally that the state is welcoming.

— Opening markets and business opportunities for solar energy, which he said the market is moving on already, as evidenced by the high numbers of jobs in such states as Massachusetts. “We should not be just a national leader; we should be an international leader in solar,” he said.

— Promoting technologies, research, insurance products, commerce, development, and planning strategies to address rising sea levels. “It’s scary. The next governor has to be, he or she, somebody, who is not only trying to address these issues, but is trying to build markets, the products, and services of the future, to position Florida to survive this challenge,” King said. “I don’t think of it just as a problem. This is an opportunity for businesses and organizations and our best thinking.”

Immigration talk with Carlos Curbelo shelved after report on panelist

Republican U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo was planning to introduce a panel discussion on immigration Friday in Miami, the week President Donald Trump and two senators unveiled a bill to curb immigration, but it never happened.

Miami New Times, which had published an article Thursday raising allegations about one of the sponsors and its representative on the panel, reported on Friday that the event was canceled, though a notice to potential attendees used the word postponed.

Curbelo’s office did not respond to an email seeking to discuss the event.

New Times updated its article Friday, apparently citing a notice sent Thursday to confirmed attendees that stated, “Due to unforeseen circumstances some of our panelists are confronting with urgent matters, we are unfortunately going to postpone tomorrow’s event. We greatly appreciate your having confirmed, and look forward to finding an alternative date in the near future to revisit this important topic of immigration.”

That might have been a reference to New Times’ report on one of the sponsors, LIBRE by Nexus, a bail bond company that specializes in detained immigrants who are facing deportation. The article, by Jerry Iannelli, charged the company had “been accused of exploiting immigrants,” something the company vigorously denied.

Another of the sponsors is FWD.us, a pro-immigration group founded by the technology industry. FIU is the third sponsor. None of the three sponsors would comment on the panel or its fate.

Curbelo, of Kendall, is in a tough district for a Republican, with a six-point Democratic advantage in voter registration, and a potentially formidable Democratic opponent next year in Democrat Debbie Mucarsel-Powell.

Lolita Grayson starts GoFundMe page, saying legal battles with ex Alan Grayson leave her broke

Lolita Carson Grayson, former wife of former U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, has opened a GoFundMe account, in part seeking help to pay legal expenses of ongoing litigation battles emanating from their 2015 annulment that she says has left her penniless and on the verge of being evicted.

“I really am in bad shape right now. I went to GoFundMe because I’m totally broke and I’m being evicted,” Lolita Grayson said Thursday.

Her GoFundMe.com page says the legal battles through and beyond their divorce proceedings and annulment have exhausted her finances, and yet she still has legal expenses involved in their fights over the disposition of assets. Those assets include the Dr. Phillips house they had shared in marriage, and where she continues to live. He has filed to have her evicted.

She is seeking to raise $20,000.

Alan Grayson, who left Congress this year after not seeking re-election in Florida’s 9th Congressional District, said Thursday that she had agreed to leave the house at the time of their annulment settlement. He said the two sides worked out a detailed, 30-page agreement called for him to sell it. Grayson said he has waited. And in the meantime, he charged, she has caused extensive damage to the house. “She has been squatting in the house for three and a half years [dating to when they first split.] It has cost me over a quarter-million dollars. According to the terms of the annulment, she has no property rights in the house.”

She challenges the latter point. Alan Grayson said she agreed to give up the house in a settlement agreement but then did not sign it. Whether it is enforceable, he said, will be up to the courts.

She said she does not recall agreeing to move out and give up the house.

The Graysons’ marriage ended after a bitter divorce proceeding led to charges, from him, that she still was married to someone else when they wed in 1990, and had committed bigamy. Lolita Grayson eventually acknowledged a former marriage did not end until two years after her wedding to Alan Grayson. In the spring of 2015, 9th Judicial Circuit Court Judge Bob LeBlanc dissolved the marriage.

Lolita said she continues to fight for marriage property and is seeking help through GoFundMe because, “I am fighting for what is right, for what is the right thing to do.”

Last year Alan Grayson remarried, to the former Dena Minning.

Gwen Graham grabs four Democratic women leaders’ endorsements

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gwen Graham announced Thursday she is being backed by four more women leaders from the party in Florida.

She picked up the endorsements of former state Reps. Karen Castor Dentel and Kelly Skidmore, Democratic National Committee member Alma Gonzalez, and former Gainesville Mayor Pegeen Hanrahan, Graham’s campaign announced in a news release Thursday.

“These women are leaders in our state fighting to restore public education, defend our health care, protect our environment and build an economy that works for every Floridian,” Graham said in the release. “I’m proud to have their support and look forward to working with them to take back our state and finally put Florida on a brighter path forward.”

Graham, a former congresswoman from Tallahassee, faces Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and Winter Park developer Chris King seeking the Democratic primary nomination to run for governor in 2018.

“After decades with governors undermining our public schools, blaming hardworking teachers, and over testing our kids, voters are eager for a leader who makes education a priority,” Castor Dentel, a Maitland teacher, said in the release. “As a mother, Gwen Graham understands the challenges we face and has the experience and knowledge to fight back against for-profit schools that divert public school dollars. She knows that increasing teacher pay will be a first step in addressing the teacher shortage. And Gwen will fight to fully implement the class size amendment as the voters demanded. It’s time to put our students first, and that’s why I’m proud to support Gwen Graham for governor.”

Gonzalez also is a former treasurer of the Florida Democratic Party.

“Gwen Graham understands building an economy that works for every Floridian starts in our public schools and colleges,” she stated. “Gwen will fight to increase public school funding by ending the lottery shell game, expand technical education starting in our middle schools, and expand access to our colleges and universities. To move forward, we must build a 21st-century economy and ensure our children and grandchildren have the skills they need to fill those new jobs. We will tackle this great challenge with Gwen Graham as our next Governor.”

Hanrahan, of Boca Raton, said: “Gwen Graham understands building an economy that works for every Floridian starts in our public schools and colleges. Gwen will fight to increase public school funding by ending the lottery shell game, expand technical education starting in our middle schools, and expand access to our colleges and universities. To move forward, we must build a 21st-century economy and ensure our children and grandchildren have the skills they need to fill those new jobs. We will tackle this great challenge with Gwen Graham as our next Governor.”

Skidmore added: “It’s time to send a qualified leader to the governor’s office. Gwen Graham has fought for equal pay and defending our right to choose. As governor, she’ll defend our health care, fight for paid sick time and build an economy that works for every Floridian.”

Darren Soto blasts immigration plan as against American values, curb on economy

Democratic U.S. Rep. Darren Soto of Orlando on Thursday blasted the new immigration bill pushed by President Donald Trump, saying it would “go against American values” and curb economic growth.

Soto responded to the RAISE Act, announced Wednesday by Trump and the bill’s sponsors, Republican Sens. Tom Cotton of Arkansas and David Perdue of Georgia. The bill would cut in half the number of green cards issued annually, to 500,000, curtail some of the avenues through which foreigners seeking entry in the United States could apply, and make English proficiency a key determining factor.

“The RAISE Act is a flagrant attack on legal immigration; it goes against American values and does not put ‘America First,’ Soto stated in a news release issued by his office. “These radical cuts to visa allotments would not only hurt the American economy, but would also tear families apart.”

“By eliminating all family-based legal immigration categories (except for spouses and minor children), adult U.S. citizens would now be unable to reunite with their loved ones in the country they call home,” he continued. “Moreover, prioritizing English speaking people and high-skilled immigrants would be a disadvantage to immigrants from war-torn countries or low-income families, and will inevitably force close family members to remain apart. This bill ignores America’s long-standing tradition of accepting all immigrants, regardless of “skill level”, into the United States. “

The release contends that curbing visas for low-skilled workers would “gravely curb economic growth. It cites the Florida Chamber of Commerce for stating that immigration boosts productivity, benefits the economy and complements labor demands in key industries in Florida.

“Our immigrants are working; our laws are not,” Soto declared. “The solution to our nation’s broken and outdated immigration system is moving forward with a bipartisan comprehensive reform, one that keeps families together and recognizes the economic contributions of immigrants in our communities.”

Bruno Portigliatti up with new Orlando TV ad in HD 44 special election

Laughing, smiling, enjoying himself, Bruno Portigliatti declares, “Yeah, doesn’t everybody?” know me yet, in his second TV commercial, up this week in Orlando and taking shots at his two leading rivals, heading toward the Aug. 15 Republican special election primary to fill vacant Florida House District 44 seat.

Portigliatti’s commercial picks up on the theme of his first, which aired two weeks ago, introducing the small businessman to voters who watch Fox News channel on cable or satellite TV, only this time seeking to characterize his main opponents as a politician and a political insider.

He doesn’t name them, but presumably, former Winter Garden Commissioner Bobby Olszewski is the politician, and Kissimmee/Osceola County Chamber of Commerce President John Newstreet is the political insider. Ignored is the fourth Republican in the race, Dr. Usha Jain

“All right, now that you know me, let me tell you why I am running,” Portigliatti says in the spot. “There are too many politicians in Tallahassee. And we won’t solve our problems by sending another one.”

The narrator then declares, “For State House, we have three choices,” as the screen divides into three animated sections, one showing a stocky-looking man labeled, “The Politician,” and one a bow tie-wearing man labeled, “The Insider.” The third melts into live video of Portigliatti shaking hands with someone, as the narrator declaring, “And Bruno, a small-business man.”

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