Adam Putnam Archives - Page 4 of 91 - Florida Politics

Ron DeSantis handily wins Republican primary for Florida governor

Ron DeSantis won the Republican primary election for Governor on Tuesday.

With results from just a few counties remaining, it’s clear Republican voters backed DeSantis over his opponent, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam. DeSantis, so far, holds a near-20 percent lead over Putnam, with 56 percent of GOP voters choosing DeSantis.

DeSantis appeared with his wife, Casey Black DeSantis, at 8:51 p.m. on a stage at the Rosen Shingle Creek resort in Orlando to declare victory. He said Putnam called him shortly after the last polls closed in the Panhandle’s Central time zone to offer support.

He also got a call from President Donald Trump, whom DeSantis credited for helping him win the primary.

“I want to thank him for viewing me as someone who could be a great leader for Florida,” DeSantis told the crowd gathered at his election-night viewing party. “So, thank you Mr. President.”

Trump’s support for the Ponte Vedra congressman ultimately helped him prevail against Putnam, who had outraised and outspent DeSantis and had at one point been considered the front-runner and establishment favorite.

The President’s intervention in the Florida Republican primary predates DeSantis entrance into the race. In December, Trump tweeted a pro-DeSantis message, saying he “would make a great governor of Florida.”

Trump, however, was silent as DeSantis launched his campaign the next month. A graduate of Yale with a law degree from Harvard, DeSantis unveiled an early list of wealthy backers but could not match Putnam’s fundraising prowess in the beginning months of his campaign. Putnam, a former state and federal lawmaker, enjoyed seven months of formal campaigning and fundraising before DeSantis’ entrance into the race.

While Putnam spent big on early television ads to build name recognition with his voters, DeSantis found a much cheaper avenue through public appearances on Fox News, where he frequently appeared in defense of Trump amid special counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation over potential Russian collusion in the 2016 presidential election.

DeSantis’ unwithering defense of the President likely fostered other national friendships that helped boost his campaign. Prominent Fox News host Sean Hannity and conservative radio talk show host Mark Levin both backed DeSantis and campaigned alongside him.

In June, Trump once again announced his support for DeSantis via Twitter. The tweet prefaced a Fox News debate between DeSantis and Putnam, and polls after the endorsement suggest it was pivotal for the Republican gubernatorial primary. A Fox News poll conducted in the middle of June gave Putnam a 32-17 margin over DeSantis. But that was the last time Putnam led in a public poll tracked by Real Clear Politics, and some polls after the Trump endorsement showed DeSantis up by more than 20 points.

In late July, Trump gave DeSantis the kicker: A televised Tampa rally hosted by the Trump campaign that saw the President hail DeSantis as the clear choice for Florida Republicans in August. On Monday, Florida Republicans received a robocall with an automated message from the President reminding them to vote for DeSantis on Tuesday.

While a bit of DeSantis’ lead waned in the weeks ahead of the election, Putnam was unable to bounce back from what will be remembered as Trump’s fatal strike against his campaign.

Still, Putnam held hopes of a comeback victory early on Tuesday, saying in an interview with Fox 35 News in Orlando that he remained convinced that his effort to build a vast “grassroots” organization across the state would propel him to victory in his contest with DeSantis, who was making his first bid for a statewide office.

“The grassroots energy and momentum you’re seeing out here, the sign wavers, the rallies, the barbecues we’ve been hosting, all the grassroots work that we’ve been doing for the last year is going to pay off tonight when the polls close,” Putnam said.

But in the end, all of Putnam’s relentless retail campaigning and his advertising advantage was not enough to overcome DeSantis’ greatest strength: his relationship with Trump.

In a final debate with DeSantis at Jacksonville University on Aug. 8, Putnam seemed to lament the considerable role that the president’s intervention in a Republican primary had played.

“I wish he hadn’t put his thumb on the scale of Florida’s campaigns,” he said.

The Democratic field boasted five candidates, including Congresswoman Gwen Graham, former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, billionaire Jeff Greene and businessman Chris King.

Gillum ended up closing the gap with a late surge and will face off against DeSantis in the November general election.

_

The News Service of Florida contributed to this post.

It’s not the party, it’s the after party: Where to find Tampa Bay candidates on Election Night

On Tuesday, election night parties will be held all over Florida.

For some, it’s a chance to pop some champagne corks, celebrate and gear up for the general election. For others, it will be a somewhat more somber affair, the last hurrah of a long, hard-fought primary campaign.

Want to party like a politician? Here’s a rundown of where some candidates will be as the polls close.

Governor

Republican Adam Putnam will celebrate election night at the Terrace Hotel, 329 East Main Street, Lakeland. Media Set Up: 6 p.m.; doors open: 6:30 p.m. Media must RSVP by August 28 at noon to meredithb@adamputnam.com. Visit AdamPutnam.com for more information.

Democrat Gwen Graham and Team Graham will host their election night party starting 8 p.m., The Social, 54 N Orange Ave. in Orlando. Those able to attend can RSVP to Casey at casey@gwengraham.com. Please include: “Election Night” in the subject line.

Democrat Philip Levine will hold an election night watch party at his campaign headquarters, 7:30 p.m., 2215 NW 1st Place, Miami. There will be parking accommodations and a workspace for members of the media. Media can RSVP to Max@MayorPhilipLevine.com.

Democrat Andrew Gillum is hosting his watch party at the Hotel Duval, 415 N. Monroe Street, Tallahassee. Risers, multi-box, and filing station will all be available on a first come, first served basis to RSVP’d media. Media load in begins at 5:30 p.m.

Democrat Chris King and his campaign will join supporters for an election night party at the Alfond Inn, 300 E New England Ave, in Winter Park. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., registered media will have access at 5 p.m.

Democrat Jeff Greene hosts his party beginning 7:30 p.m. at Tideline Ocean Resort — Malcom Ballroom (Upstairs), 2842 S Ocean Blvd, Palm Beach. Malt box, media riser will be available for broadcast journalists — all inquiries on logistics for media — please contact Kraig Pomrenke at (870) 351-1165. Parking available for media trucks; RSVP at press@jeffgreeneforflorida.com. will be watching returns from his home, with family.

Attorney General

Republican Attorney General candidate Ashley Moody will hold her election night festivities at the Floridan Palace Hotel Grand Ballroom Florida, 905 N. Florida Ave. in Tampa. Doors open at 6 p.m. Registered media will have access at 4 p.m. and must be set up by 5:30 p.m.

Democratic candidate Ryan Torrens will host the “People’s Lawyer Primary election night Watch Party” at Sociedad La Union Marti Maceo Club, Ybor City’s historic Afro-Cuban club. That’s at 6 p.m.. 1226 E 7th Ave., Tampa.

Agriculture Commissioner

Republican state Sen. Denise Grimsley holds her watch party event at the Best Western Heritage Inn & Suites, 2727 US Highway 17 N, Bowling Green. Doors open at 7 p.m.

U.S. House

CD 19

Democrat David Holden invites supporters and friends to watch returns beginning 6 p.m., Lansdowne Street Pub, 24851 S Tamiami Trail, Bonita Springs.

Florida Senate

SD 16

Florida House

HD 64

Incumbent Republican James Grant will be holding a “Primary Election Victory Party” at 6:30 p.m., Catch Twenty Three, 10103 Montague St, Tampa.

HD 66

HD 70

Incumbent Democrat Wengay “Newt” Newton will hold his celebration at 6 p.m., 400 Beach Seafood & Tap House, 400 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg.

County races

Pinellas County Commission

It’s not the party, it’s the after party: Where to find candidates on Election Night

On Tuesday, Election Night parties will be held all over Florida.

For some, it’s a chance to pop some champagne corks, celebrate and gear up for the general election. For others, it will be a somewhat more somber affair, the last hurrah of a long, hard-fought primary campaign.

Want to party like a politician? Here’s a rundown of where many candidates will be as the polls close.

Governor

Republican Adam Putnam will celebrate election night at the Terrace Hotel, 329 East Main Street, Lakeland. Media Set Up: 6 p.m.; doors open: 6:30 p.m. Media must RSVP by August 28 at noon to meredithb@adamputnam.com. Visit AdamPutnam.com for more information.

Republican Ron DeSantis holds his election night celebration beginning 6 p.m. at the Rosen Shingle Creek 9939 Universal Boulevard, Orlando. To register, visit the Eventbrite page.

Democrat Gwen Graham and Team Graham will host their election night party starting 8 p.m., The Social, 54 N Orange Ave. in Orlando. Those able to attend can RSVP to Casey at casey@gwengraham.com. Please include: “Election Night” in the subject line.

Democrat Philip Levine will hold an election night watch party at his campaign headquarters, 7:30 p.m., 2215 NW 1st Place, Miami. There will be parking accommodations and a workspace for members of the media. Media can RSVP to Max@MayorPhilipLevine.com.

Democrat Andrew Gillum is hosting his watch party at the Hotel Duval, 415 N. Monroe Street, Tallahassee. Risers, multi-box, and filing station will all be available on a first come, first served basis to RSVP’d media. Media load in begins at 5:30 p.m.

Democrat Chris King and his campaign will join supporters for an election night party at the Alfond Inn, 300 E New England Ave, in Winter Park. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., registered media will have access at 5 p.m.

Democrat Jeff Greene hosts his party beginning 7:30 p.m. at Tideline Ocean Resort — Malcom Ballroom (Upstairs), 2842 S Ocean Blvd, Palm Beach. Malt box, media riser will be available for broadcast journalists — all inquiries on logistics for media — please contact Kraig Pomrenke at (870) 351-1165. Parking available for media trucks; RSVP at press@jeffgreeneforflorida.com. will be watching returns from his home, with family.

Attorney General

Republican Attorney General candidate Ashley Moody will hold her election night festivities at the Floridan Palace Hotel Grand Ballroom Florida, 905 N. Florida Ave. in Tampa. Doors open at 6 p.m. Registered media will have access at 4 p.m. and must be set up by 5:30 p.m.

Democratic candidate Ryan Torrens will host the “People’s Lawyer Primary election night Watch Party” at Sociedad La Union Marti Maceo Club, Ybor City’s historic Afro-Cuban club. That’s at 6 p.m. 1226 E 7th Ave., Tampa.

Agriculture Commissioner

Democrat Nikki Fried will be at The Waverly Las Olas, 7 p.m., 110 N. Federal Hwy., #100, Fort Lauderdale. For more info or RSVP, call (954) 734-3799.

Republican state Sen. Denise Grimsley holds her watch party event at the Best Western Heritage Inn & Suites, 2727 US Highway 17 N, Bowling Green. Doors open at 7 p.m.

U.S. House

CD 2

Democrat Brandon Peters holds his election night watch party starting 7 p.m. at Midtown Caboose, 1406 N. Meridian Rd., Tallahassee.

Democrat Bob Rackleff will be at Waterworks — which will be serving “Blue Wave” cocktails — beginning 7 p.m., 1133 Thomasville Rd, Tallahassee. Register at the event’s Facebook page.

CD 5

Incumbent Democrat Al Lawson’s campaign office is holding a watch party at 7:30 p.m., 1680 Dunn Ave., Jacksonville.

CD 6

Democrat Nancy Soderberg will join supporters and volunteers for an election night event starting 7 p.m., Rock Bottom Brewery, 1864 Victory Circle, Building K, Daytona Beach.

Dr. Stephen Sevigny will hold a gathering for supporters of Sevigny for Congress at Frappes, 123 W. Granada Blvd., Ormond Beach, beginning shortly after polls close at 7 p.m.

CD 9

Incumbent Democrat Darren Soto is hosting his election watch party at 7 p.m., Ramada Gateway Hotel, 7470 Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy. 192, Kissimmee.

CD 18

Incumbent Republican Brian Mast‘s event will be in Martin County, 6 p.m., Flagler Place, 201 S.W. Flagler Ave., Stuart.

Democratic challenger Lauren Baer will hold an event at her office, 7 p.m., 1200 Town Center Dr., Suite 119, Juniper. For more info or RSVP, call (203) 747-4777.

CD 19

Democrat David Holden invites supporters and friends to watch returns beginning 6 p.m., Lansdowne Street Pub, 24851 S Tamiami Trail, Bonita Springs.

CD 27

Democratic state Rep. David Richardson will be at the Cubaocho Museum and Performing Arts Center beginning 6 p.m., 1465 SW. 8th St., #106, Miami. To RSVP or for more information, call (305) 853-6616.

Republican Maria Elvira Salazar will watch the GOP Primary Election with family and friends at  8 p.m. in her campaign headquarters, 3701 SW 87th Avenue, Miami. She will give remarks following the results of the election. For more info or RSVP, email press@mariaelvira.com or call (305) 972-2270.

Florida Senate

SD 16

SD 30

Incumbent Democrat Bobby Powell asks supporters to visit (after the vote) beginning 7 p.m., ER Bradley’s Saloon, 104 N Clematis St., West Palm Beach. RSVP by emailing votebobbypowell@gmail.com.

SD 34

Incumbent Democrat Gary Farmer will be watching results beginning 7 p.m., O Lounge, 333 East Las Olas Blvd., Ft. Lauderdale. For more info or RSVP, call (954) 646-3903.

Florida House

HD 36

Democrat David Perez will be at the Firefighter Building, 8000 NW. 21st St., Doral. For more info or RSVP, call (786) 255-5791.

HD 64

Incumbent Republican James Grant will be holding a “Primary Election Victory Party” at 6:30 p.m., Catch Twenty Three, 10103 Montague St, Tampa. More info is on Grant’s Facebook page.

HD 66

HD 70

Incumbent Democrat Wengay “Newt” Newton will hold his celebration at 6 p.m., 400 Beach Seafood & Tap House, 400 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg.

HD 79

HD 81

Democrat Tina Polsky is holding her election night event beginning 7 p.m., Miller Ale House, 9244 Glades Rd., Boca Raton. For more info or RSVP, call (609) 335-8226.

HD 89

Democrat Jim Bonfiglio will celebrate with supporters at his home, 7 p.m., 5616 N. Ocean Blvd., Ocean Ridge. For more info or RSVP, call (561) 262-1622.

HD 98

Democrat Andrew Dolberg will hold his watch party beginning 7 p.m., Bokampers Plantation, 1280 S. Pine Island Rd., Plantation. For more info or RSVP, call (954) 651-5954.

HD 105

Democrat Javier Estevez is holding his election night party to celebrate with his supporters, 7 p.m., 8502 SW 146 Court, Miami. for more info or RSVP, call (305) 297-6069 or email Javier@Javier2018.com.

Broward County Mayor

Broward County Vice Mayor Mark Bogen‘s watch party begins 7 p.m., Muddy Waters Restaurant, 2237 Hillsboro Blvd., Deerfield Beach. For more info or RSVP, call (702) 210-7545.

Orange County Mayor

Pinellas County Commission

Franklin County Tax Collector

Broward County School Board

Lori Alhadeff, the mother of a student killed in the Parkland school shooting, is holding her election night watch party at the Watercrest Clubhouse, 7 p.m., 11131 Watercrest Cir. W., Parkland. For more info, call (609) 335-8226.

Florida Chamber of Commerce

The Chamber will hold a primary election watch party at its Tallahassee office, 136 S. Bronough St. Festivities begin at 6:30 p.m.

Brevard County Democratic Party

Brevard Democrats are holding three watch parties, each starting at 7 p.m.: Harbor Isles Clubhouse, 600 S. Brevard Ave., Cocoa Beach (potluck/BYOB); Pour 4 Wine & Beer Bar, 3555 Bayside Lakes Blvd., Palm Bay (free pizza); Colors Restaurant & Lounge, 4910 Stack Blvd. SE, Melbourne.

Orange County Democratic Party

New Florida Vision

The activist group, which mobilized more than 150,000 Black and Latino voters to the polls for Democrat Andrew Gillum, is calling all supporters to watch results starting at 6 p.m., Grand Cafe, 12389 Pembroke Rd, Pembroke Pines.

Northeast Florida primary narratives poised for resolution

Mercifully, primary Election Day is upon us in Northeast Florida, the culmination of months of spirited campaigning, big time spending, and the occasional calumny or two.

And now that it’s finally Tuesday, we will see the resolution of a number of narratives that have percolated for these many months.

Moving from the top of the ticket down, here are a few storylines worth watching.

 

Establishment picks in Governor’s races

By and large, the Jacksonville political establishment settled early behind its presumptive nominees: former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham on the Democratic side, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam for the Republicans.

Despite the twists and turns in polling, the Democrats have not indicated buyers’ remorse. Though there is still room for the myriad polls that show Graham ahead to be belied, the Graham campaign has weathered heavy ad buys from opponents and their friendly committees, and seems headed toward a strong finish.

Less certain is Putnam’s fate. Despite endorsements from U.S. Rep. John Rutherford, state Sen. Aaron Bean, Jacksonville City Council President Aaron Bowman, and various of Bowman’s colleagues, Putnam has been down in most polls (including a 23 point deficit in the latest St. Pete Poll).

Endorsements down the stretch went to DeSantis. Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams endorsed, and then said he wasn’t interested in the Lieutenant Governor gig. Mayor Lenny Curry endorsed, calling DeSantis a “brother from a different mother.” From Clay County, Senate Appropriations Chair Rob Bradley and Rep. Travis Cummings likewise endorsed.

The proxy battles haven’t spilled out into public view, and with Jacksonville having been racked by high-profile mass shootings after a high-school football game and a Madden video game tournament  this weekend, the focus of the governing class may be on governing. Still, it will be interesting to track Putnam’s performance in Duval Tuesday, and how it tracks compared to the rest of the state.

 

Endgame for Alvin Brown?

Months back, former Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown launched a Democratic primary challenge to U.S. Rep. Al Lawson.

The idea was to take back a “Jacksonville seat” from the Tallahassee Democrat — U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown lost to Lawson, months before an even more catastrophic loss (numerous guilty verdicts in a federal fraud trial).

However, it wasn’t quite that clean: Lawson enjoyed a number of important Jacksonville endorsements, critical to his race against former Mayor Alvin Brown. The local Fraternal Order of Police and Jacksonville Association of Fire Fighters endorsed him, as did state Rep. Tracie Davis and the Florida Times-Union.

The latest polls suggest that Brown couldn’t make the sale. Surveys from University of North Florida and St. Pete Polls suggest this is a 20 point race, with Lawson having all the momentum west of 295, and with Brown unable to consolidate his Jacksonville base.

This may not be a 20 point race in the end, of course. Duval still holds the population edge, and Brown has been a frequent and vocal presence this weekend, in the wake of the aforementioned violence in Jacksonville.

If Brown does not win tonight, what’s next for him? That’s the open question. There are those who see his evolution into a “pragmatic progressive” on the campaign trail as real. BUT would the Lenny Curry machine let him back into City Hall?

 

Demonbuster busted?

One of the most competitive races on a Jacksonville ballot Tuesday: HD 14’s Democratic two-way between challenger Paula Wright and incumbent Kim Daniels.

Notable: this is an open primary, so Republicans and NPAs can vote — and on both sides, GOP donors are expressing preferences.

Beyond that particular anomaly, it will be interesting to see if Wright can pull it off. A political committee (“New Direction Now”) put $40,000 into advertising on her behalf. A poll commissioned by parties friendly to Wright showed the race as a dead heat a couple of weeks back; when the push poll type questions were asked to gauge how oppo hit Daniels, Wright was up.

For a recent review of anti-Daniels oppo, check out Matthew Isbell‘s article on the subject.

But oppo goes both ways.

Daniels, as has been the case throughout the campaign, has gone light on ad spends, though she did spend $1,000 on an ad in the Florida Star — notable for running a vicious piece against Wright weeks back that Wright said was libel.

Meanwhile, district residents have received robocalls slamming Wright, hitting many of the same themes in that Star piece.

The case for Wright over Daniels comes down to cohesiveness with the rest of the delegation. The working relationship between Daniels and the other Duval Democrat in the Legislature, Tracie Davis, is not exactly functional.

How dysfunctional? Davis (and Sen. Audrey Gibson) back Wright. And they had salient reason to, as Daniels allies teased primary challenges to each of them — challenges that ultimately did not materialize.

 

Can a lobbyist win? 

HD 14’s Democratic donnybrook isn’t the only state House race of note. The three-way GOP race in Westside Jacksonville’s House District 15 between Wyman DugganJoseph Hogan, and Mark Zeigler is also of interest.

The race devolved into a series of recriminations and character assassinations, with two relatively underfunded candidates scoring some hits against Duggan, the candidate backed by pillars of the Jacksonville Establishment ranging from the Mayor to the Chamber.

One talking point: Duggan lobbying for Emera, a company that engaged him contemporaneously to a discussion of privatizing Jacksonville’s public utility JEA. This concept, favored by many close to the mayor’s office, has yet to get traction with ratepayers — and voters.

Duggan’s television ads have had over $100,000 behind them, but have not been dynamic. The Duggan appeal been branded around Mayor Curry, with assurances that Duggan will be a stalwart for public safety and that he opposes what clearly is the biggest threat to such: sanctuary cities.

In the end, the election may be uglier than the 2014 Special Election primary clash between incumbent Rep. Jay Fant and then-challenger Paul Renner, a two-vote win for Fant after a campaign that got more personal and bitter as it went on.

The irony is that this divisive battle may make post-primary healing a tough sell, at a time when there is a very serious general election challenger.

Democrat Tracye Polson has roughly $150,000 in hard money and another $55,000 in the committee account. She will have buy-in from the state party and has personal resources that just might be able to match whatever buy-in the Jacksonville business community would offer Duggan.

If one of the other two candidates wins, it likewise is far from certain that financial support would be as robust as it would for Duggan.

The district is almost perfectly purple: of the 103,293 voters in HD 15, there are 39,997 Republicans and 40,323 Democrats. The rest are third party and NPA, and one wonders how receptive they will be to Republican messaging against a Democratic pragmatist who has support from Jacksonville’s public safety unions and even Republicans like Audrey Moran.

Style for the 21st century candidate (Hint: It doesn’t include a navy blue suit)

When he looks at action shots from this summer’s Republican and Democratic gubernatorial debates, Arron Gober can’t help but shake his head.

The Tallahassee-based custom clothier is very, very disappointed at the sartorial choices made by the majority of the candidates from both parties, doing his own call-and-response commentary.

“What do you see? You see dark, navy blue suits, right? Do they have any personality to them? Not really. Do they look like they have for the last 30 years? They do, don’t they?”

Of the seven, only Democrats Jeff Greene in a greyish suit and Gwen Graham wearing black and white broke the mold.

Gober implores candidates to throw out the tropes about “power” colors and rules about what reads well on television — and embrace a softer, friendlier, more approachable palette.

Which still includes blue. And maybe some subtle check patterns.

“Royal is a little-more-friendly shade; you can even get into things like your blue/gray,” he points out. And if they’re not ready to put the navy out to pasture, choose a pattern that softens it with a blue that’s a couple shades lighter.

Candidates should also update their thinking on what works for television beyond the single-colored coat and plain white shirt. “That was what everybody was told to wear, but what do we have today that throws off everything that they were taught? High Definition. Before that you couldn’t wear a small checked shirt because it would cause lines to go bzzzzzt,” he says. “Not on high definition; now you can see the pores, you can see the makeup on the face when you look at all of them because they all have it on there.” Pattern, it seems, is no longer the camera’s bogeyman.

Gober sat down in his capital city atelier and gave Florida Politics commentary on each of the gubernatorial candidates and some suggestions for how Election Day’s two survivors might up their wardrobe game in the General:

Adam Putnam

“I do like the way Putnam started out with his ads (but) I think it should have progressed into a more governor-type look. His message was there, but when I see him in work pants and a Columbia shirt every day in my Facebook ads, I’m still seeing an agriculture commissioner.”

Ron Desantis

“Ron DeSantis, he’s been in Washington for three terms. He looks like it; he looks like the rest of the guys there. They’re all red powerful ties, yellow powerful ties — the old power colors.”

Gwen Graham

“Gwen’s kind of the wild card, she has incredible style; I’ve watched her for years. She tends to know how to dress for every event. Speaking about the white jacket she wore for the Democratic debate he said, “I wouldn’t have picked that out — unless you wanted good guys wear white hats, maybe that’s what that’s for. But as a rule, she’s appropriate in a lot of things she wears when she goes from dresses to skirts to pantsuits to suits.”

Phillip Levine

“Mayor Levine, he knows what he’s doing. He’s been mayor for a long time and dresses very appropriately, but what we see in the debate … they’re all stuck in navy blue suits.”

Andrew Gillum

“Out of all of them, Andrew is one of the Top 2 dressers. He knows it’s a position, it’s a title and you’ve got to kind of dress into that. But when you see him on the campaign trail, he’s got the Andrew Gillum shirt on with a pair of nice dress slacks. And then when you see him at a FAMU game he’s decked out in FAMU attire. He gets it.”

Still, Gober was disappointed that Gillum chose the throwback navy suit for the debate. “If you’re going to be the progressive candidate, which he is, then his dress should be progressive also. It should be much more friendly, much more toned down too, even going into a soft coat — which has no shoulder pads to it — elbow patches, the works … It should be something really kind of fun that will represent him. But then when he’s governor and he’s meeting with U.S. senators, put the shirt and tie on and you know he looks really good in it.”

Jeff Greene

“I do believe Greene has some style and taste. Obviously, he’s a billionaire. But I did notice a lot of his suits had pleated pants, which are way out of date. Of all of them, he’s got one of the better senses of color. You can see it because he tries different things. He could use a little better fit and a little better coordination with ties, but those are all minor details. Greene’s image file is filled with step-and-repeat shots from Palm Beach fundraisers, where he’s wearing more colorful, casual garb which gets Gober’s approval: “He dresses appropriately for where he lives and the company that he keeps.”

Chris King

“I didn’t address King. I didn’t even know he was in the race. I almost would say it’s like the campaign, he’s not really there. But he looks fine. He falls into the exact same thing (navy blue) the rest of them do.”

Donald Trump offers one more tweet-seal of approval for Ron DeSantis

President Donald Trump sent a reminder to the world Monday that Republican U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis is his man in Florida’s Republican gubernatorial primary, tweeting that DeSantis has “my full and total Endorsement.”

“Congressman Ron DeSantis is a special person who has done an incredible job. He is running in Tuesdays Primary for Governor of Florida….Strong on Crime, Borders and wants Low Taxes. He will be a great Governor and has my full and total Endorsement!” Trump tweeted.

DeSantis faces Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, and Putnam was leading in virtually all polls until Trump made his endorsemen of DeSantis official in late June, and DeSantis has been leading comfortably in most polls ever since.

With loyalty toward and support for and from Trump being a major factor in all Republican races, Trump has been pouring it on for DeSantis. On Sunday, DeSantis began robocalls in which Trump was offering a similar full-thrated endorsement for DeSantis.

Bruce Nathan to GOP nominee: Make me running mate or feel my wrath

Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Nathan on Monday announced he plans to switch his party designation and run for governor as an independent on the general election ballot—unless the Republican nominee picks him as a running mate.

A press release from Nathan’s campaign suggests that, should the Stuart Republican switch to a no-party-affiliation candidacy and move to the November ballot, he could have an impact on the race’s outcome even if he does not win.

“If all of Bruce’s voters vote for him in another tight November general election (and he will likely get many more, due to less competition and the ability to raise money), this would likely alter the outcome of the November election,” reads a release sent by Jason Gilbert, Nathan’s campaign manager and chief strategist.

Actually, some polling bears that out.

Results from a Gravis Marketing survey released in advance of the Tuesday primary shows Nathan in fourth place with 4 percent, behind U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis (39 percent), Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam (27 percent) and Republican Liberty Caucus of Florida chairman Bob White (6 percent).

Indeed, that’s a picture of someone who likely can’t win the primary election or the general election—or really even come close—but who could easily thumb the scales one way or another in a state where the last two gubernatorial elections came down to a 1-percent difference and less than 65,000 votes.

And considering he’s been running as a Republican for months, that could be bad news for a hypothetical DeSantis/Someone-Besides-Nathan ticket in a couple months.

The campaign says Nathan already discussed the legality of a party switch at this stage with officials from the Division of Elections.

Nathan repeatedly expressed dissatisfaction throughout the primary season with the respect shown to his candidacy by party leaders, complaining when straw poll organizers around the state did not give him the same speaking time as DeSantis, Putnam or even White.

Of course, his independent candidacy isn’t a given.

The release announcing his impending party switch came with the subject line: “BREAKING News Florida Lt Governor” and the final line contained a hint (or threat, depending how it’s read) at how to prevent Nathan’s spoiler candidacy.

“Will the GOP winner Tue night consider Bruce as Lt Governor to eliminate this possibility?”

Here’s Florida Politics’ final poll of the Democratic primary for Florida governor

Gwen Graham and Philip Levine have jostled for the top spot in the Democratic primary for Governor for months, but the final poll ahead of Tuesday’s election shows Graham is the clear front-runner for the nomination with a still-surging Andrew Gillum, not Levine, taking the No. 2 spot.

The St. Pete Polls survey, crowd-funded by Florida Politics’ readers, shows the former Congresswoman with 32 percent support among likely Democratic primary voters, followed by Gillum at 25 percent and Levine at 22 percent.

Palm Beach billionaire Jeff Greene is barely clinging to a double-digit share of the vote, though he plans to keep his TV ads on the airwaves until the clock hits double zeroes. Orlando-area businessman Chris King, who has rarely broken the 10 percent threshold throughout his campaign, is floundering at 2 percent.

The poll results show a strong break toward Graham compared with other recent measures in the five-way race, where Levine held a razor-thin lead among early voters and was statistically tied with Graham among Democrats who were waiting to cast their ballot.

According to the new poll, there has been a tectonic shift as more early votes have landed.

More than half of those polled said they’ve already voted, and among that crowd, Graham was the clear favorite. She was the pick for a full third of early voters, while Gillum again took second place at 27 percent. Levine, who has poured millions into his bid, took third-place among those who’ve ticked a box, with 23 percent supporting the former Miami Beach Mayor.

The pecking order is the same among Democrats who are waiting for Election Day to exercise their franchise — Graham leads Gillum 30-23 percent, followed by Levine at 21 percent.

There is a ray of hope for Gillum and Levine: 8 percent of Democrats are still undecided, and 5 percent say they’re backing a second-tier candidate. However, there’s little time left to pound the pavement, and those voters would have to break decisively for one of the other candidates to strip Graham of her queen of the hill status.

One noteworthy trend this go-around: Gillum is now dominating his opponents among black Democrats, 49 percent of whom say they’re backing the Tallahassee Mayor.

Gillum has not come close to that level of support among black voters thus far. At the beginning of the month, only 23 percent of black Democrats were backing him, giving him a 1-point lead over Levine. Now, no other candidate even breaks out of the high teens.

Among white Democrats, Graham held 41-23 percent lead over Levine, with Gillum pulling 15 percent.

Broken down by age, Gillum leads among millennial voters with one-third support and he’s also the top pick among Gen-Xers, with 36 percent backing him followed by Graham 10 percentage points behind. Graham holds a 2-point edge over Gillum, 30-28 percent, in the 50- to 69-year-old bracket, while voters over 70 preferred her by a 15-point margin.

The winner of Tuesday’s election will go up against either U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis or Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam in November. If polling on the GOP side of the race proves accurate, it looks as if DeSantis will win the Republican nomination with ease.

The St. Pete Polls survey was conducted through an automated phone call polling system on Aug. 25. It received 2,342 responses from Democratic voters who said they had voted or planned to vote in the primary election. The results were weighted to account for proportional differences between the respondents’ demographics and the demographics of the active Democratic primary voter population for the state of Florida.

The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points at a 95 percent confidence level.

Markets predict Gwen Graham, Ron DeSantis wins on Tuesday

The worlds of gambling addicts and political junkies converge with futures markets like PredictIt or Iowa Electronic Markets, where the game of election prognostication gets serious.

Pollsters put plenty of effort into gauging whom voters will elect, but you have to check these markets for folks with real skin in the game.

Would Gwen Graham be a smarter bet to win the Democratic nomination than Philip Levine?

How wild a bet would it be for Republicans to hold the U.S. House next year?

And where do gambling politicos place their bets when it comes to Florida politics?

PredictIt

A project of the Victoria University of Wellington, PredictIt allows investors to buy shares in political outcomes and converts the results into U.S. cents. Basically, you can invest in an election result where the market sets the odds, and you get $1 once the outcome becomes clear if your bet was right.

Right now, you can still jump into the market for outcomes on the Tuesday primary elections, including major Florida races.

As of Sunday night, the market for the Florida Democratic primary was selling Gwen Graham at 79 cents and Philip Levine at 20, despite many polls showing the two frontrunners neck and neck; Andrew Gillum goes for just a nickel.

On the Republican side, the market gives greater odds for Ron DeSantis at 87 cents, while Adam Putnam sits at 16 cents.

Source: PredictIt

The market for the Democratic primary of Florida’s 5th Congressional District offers good news for incumbent Al Lawson, whose victory is selling at 95 cents.

In the 9th District Democratic fight, incumbent Darren Soto is selling at 92 cents while challenger Alan Grayson trades at 14 cents.

That means Soto is going for almost as much as incumbent Stephanie Murphy, selling for 94 cents in the 7th, where Chardo Richardson has been marked down to 5 cents.

In the 6th District Republican primary, Republican Michael Waltz goes for 85 cents while John Ward goes for 18.

In the 27th District Democratic primary, a Donna Shalala victory goes for 92 cents. On the Republican side, the market sells Maria Salazar at 98 cents and Bruno Barreiro at just 7.

IEM

The nonprofit Iowa Electronic Markets, operated by the University of Iowa’s Henry B. Tippie College of Business, remains the only political futures market legally operating in the United States. It creates a futures market on real-world events that operates like a stock market.

This market looks at who will control Congress once the 2018 elections run their course. You can bet, for example, on whether Republicans will hold the majority in the House with 217 seats or more, or bet against that outcome. And you can place a bet on whether the GOP gains seats at all.

A look at the House markets as of Sunday night shows most betting against the Republican House. The last price on the bet of the GOP having a minority sat at 0.73, compared to a 0.131 price on Republicans keeping the chamber and a 0.141 bet on Republicans gaining seats.

But the Senate remains a different story. The last price as of Sunday on Democrats taking the chamber rang in at 0.251, while the price of Republicans barely keeping a majority came in at 0.384 and the possibility of the GOP gaining seats landed at 0.349.

Like stocks, you can also see how the markets change over time. For example, you can see that over the last month, the market on Republicans holding the House plummeted. In the same time, the market on Republicans holding the Senate slightly increased.

Source: Iowa Electronic Markets

Poll: Nikki Fried up big in Democratic primary for Ag. Commissioner

According to a new poll, attorney and medical marijuana lobbyist Nikki Fried is all but assured to snag the Democratic nomination for Commissioner of Agriculture on Tuesday.

The St. Pete Polls survey shows Fried with 44 percent support among likely Democratic primary voters, giving her a double-digit lead over the combined tally of her competitors, environmental scientist Roy David Walker and Homestead Mayor Jeff Porter, who came in at 20 percent and 11 percent, respectively. About one in four Democratic primary voters said they were undecided.

When it comes to early voters, who made up 53 percent of the sample, Fried goes from a plurality to an outright majority — 54 percent of Democrats who have already cast their ballot picked Fried, compared to 21 percent who chose Walker and 11 percent who chose Porter.

As ever, there was a significant portion of voters who said they’d already voted but were still “undecided.” Whether that indicates second thoughts or reflects on the memorability of the candidates running to flip the Cabinet seat currently held by term-limited Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam is anyone’s call.

Undecided was king among the 47 percent of Democrats who plan to vote but haven’t done so yet. Following the 36 percent who are unsure about their pick is Fried, who scoops up 34 percent of the yet-to-vote crowd while Walker snags 19 percent and Porter holds at 11 percent.

Fried holds big leads among every race, both men and women, and among and every age group — from her low of 40 percent support among Gen-Xers to her high of 47 percent support among the 50- to 69-year-old crowd. The youth vote is just as enthused, preferring her 44-20 percent over Walker, and she posts the same margin among Democrats aged 70-and-up who favor her over Walker 43-19.

The media market breakdown is even more dour for all candidates not named Fried. In addition to being the top pick for former CFO Alex Sink25 state lawmakers, U.S. Reps. Charlie Crist and Lois Frankel, former U.S. Rep. Patrick MurphySEIURuth’s List, the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council, Fried was No. 1 in each of Florida’s 10 media markets.

All three candidates are from South Florida, and in the West Palm Beach and Miami markets it’s no contest — Fried carries both by 25-plus percentage points. Her lead hits 50-20 percent in the Tampa market, while the rocky result came from the relatively small Panama City market, where her lead over Walker was a slim 37-33 percent.

Walker has been running for the seat, but his questionable background as a “Walmart U” alum and even more questionable campaign loans — he’s already outstripped his $138,000 listed his net worth by pumping $160,000 into his campaign — have left many Democrats unimpressed.

Porter joined the race in January, and while he’s got a background in elected office, his campaign has struggled to gain traction or, more importantly, cash checks — a necessity in any race, especially a statewide one.

Enter Fried, who put her name down for the job at the last minute, but has gone on to not land loads of endorsements from the state’s Democratic icons, but has actually made positive headway in fundraising. As of Aug. 23 she’d cleared well over $400,000 between her campaign fund and political committee, Florida Consumers First — that’s six figures more than the combined totals of Porter and Walker.

The new survey isn’t the only positive Team Fried has going for them. An internal poll released by her campaign shows her with an early edge over two of her possible Republican opponents in the general election, Sebring Sen. Denise Grimsley and former Winter Haven Rep. Baxter Troutman.

The St. Pete Polls automated phone poll was conducted on Aug. 25 and received responses from 2,342 registered Democrats who said they had voted or planned to vote in the Democratic primary. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points at a 95 percent confidence level.

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