Charlie Crist Archives - Page 3 of 89 - Florida Politics

Chris King confirmed for St. Pete Chamber’s ‘Popcorn and Politics’

The St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce is hosting Florida Democratic Lieutenant Governor nominee Chris King during its “Popcorn and Politics” event Thursday. The program runs from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Florida Holocaust Museum in downtown St. Pete.

King is scheduled to speak at 6.

The event also features several other local candidates during a casual meet and greet reception.

Incumbent Senate District 24 Republican Jeff Brandes will be there alongside his Democratic challenger, environmental scientist Lindsay Cross. Brandes holds a commanding lead in the most recent polls over Cross and is massively out-raising her. Cross is battling from behind after jumping into the race late in the game following the former candidate, Carrie Pilon, abruptly withdrawing from the race.

House District 69 candidate Jennifer Webb, the Democrat in that race, is also confirmed. Her opponent, attorney Ray Blacklidge, has not confirmed whether he will attend. Webb holds a double-digit lead over Blacklidge, according to a recent poll.

George Buck, the Republican challenging Congressman Charlie Crist for the Congressional District 13 seat, is scheduled to attend.  Buck faces an uphill battle against Crist. The district now favors Democrats after its boundaries were redrawn to include parts of downtown St. Pete.

Due to votes in the U.S. House this week, Crist will not attend the event.

Two Pinellas County Commission candidates are going. Republican Kathleen Peters and her Democratic opponent Amy Kedron both confirmed their attendance. Peters is favored in that race for the mid-Pinellas district that covers some of the beaches and Seminole. Kedron took a hit to her campaign after the Tampa Bay Times reporter she called the police on one of its reporters who was trying to interview her in public space.

The two are running for the late John Morroni’s seat after he passed away earlier this year.

Clearwater Republican Chris Latvala will also attend. Latvala’s challenger, Dawn Douglas, won’t be joining him. Douglas is a teacher at Oak Grove Middle School in Clearwater.

St. Pete Dems put ‘Trump disciple’ Ron DeSantis on notice over health care

Local Democrats are rallying behind gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum, while calling out his conservative opponent Ron DeSantis for siding with Republicans in efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

“Andrew Gillum and Chris King will look out for St. Pete,” St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman said during a rally in front of a community health center on the Southside. “They will look out for everyday Floridians and not special interests or insurance companies. They are not creatures of Congress or disciples of Donald [Trump].”

House Republicans have tried 100 times to repeal, water down, de-authorize or defund former President Barack Obama’s signature health care law, according to a website that tracks such measures. That site lists DeSantis as the sponsor of six proposals to roll back protections under the law.

About 50 residents and community activists showed up to condemn DeSantis’s health care voting record including a group of nurses supporting the Gillum/King ticket.

“I feel that the most important thing is the Republican repeal of Obamacare as it relates to pre-existing illnesses,” said registered nurse Anticus Jones. “An example is hypertension. It is easily treatable, but what happens is if it goes untreated or improperly treated, that person runs the risk of having a more complex illness that may exacerbate to something like diabetes or kidney failure and ultimately result in an untimely death for those patients.”

In a television ad released Tuesday supporting Gillum and other Democrats running for cabinet positions, Democrats blast DeSantis for implying that sick patients without health insurance should just go to the emergency room.

I would say though, and people who supported Obamacare used to this point a lot before it passed, there really is no lack of health care. If people really need it, if they show up to the emergency room, they do get care,” DeSantis said in a March 2017 interview by CNN’s Erin Burnett, according to a CNN transcript of that segment.

“We know what happens when people don’t have access to affordable health care. They go to the emergency room, which is the most expensive form of health care or worse they go without care and we all end up paying more on the back end,” Kriseman said.

The ad, which doesn’t directly mention Gillum but includes a disclaimer that his campaign approved the message, asks how DeSantis can “lead Florida when he leaves Floridians behind?”

“They’re called pre-existing conditions and everybody knows somebody who has one,” the ad says. “But in Congress, Ron DeSantis demanded that any new health law eliminate protections for people with pre-existing conditions. He’d let insurance companies deny them coverage.”

Kristen King, the wife of Lieutenant Governor nominee Chris King, lamented during the St. Pete rally that before the Affordable Care Act, being pregnant was considered a pre-existing condition.

“I can say with total clarity that we will not be going back to the days when being a woman was considered a pre-existing condition,” King said.

It’s an issue that hits home for King. One of her daughters has severe food allergies that can cause anaphylaxes and is also considered a pre-existing condition.

The group of Gillum backers also support the Tallahassee Mayor because he would work to expand Medicaid in Florida. Under the Republican-controlled Legislature and Rick Scott administration, Florida declined federal funds to expand Medicaid to 800,000 Floridians.

While a Gillum administration would be hard-pressed to make that happen if the makeup of the Legislature doesn’t change after this November’s midterm election, Congressman Charlie Crist, a former Florida Governor, said Gillum would retain some authority to protect Floridians from bad health care laws by using his veto power, something which Crist said he has direct experience.

Crist also hopes Democrats will unseat Republicans in November to even the balance between the two parties. He nodded to Lindsay Cross, the Democrat running against Republican Jeff Brandes in the Florida Senate district covering St. Pete.

“The stakes could not be higher in this election,” Crist said. “To have someone who is running for Governor who doesn’t support covering people with pre-existing conditions, particularly in a state like Florida, is simply unconscionable.”

Charlie Crist, Nikki Fried holding joint call on passing marijuana reform

Following action by multiple banks to close Agriculture Commissioner candidate Nikki Fried’s campaign accounts, U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist will file federal legislation to address conflict between federal and state marijuana laws.

Crist and Fried, both Democrats, will hold a joint press call Monday to discuss the “urgent need to reform medical marijuana advocacy at the federal level.”

A release announcing the conference call stressed an overwhelming majority of Florida voters in 2016, more than 71 percent, came out in favor of enshrining legal access to medical cannabis in the state constitution.

Wells Fargo officials this month informed Fried’s campaign it could not maintain accounts with the financial institute because she worked as a lobbyist for the medical marijuana industry and accepted contributions from individuals working in the field.

Friday, news broke another bank, BB&T, shut Fried’s accounts down as well.

A review of Fried’s campaign finances shows donations from Savara Hastings, executive director of the American Medical Marijuana Physicians Association, and Jake Bergmann, CEO for medical marijuana company Surterra Holdings, among others in the industry.

The banks’ actions against Fried’s campaign made national headlines.

When Florida Politics first reported the Wells Fargo news, reporters from Georgia, a state where Republicans like state Rep. Allen Peake led the charge on allowing medical marijuana to be sold, contacted this outlet about the development.

Fried also she heard from officials north of the Florida-Georgia line, and told Florida Politics an increasing number of bipartisan leaders nationwide have come around to supporting medical cannabis. On Friday, she predicted that would lead to federal action.

“In red states that have moved the needle on medical marijuana, those states are seeing their own bank accounts may be jeopardized,” Fried said.

“When it starts to become a personal thing and people realize their own accounts could be closed down, you will start to see some movement in Congress.”

Crist will announce details of his legislation in the conference call today. He also held a roundtable in Largo earlier this month with local veterans groups and marijuana industry leaders, then sponsored legislation aimed to protect veterans from being fired from federal jobs for using marijuana as medical treatment.

“Medical marijuana is an issue of compassion,” Crist said, “and in the veterans’ community, access is even more important as more and more veterans are turning to cannabis to address chronic pain and PTSD.”

Fried said in many conservative areas, politicians ultimately were swayed on support for cannabis because of its effectiveness in treating first responders and others who suffer trauma.

Florida Politics to spotlight politics of cannabis with ‘Wellness Week’

On Tuesday morning, the general election season (unofficially) begins. And after a brief holiday hiatus, Sunburn also returns with a slightly different look.

Let me explain; I am extremely excited about what Florida Politics has in store for our loyal readers next week.

Starting Tuesday — and continuing through the week — Florida Politics is launching a collaboration with the newly formed medical-marijuana advocacy group, Empowering Wellness.

Joined by our colleagues at St. Pete Polls, Florida Politics and Empowering Wellness will roll out a week’s worth of exclusive polling data, analysis and content, satiating your appetite for the most up-to-date info on the major statewide contests on the November ballot — all with a medical cannabis-focused twist.

Formed in August, Empowering Wellness launched just as early voting began in the Florida primaries. With an initial focus on both state and federal races, as well as medical marijuana policy in Congress, Empowering Wellness hit the ground running, putting money to mouth on behalf of U.S. Reps. Matt Gaetz and Darren Soto — supporting each in their ultimately successful primary races.

Dubbing the bipartisan duo “Champions of Wellness” for their dedicated support of medical marijuana policies in Washington, the organization executed digital ad campaigns in both primaries, targeting likely supporters of medical marijuana with hundreds of thousands of ads in the two weeks leading up to Aug. 28.

Partnering with Florida Politics on “Wellness Week,” Empowering Wellness is sending a signal: It is authentic, engaged, and will quickly become a force in the general election.

“There’s a clear disconnect between the majority of Americans and the majority of members of Congress when it comes to medical marijuana policy,” said Ben Pollara, who managed Florida’s 2014 and 2016 medical marijuana campaigns. Pollara serves as the lead consultant to Empowering Wellness.

“When over 71 percent of Floridians voted to put medical marijuana in our state’s constitution — as the voters or legislatures of 30 other states have also done — but medical marijuana patients, caregivers and businesses are still federal criminals.” Pollara said. “It’s time for Congress to do their jobs and change the law.”

Empowering Wellness plans to do that, at least in 2018, with a focus on protecting incumbents — those “Champions of Wellness” — who are vocal about reforming medical marijuana laws. The group will achieve this goal through positive messaging centered on those candidates’ support of cannabis.

Beyond Gaetz and Soto, the group is also singling out other “Champions” in Congress, such as Miami Republican Carlos Curbelo and Democrat Charlie Crist of St. Petersburg.

Empowering Wellness is also taking a keen interest Florida’s U.S. Senate slugfest between Gov. Rick Scott and incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson. Visit Florida Politics early Tuesday, when Wellness Week kicks off with some hot-off-the-presses polling in the Senate race.

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.

Nick DiCeglie

Direct mail round-up: Nick DiCeglie slammed as ‘lifelong Democrat’

There’s a new hit job showing up in Pinellas County mailboxes painting House District 66 candidate Nick DiCeglie as a “lifelong Democrat” who has contributed to “pro-amnesty liberals like Charlie Crist.”

If that’s the case, the Republican Party of Pinellas County has a problem on its hands — DiCeglie is the chair.

But it’s not the case. Far from it.

DiCeglie did give to Charlie Crist, when he ran for U.S. Senate in 2010. That was long before Crist, a lifelong Republican from Pinellas County, switched his allegiance to the Democratic Party. Also of note: DiCeglie gave to U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio later on in that election cycle.

All of his contributions since then have been to Republican candidates and committees: former Republican U.S. Rep. Bill Young, former Republican U.S. Rep. David Jolly, the Republican Party of Florida — and those are just his federal contributions.

At the state level, he’s donated exclusively to Republican politicians: Attorney General Pam Bondi, state Rep. Kathleen Peters, former state Sen. Jack Latvala, Gov. Rick Scott and future House Speaker Chris Sprowls.

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, Nick DiCeglie is obviously a Republican. But that’s not the only troubling thing about the mailer. It also partially “doxxes” the candidate by listing his personal cell phone number.

That’s low. Blasting that information out to the public with a mailer pushing false and inflammatory information isn’t just irresponsible, it’s a recipe for someone to get harassed and possibly physically assaulted. As anyone who has had their information put out knows, it rarely stops at phone calls.

DiCeglie is running for the seat currently held by term-limited Rep. Larry Ahern. He faces Seminole attorney Berny Jacques in the Republican primary. Heading into the final five days of the election, DiCeglie surpassed Jacques in both total fundraising and cash on hand — he had $46,605 in the bank, much of it loans, while Jacques had less than $500 in his two accounts.

It is unclear whether the mailer attacking DiCeglie was sent by the Jacques campaign as the flipside of the document was not provided to Florida Politics. Still, campaign finance reports show Jacques spent more than $18,000 on direct mail campaigns over the last couple weeks.

Recent polls show DiCeglie with a firm lead heading into the primary election. An Aug. 13 survey of likely Republican primary voters in the coastal Pinellas district showed DiCeglie with a 44-30 percent lead over Jacques. That edge expanded to 51-34 percent among the voters who said they’d already sent in their primary ballot.

The winner of Tuesday’s election will move on to face Democratic nominee Alex Heeren in November.

HD 66 covers part of Clearwater and numerous other communities, including Belleair Bluffs, Indian Rocks Beach, Indian Shores and Seminole.

The district has a Republican lean — Ahern has held the seat since it was redrawn in 2012, when he won re-election by 6 points. His next two re-election bids ended in double-digit wins, and President Donald Trump had similar success in 2016, when he carried the district 55-41.

The mailer is below. Florida Politics has edited the picture in order to not disclose DiCeglie’s cell phone number.

Anit-Nick DiCeglie mailer

Florida politicians react to the passing of John McCain

The family of U.S. Sen. John McCain, Arizona’s senior senator and the 2008 Republican nominee for president, announced his death after a lengthy battle with cancer.

Florida’s political leaders remembered the longtime Senate leader.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, elected in 2010, issued a statement mourning McCain.

“John McCain’s sacrifices to his country are immeasurable. With his passing today, America has lost more than a leader and more than a senator. We have lost a true American hero. As a colleague in the Senate and a friend, I drew personal inspiration from his leadership, intellect and moral courage. He set the standard for what we should expect from our soldiers and from our public servants of all levels. In this time of grief, I hope John’s family finds comfort in knowing that this extraordinary man touched countless lives, and his memory will continue to set the standard of leadership and moral resolve for future generations.”

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, a Florida Democrat elected to the Senate in 2000, called McCain a friend a hero.

“John McCain was my friend and one of my heroes. He devoted his life to duty, honor and country. He shall always be a role model for me.”

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who is running against Nelson this year, noted McCain’s military service.

“John McCain was a true American hero. As a Navy man myself, I’ve always had immense respect for Senator McCain. A lot of folks talk tough, but he was the real deal. From one Navy family to another, we extend our sincerest gratitude for his strength and perseverance. John will always be a beacon of hope and perseverance for America. He was a true fighter and fought every day for this country. We will miss him dearly but take comfort in knowing his legacy will live on forever.”

Former Gov. Jeb Bush, whose brother George W. defeated McCain in the Republican presidential primary in 2000, praised McCain’s lifetime of service.

“John McCain’s courageous and selfless lifetime of service is a profile in American exceptionalism. Prayers this evening for the Senator, Cindy and the entire McCain family.”

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi sent prayers to McCain’s family.

“US Senator John McCain was a war hero, a public servant and a great American. Our country is better for his service. My heart breaks, and my prayers are with Cindy, Meghan and the entire McCain family.”

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, a Republican candidate for governor, celebrated all stages of McCain’s service. “America lost one of her bravest defenders today. In a cockpit, an enemy prison, or the Senate chamber, John McCain fought for our nation’s values and freedoms, and sacrificed much in the journey. May God welcome him home and give comfort to his family.”

Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis remembered his interaction with McCain during the 2008 presidential campaign.

“Katie, Theo and I had the honor to meet Senator McCain during his 2008 campaign for President. My family appreciates his sacrifices for our country and pray for strength for the McCain Family.”

Former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham, a Democratic candidate for governor, spoke of the relationship between McCain and her father, former U.S. Sen. Bob Graham. “Dad and @SenJohnMcCain formed a friendship serving together because John McCain was one of the rare statesman who could place public service before partisanship. He was a warrior and maverick all the way to the end. May he rest in peace.”

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, a Democratic candidate for governor, praised McCain’s character. “We’ve lost a truly courageous leader tonight. John McCain’s integrity and love for our country was boundless. He led with a passion and purpose that we all aspire to. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends this difficult evening.”

Chris King, another Democratic candidate, posted a classic photo of McCain being honored for his service by President Richard Nixon.

Former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, a Democratic candidate for governor, also remembered McCain. “His patriotism is beyond measure, his heroism beyond question, and his character is a role model for a life beautifully lived.”

Attorney General candidate Sean Shaw, a Democrat, also posted a picture of McCain with another president, former opponent Barack Obama.

Agriculture Commissioner candidate Baxter Troutman, a Republican, was among those mentioning McCain’s maverick reputation.

Chief Financial Officer candidate Jeremy Ring, a Democrat, called McCain a true patriot.

“So sad to hear of the passing of a true American Patriot and Hero . My prayers are with his family at this time as well as all the people he has touched throughout his eighty-one years. Senator McCain, THANK YOU for your service to the American people.”

Democratic U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, who as Florida’s Republican governor campaigned for McCain for president, remembered the senator.

“Tonight our country lost a true American hero. Honored to have called Senator McCain a friend. May God bless his loved ones during this time of loss.”

U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, a Democrat, echoed the thoughts. “America loses a true patriot in Senator John McCain. Honor him with independent thinking, love of country.”

U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, a Republican, added his tribute to McCain. “John McCain was a true American patriot who sacrificed much for his country. He was a man of tremendous courage and will be missed.”

U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, a Republican, released the following statement: “I am saddened at the passing of a true American hero, Senator John McCain. Senator McCain was a devoted family man, a passionate leader, and a dedicated public servant. He always put his country first, and as such he leaves behind an impressive legacy of service and sacrifice. The Bilirakis family was fortunate to call him a friend for many years. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. May his memory be eternal!”

U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, a Democrat, also put out a statement: “”I was so incredibly saddened to hear the news of Senator John McCain’s passing. He was a classic Patriot and served our nation with honor and distinction. May his family find the peace that they need in this difficult time, and know that his legacy will forever endure. Throughout Senator McCain’s years of distinguished service, we all saw firsthand his integrity, humility, courage and grace. My thoughts and prayers are with his entire family. Senator McCain inspired a nation and will be dearly missed.”

U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Republican, shared a picture of herself with McCain and a message for his family. “An American hero passed away but his legacy will endure. A fighter through and through, was a patriot and a true American hero. Dexter and I were proud to know him.”

U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo, a Republican, said he felt honored to have served in Washington with McCain. “ was a true hero. Honored to have known him and served in Washington with him. Thinking of the McCain family and all who loved him tonight. Rest in peace Maverick.”

U.S. Rep. John Rutherford was among those celebrating McCain’s military contributions. “I am saddened by the passing of Senator John McCain and thank him for his service to our nation both in the Navy and in Congress. For decades, his dedication to his country, his family, and his principles have served as an example to us all.”

U.S. Rep. Al Lawson, a Democrat, said he was incredibly saddened to hear of McCain’s death. “He embodied true patriotism and was a man of unflinching integrity, who went above and beyond the call of duty in service to our country. This is a profound loss for our nation.”

U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy, a Democrat, recalled a diplomatic trip the two lawmakers took together to Vietnam. “Patriot. Hero. Public Servant. Maverick. Senator McCain will be missed by this nation. As a Vietnamese refugee, I will treasure the memory of visiting Vietnam with talking about our deep and mutual love for America. Rest In Peace, Senator. Your legacy lives on.”

U.S. Rep. Darren Soto, a Democrat, simply thanked McCain for his candor. “Thank you for your service to our country, for your courage and for your candor!”

U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross, a Republican, said McCain exemplified the best of the United States. “Sen. John McCain dedicated his entire life to serving our nation. As a Navy Veteran, a war hero, and later through his service in Congress, he exemplified the best this country has to offer as a statesman. My prayers are with the McCain family during this difficult time.

U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, a Republican, issued a lengthy statement celebrating McCain’s life from the military to his Senate service. “Generations to come will benefit from his selfless dedication to duty and country.”

U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson, a Democrat, simply passed along her regrets at the news.

Florida Senate President Joe Negron celebrated McCain’s military record. “We are keeping the McCain family in our prayers as they grieve this incredible loss. Senator McCain was an American hero who served the cause of freedom throughout his entire life. He endured suffering most of us cannot imagine. We are so grateful for his service and sacrifice.”

State Rep. Jason Fischer also made note of McCain’s naval record. “Fair winds and following seas, shipmate. We have the watch.”

State Rep. Shevrin Jones demonstrated the bipartisan affection for the senator, saying McCain “was an example of what courage, strength, and civility in the process looked like. Today, let us honor him for showing the world that it can be done. To a true American legend and hero, Rest In Peace.”

Miami Beach City Commissioner Kristen Rosen Gonzalez, a Democratic candidate for Congress in South Florida, released the following statement: “It is a sad day today for all Americans. I may not have always agreed with Sen. John McCain, but I always respected him. He was a true American hero who fought for what he believed in — both in war and in Washington — and was a true representative of his people, not special interests. He was a warrior, a statesman, a model for us all. His death Saturday can be mourned by both Republicans and Democrats because Sen. McCain wasn’t afraid to cross the aisle, or challenge his own party and its leaders, when he felt he had to. Twice, he refused to support GOP legislation to end the Affordable Healthcare Act. His example and his leadership will be missed.”

Jesse Phillips, Seminole County Republican state committeeman, mentioned McCain sometimes upset his base but always inspired respect. “Love him or hate him, the maverick embodied so much of what makes America great.”

Christian Whitfield, Jacksonville City Council candidate, honored McCain’s service record. “Elizabeth and I would like to send our condolences to the family and to our fellow and shipmate sleep in peace sir, we have the watch.”

Hawthorne Mayor Matt Surrency recalled a famous moment when McCain dismissed false theories about Obama even in the midst of the presidential race.

This story will be updated as more leaders release statements.

Charlie Crist, Lois Frankel endorse Nikki Fried for Agriculture Commissioner

Lawyer and medical marijuana activist Nikki Fried landed another pair of endorsements for her bid to take over as Agriculture Commissioner in the fall, this time from Democratic U.S. Reps. Charlie Crist and Lois Frankel.

“I’m thrilled about the prospect of Nikki Fried as Florida’s Commissioner of Agriculture — she’s smart, prepared, and a tireless advocate for the people. We need Nikki elected to the Florida Cabinet to be a champion for rights, fairness, and progress,” said Crist, who recently sponsored a bipartisan bill to grant veterans and other federal workers access to medical marijuana without risking their jobs.

Frankel added: “It is exciting to see such a talented woman running for office in Florida. Nikki is someone we must elect to be the next Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services — a member of Florida’s Cabinet.”

Fried, 40, was a late entry into the statewide race, though her campaign has quickly picked up steam. To date, she has surpassed the combined fundraising total of her two Democratic primary opponents, Homestead Mayor Jeff Porter and South Florida Audubon Society President Roy David Walker.

In addition to Crist and Frankel, Fried has also landed endorsements from numerous Democratic politicians, most recently from former Congressman Patrick Murphy, with others coming in from former CFO Alex Sink, 25 state lawmakers, 33 county and municipal leaders, labor union SEIU, Ruth’s List, the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council, and others.

“It is incredible to have Congresswoman Frankel and Congressman Crist’s support. They have both been stalwarts for our environment, our water and for medical marijuana,” Fried said. “Like both of these leaders, I look forward to taking our fight to Tallahassee and putting an end to the disarray that the Republicans have put our state through for the last two decades.”

Fried, Porter, and Walker will duke it out in the Aug. 28 primary election, the winner of which will move on to face one of four Republicans vying for the position currently filled by term-limited Republican Adam Putnam, who is running for Governor.

Of the four Republicans, Lehigh Acres state Rep. Matt Caldwell and Sebring state Sen. Denise Grimsley, who recently rolled out her first TV adhave had the most success on the campaign trail and in fundraising.

Grimsley has raised $2.65 million since declaring for the race in February 2017 and currently holds the cash lead with more than $1.1 million in the bank between her campaign and political committees, Saving Florida’s Heartland and Let’s Grow Florida.

Caldwell has raised $2 million since entering the race in April 2017 and has $1.07 million on hand between his campaign and political committee, Friends of Matt Caldwell.

Fried, for her part, had raised about $256,000 between her campaign and Florida Consumers First political committee with $122,500 in the bank as of Aug. 3. She is likely to show a boost, however, thanks to a recent Orlando fundraiser hosted by Sink and Ruth’s List, as well as attorney and medical marijuana advocate John Morgan and Richard Swann, whose involvement in Democratic Party fundraising goes back decades.

Charlie Crist sponsors bill allowing veterans to use medical marijuana

Democratic U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist announced a new bill Wednesday that would allow veterans to be treated with medical marijuana without getting canned from federal government jobs.

Crist introduced H.R. 6589, also known as the “Fairness in Federal Drug Testing Under State Laws Act,” during a roundtable discussion with veterans and cannabis industry representatives in Largo.

“Medical marijuana is an issue of compassion, and in the veterans’ community, access is even more important as more and more veterans are turning to cannabis to address chronic pain and PTSD. At the same time, the federal government is the largest employer of veterans; however, private cannabis use even in states that have legalized medical marijuana is prohibited in these positions,” Crist said.

“Our bipartisan bill would protect federal employment for those in compliance with their state’s cannabis laws. Because our veterans shouldn’t have to choose between treatment options or job opportunities,” he continued.

Republican U.S. Rep. Drew Ferguson of Georgia, who is co-introducing the measure with Crist, added that “no one should face unemployment for choosing to pursue private legal medical treatment,” including federal workers, one-third of whom are veterans.

Crist’s email announcing the bill said it had already earned the backing of numerous marijuana advocacy organizations, including Americans for Safe Access, Florida for Care, Marijuana Policy Project, the National Cannabis Industry Association, NORMLVeterans Cannabis Coalition and the Weed for Warriors Project.

“Congressman Crist has been a strong ally in our fight to allow Florida patients access to medical marijuana and efforts to protect this access from federal interference. Florida for Care is proud to support his common-sense bill to protect employment of Floridians whose well-being depends on continuing medical marijuana treatment,” said Ben Pollara, executive director of Florida for Care, and campaign manager of the successful 2016 campaign to approve medical marijuana in Florida.

“We applaud Congressman Crist’s leadership on this important issue as we continue working together to protect patients and strengthen the state’s medical marijuana system.”

Medical marijuana company Surterra Wellness, which operates 10 dispensaries in the Sunshine State, also lauded the plan in a separate statement.

“We applaud Congressman Crist for introducing a bipartisan bill to protect veterans’ treatment options. Surterra stands proudly beside the Congressman as he pursues medical cannabis reform in Congress so that our communities and local veterans can have access to safe and effective treatment options,” said Surterra CEO Jake Bergmann.

“We have a significant veteran community in Florida that deserves the highest quality, most consistent medical cannabis products available. We are proud to lead a company that seeks to improve the quality of our brave men and women’s lives through safe, natural means,” he continued.

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