Dana Young Archives - Page 7 of 30 - Florida Politics

Personnel note: Sydney Ridley joins Southern Strategy Group

Sydney Ridley, former right-hand woman to lawmaker Dana Young, is joining Southern Strategy Group‘s Tampa office. 

The top-tier lobbying firm announced the move Monday.

“Sydney represents the future of the lobbying business,” said Seth McKeel, managing partner of SSG’s Tampa Bay office and a former House member. “She’s sharp, respected, energetic, and she’s very excited about delivering for our clients – a perfect fit for our team.”

The two had been talking about Ridley joining the firm “for a little while and the timing prior to session seemed right so we pulled the trigger and couldn’t be more excited,” McKeel said.

Ridley, 28, will be part of the team traveling back and forth between Tampa Bay and Tallahassee working on behalf of clients as the 2017 legislative session cranks up, he added.

“She understands Tampa Bay, the players in the market, and, importantly, the politics of the region,” McKeel said. “Political leaders in our region have grown to know, love and trust Sydney so we felt it was really a perfect fit.”

Ridley had been a legislative aide to Young, now a state senator, when she served in the House, rising to Republican leader there. She also worked on Young’s Senate campaign.

“She is a very talented, hard-working individual and I am confident she will be successful in this new endeavor,” Young told FloridaPolitics.com.

Ridley, a graduate of the University of Virginia, also has worked on the campaigns of Mike Prendergast for Congress, Jeff Brandes for Florida Senate, and Dorothy Hukill for Florida Senate.

Ridley most recently had been heading government and regulatory affairs for Frontier Communications’ Florida operations.

Hillsborough legislative delegation to meet December 16

With Tallahassee a four-hour drive away, the annual meeting of the Hillsborough County Legislative Delegation to be held in two weeks in Tampa could very possibly be the only time local residents can address their state representative(s).

That meeting will take place on Friday, December 16 at the Tampa Bay History Center, 801 Old Water Street, from 9 a.m. to 3.p.m.

The Delegation consists of 13 members of the Florida Senate and Florida House of Representatives that represent all or parts of Hillsborough County. Senators Dana Young, Bill Galvano, Darryl Rouson will join Brandon area state Senator Tom Lee , who serves this year as the current Chair of the Delegation.

House members include Jake Raburn, Dan Raulerson, Sean Shaw, Ross Spano, Jackie Toledo, Janet Cruz, Shawn Harrison, Jamie Grant and Wengay Newton.

The annual meeting is an opportunity for the general public to interact with and voice any concerns or opinions to their elected officials prior to the start of the 2017 Legislative Session. It’s also when lawmakers will propose so-called “local bills”

Public testimony will be limited to three minutes per speaker. The deadline to submit a request to speak is 5 p.m. on Friday, December 9, which you can access from this page. Additional speaker request forms will be available at the meeting.

Dana Young to chair Health Care policy committee

Dana Young has been named as chair of Health Care policy in the Florida state Senate. The South Tampa Republican, who was elected to the Legislature’s upper chamber earlier this month in SD 18, will also serve as Vice Chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Higher Education

Senate President Joe Negron handed out such assignments to his charges in the Senate on Tuesday for the 2017 and 2018 sessions.

Other Hillsborough County area senators who learned that they would chair committees include Bill Galvano, who will chair the Appropriations Subcommittee on Higher Education

Senator Galvano previously served as Majority Leader to the Florida Senate during the 2014-2016 legislative term, and has also served as the Chair of Education Appropriations in the past. He represents District 21, which encompasses all of Manatee County, as well as a portion of Hillsborough County.

“I appreciate the confidence President Negron has placed in me by appointing me Chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Higher Education,” said Galvano.  “I look forward to delivering a higher education budget that truly meets the needs of the people of Florida; a budget that will elevate our university system to the highest level of excellence.”

Darryl Rouson, who narrowly defeated fellow Democrat Ed Narain in the Tampa/St. Pete District SD 19 race, will serve as Vice Chair of the Transportation Committee.

And Brandon’s Tom Lee heads Community Affairs.

Darryl Rouson and Dana Young set to start new careers in Florida Senate

At Tuesday’s Organization Session in Tallahassee, all forty state Senators elected earlier this month will take their oath in office.

Both senators representing Hillsborough County, Darryl Rouson and Dana Young, are new to the job, though not to the Legislature.

Young returns to Tallahassee having fulfilled her goal of advancing into the Senate after six years in the Florida House.

The newly created state Senate District 18 she now represents includes more than half of the same boundaries of her House District 60 seat, and she was more than ready to began campaigning for it once she declared she was in the running back in January, staving off any other GOP hopefuls (such as Sandy Murman, who flirted with the notion of challenging her in primary before opting to run for re-election to her County Commission seat).

Although Young won the seat earlier this month with relative ease over Democrat Bob Buesing, it was anything but an easy campaign. Buesing and independent Joe Redner tore into Young’s voting record, with the liberal activist group Florida Strong and other environmental groups slamming Young’s vote on fracking during the 2016 legislative session.

Young had insisted that her vote for a fracking bill in the House last session was actually a vote against fracking, but her opponents disagreed and went after her hard on the subject.

To clear up any ambiguity, Young announced last week in Orlando that she will soon draw up a bill that will ban fracking outright in the Sunshine State.

The statement earned her plaudits from Florida Conservation Voters, a group that strongly backed Buesing in the election.

“Florida Conservation Voters applauds Senator Dana Young for her commitment to sponsor a true statewide fracking ban,” said Aliki Moncrief, Executive Director, Florida Conservation Voters. “Our quality of life and economy depend on a healthy environment – especially in the Tampa Bay area. I’m glad that Senator Young recognizes that there is no place for fracking anywhere in Florida – our drinking water and Florida’s remarkable rivers, springs, and natural areas are too precious to risk.”

The other state Senator representing Hillsborough County is Democrat Darryl Rouson from District 18, which encompasses parts of downtown Tampa, with the majority of the district located in Pinellas County. Rouson defeated Tampa representative Ed Narain by less than 100 votes back in the August primary, essentially winning the race then in the overwhelmingly Democratic district.

On November 8, Rouson defeated Republican John Houman by a 67%-33% margin. He now moves to the Senate after serving eight years representing Hillsborough, Pinellas, Manatee and Sarasota Counties in House District 70.

Barack Obama goes below .500 in his picks for Florida House and Senate seats

With his legacy on the line, Barack Obama went all out during this just-concluded election season to not only get Hillary Clinton elected, but also more than 150 down ballot races for state Senate and House in states across the country, including 13 Democrats on the ballot in Florida.

With one House race so close there is a recount going on, the president’s record on those picks in Florida stands at 5-7.

Though a former state senator himself in Illinois, Obama had never previously endorsed in state Legislature races as president before this year. His first batch of any state legislative endorsements came in Florida on Oct. 21, and he actually cut an ad for state Rep. Jose Javier Rodriguez, who ultimately ended up defeating GOP incumbent Miguel Diaz de la Portilla in Senate District 37.

Another Obama pick, former state representative Linda Stewart, defeated Republican Dean Ascher in the newly created Senate District 13 seat.

However, Obama’s other three Senate picks went down to defeat: Rod Smith to Keith Perry in the newly drawn SD 8 district; Debbie Mucarsel-Powell to GOP incumbent Anitere Flores in HD 39; and Bob Buesing, who lost by seven percentage points to House District 60 Rep. Dana Young in the newly created SD 18 seat in Hillsborough County.

In the House, Obama has a chance of going .500 in his eight picks, if Democrat Robert Asencio can continue to hold onto his narrow lead over Republican David Rivera in the House District 118 recount going on this week inside the Miami-Dade County Supervisor of Elections office.

Other Democrats backed  by Obama who won last week were Ben Diamond in Pinellas County’s House District 68; Nick Duran in HD 112; and U.S. Army veteran Daisy Baez over Republican John Courier in a close matchup in the HD 114, 51 percent to 49 percent.

The four Democrats who lost were Beth Tuura in House District 47, who lost out to GOP incumbent Mike Miller. Tampa attorney Rena Frazier lost by nine points to GOP incumbent Ross Spano in HD 59; Lisa Montelione lost to GOP incumbent Shawn Harrison in HD 63, 51 percent to 49 percent ; and attorney Ivette Gonzalez Petrovich lost out GOP incumbent Manny Diaz in the House District 103 race.

Obama also backed Patrick Murphy for Senate and Charlie Crist, Stephanie Murphy and Val Demings in congressional races, cutting TV ads for Crist and Patrick Murphy.

Florida Chamber feels its campaign investments paid off

When the campaigning finally ended, the Florida Chamber had invested $7.2 million in 113 television, radio, and digital ads in state races.

It had mailed 600,000 campaign fliers to voters; interviewed more than 200 candidates and endorsed 116.

The result was that 76 of 89 Florida Chamber-backed candidates won during the primary elections, and 74 of 77 candidates in Tuesday’s general election. The lobbying organization had targeted Florida races, not the presidential contest.

On Wednesday, the Chamber indulged in a victory lap.

“This campaign season, the American free enterprise system has been tested,” the business lobby said in “Florida’s Future: What the road looks like after Florida’s General Election,” a morning-after report containing the numbers above.

“Just as we predicted, trial lawyers, unions, and out-of-state billionaires with extreme agendas attempted to bankroll their candidates into office and exploit their special interest agendas,” the document said. “In fact, trial lawyers and union bosses plunged over $22 million into candidates set on making Florida less competitive.”

On election night, the Chamber watched two state legislative races in particular for clues to the overall outcome: Republican Keith Perry versus Democrat Rod Smith in Gainesville-centered Senate District 8, and House Republican Leader Dana Young versus Democrat Bob Buesing and two unaffiliated candidates in Tampa’s Senate District 18.

Perry won with 52.6 percent of the vote, and Young with 48.2 percent.

As Tallahassee prepares for the new Legislature to take office, Chamber executive vice president David Hart paid tribute to Gov. Rick Scott and took note of the national GOP surge.

“Six years ago, Florida provided an early example to the nation by electing an outsider as our governor with a business background. And that profile and commitment to cutting taxes, reducing regulatory burdens, paying down debt, investing in talent and infrastructure, and supporting free enterprise has created an environment that allowed private sector companies in Florida to produce over 1.2 million net new jobs since 2010,” Hart said.

“America has now taken a page from the Florida playbook.”

Mitch Perry Report for 11.9.16 — GOP dominance

Where do you begin? One of the biggest political upsets in U.S. history, to start with, in Donald J. Trump beating Hillary Clinton to become the 45th President of the United States of America.

Lots of analysis there, including about the Democratic nominee, who for the second time in eight years, thought she had the presidency in her grasp, only to lose out — forever.

What about closer to home? Although Florida Democrats have had huge disappointments in 2010 and 2014 across the board, at least they had 2006, 2008, and 2012. But not 2016.

Down went Patrick Murphy, early into the evening. Down went Clinton, officially losing the state before 10 p.m.

In Hillsborough County, a House District 63 seat that has gone back and forth between Shawn Harrison and a Democrat and Shawn Harrison went this time to … Shawn Harrison, and not Lisa Monteliione.

Ross Spano won over Rena Frazier in HD 59. And Jackie Toledo easily defeated David Singer in the battle for House District 60 in Hillsborough County.

Wipe out city.

Congratulations to Blaise Ingoglia, who from the time he became the RPOF Chairman in early 2015 vowed to turn Florida red, and did so last night.

The Florida Democrats led by Allison Tant and Scott Arceneaux? I really don’t know.

What about Washington? It’s now got the presidency, the House and the Senate. Oh, and the Supreme Court as well, now that Mitch McConnell‘s move to not make a move on replacing Antonin Scalia will pay off big time next year.

In other news …

It was not a good night for Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn. In addition to his girl, Hillary, losing in Florida, the mayor’s appeal for city voters to reject the charter amendment on allowing the city council to order internal audits won a smashing victory, 64-36 percent.

The upset of the night in Hillsborough County was Andrew Warren’s narrow victory over Mark Ober for state attorney.

It will be Jim Davison vs. Luis Viera in the special election in Tampa City Council District 7 race.

Charlie Crist defeated David Jolly in their CD 13 battle.

Donald Trump told Jack & Tedd on WFLA 970 yesterday morning he’d go quietly if he lost the election.

Now that he’s in the Senate for another six years, Marco Rubio waxes on how he can help make the political discourse a little more palatable in Washington.

Americans for Prosperity – Florida was one of over 50 groups who spent money in the Florida Senate race. In AFP’s case, they spent more than $2.5 million trying to bring down Patrick Murphy.

Bob Buckhorn was campaigning early yesterday against that charter amendment regarding the city council calling for their own internal audits of city departments.

Dana Young beats Bob Buesing in SD 18 race

In one of the nastiest state legislative races in Florida this fall, Republican Dana Young has defeated Democrat Bob Buesing, 48 percent to 41 percent. Joe Redner finished third with 9.5 percent.  Sheldon Upthegrove, a staff sergeant at U.S. Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base, finished forth with less than one percent of the vote.

“Tampa Bay voters have spoken tonight in favor of an experienced and proven voice that is dedicated to reforming our state government, and I am honored to be elected your next state senator,” said Young. “This election was won by grassroots campaigning. I cannot thank all of the volunteers and supporters enough who came out each and every day, working tirelessly to spread our positive message of reform. I also want to extend a special thank you to my husband, Matt, and both of my daughters for their encouragement from the very beginning of this journey.”

For liberals who were hoping to defeat Young in this race, there had been concern that Redner, who has ran a Democrat in previous elections and arguably had greater name recognition than Buesing, took votes away from the Democrat, ultimately aiding Young.

Young raised more than $2 million between her own campaign contributions and her political committee. She was also aided by a controversial ad produced on her behalf against Buesing by the Florida Republican Senatorial Committee.

Buesing raised more than $500,000 on his own and his PAC, Floridians for Early Education, raised another $133,000. The Florida Democratic Party also purchased ads on his behalf, and there was fierce advocacy blasting Young on the part of the group Florida Strong.

Until the last week of the campaign, Young avoided any scheduled debates with her three opponents, drawing derisive remarks from her three opponents as being in “hiding.”

Buesing and Redner hammered Young’s record relentlessly during the campaign, particularly the environment. Other third-party groups also blasted Young on her vote for fracking, which seemed to dominate the last few weeks of the campaign (Young insisted her vote on HB 191 was for a moratorium on the practice until more studies could be conducted. She maintained that she has never supported the practice, and never will.)

Where might there be a surprise on Election Night in Florida?

If the chalk won every game and match-up, there would be no Las Vegas or Macau. There would be no March Madness.

If the favorites won every time, there would be no reason to even turn on the television. We watch and love sports and gambling because the underdogs can and do win.

In no-limit Texas hold ’em poker, holding a pair of aces gives a player an 87 percent chance of winning against a seven-deuce offsuit before the flop. But that still means, over time, the worst hand in poker still wins 13 percent of the time.

The same thinking can be applied to politics. Despite advantages of name recognition and money, upsets occur. There’s no better recent example in Florida politics than in 2012 when the Democratic challenger defeated Republican Chris Dorworth, who was at the time in line to become speaker of the Florida House.

Dorworth’s aces were cracked by Mike Clelland‘s seven-deuce offset. I don’t like beating up on Dorworth anymore (especially after this weekend, when he got married), but I have to ask, is there another Dorworth situation in the cards for Tuesday?

Looking at the congressional races in Florida, the opportunities for an upset are thin. Whatever changes that were to be made to Florida’s congressional delegation have already happened (Gwen Graham not running, Corrine Brown losing to Al Lawson, etc.). This isn’t to say there aren’t interesting races to watch Tuesday because there are in CD 13, 18, and 26. However, the underdogs in those races are not exactly Davids facing Goliaths. Those three races are basically coin flips at this point.

The one competitive congressional race which is not a coin flip is CD 7 where Republican incumbent John Mica is attempting to hold off Stephanie Murphy. The smart money has been watching this race for more than a month as Murphy has closed on Mica, so it would not be out of left field were Murphy to knock off Mica. Still, if you had asked political observers a year ago if John Mica was in trouble of losing his seat, the answer would have been a loud ‘No.’

At the legislative level, its important to separate the competitive from the earth-shattering. There are competitive races in SD 8, 13, 18, 37, 39, and 40 as well as half a dozen state House races, but, again these are basically coin flips. Republican Dana Young is up single digits over Democrat Bob Buesing in SD 18; no one can safely predict who will win in the South Florida seats; and the House races will largely be decided by the top of the ballot.

BUT! And this is a huge but … a Sir Mix-A-Lot-sized but … were there to be a Dorworthian surprise Tuesday night, it will probably occur in some of the state House races in South Florida.

Again, a huge disclaimer that I am not suggesting that these upsets will occur, but there has been talk — over the last two weeks, especially as Donald Trump was tanking and through South Florida’s “gangbusters” early voting turnout Sunday — that if a wave the size of the one in the movie “Poseidon” were to hit, some Republican House candidates could be in trouble, such as Carlos Trujillo in HD 105 and Michael Bileca in HD 115

Mind you, I re-watched the movie “The Big Short” this weekend, so my mind is thinking in terms of failing tranches. Not that Trujillo or Bileca or any of the other South Florida Republican campaigns should be compared with subprime mortgages. They’re not. They’ve run AAA-rated campaigns.

But that’s the thing about black swans. They appear so rarely in nature, they are almost impossible to predict. The best you can do is look in the direction they might appear.

And on Tuesday night, that may be in South Florida.

Mitch Perry Report for 11.7.16 — Closing arguments

In this space on Friday, we reminisced about October surprises in previous election cycles before referring to the dual bombshells that have rocked this year’s presidential election: First, the release of that 2005 “Access Hollywood” tape in which Donald Trump spoke lewdly about women, followed 10 days ago with the announcement of the discovery of hundreds of thousands of emails that could be related to the FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton‘s potential violation of national security documents.

We surmised the surprises were over, but then FBI Director James Comey did what a week ago both sides said he SHOULD do — reveal more information about the nature of the emails.

Comey said during the fourth quarter of the 1 p.m. NFL games yesterday that the newly reviewed emails do not incriminate Clinton — and suddenly all of those who were praising Comey were are now condemning him.

“You can’t review 650,000 emails in eight days. You can’t do it, folks,” Trump told an audience in Michigan yesterday. “Right now she is being protected by a rigged system. It’s a totally rigged system,” he said.

“This confirms everything Donald Trump’s been saying about the system,” Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi added. “The system is dysfunctional. The system is broken. And Hillary Clinton is the system.”

Some analysts now say this latest news could benefit Trump, as it becomes further proof the system is “rigged.”

Then again, some Democrats have insisted Comey’s announcement on Oct. 28 actually reenergized THEIR base.

“We’ve seen it add to the energy on our side,” Tim Kaine told CBS’ “Face the Nation” Sunday. “People on our side view this campaign as so important, the ‘Stronger Together’ message as so important and people don’t want it to be distracted. So there has been a great uptick in energy on our side in the early vote.”

Then again, what else are running mates supposed to say?

On Fox News Sunday, Mike Pence insisted the huge numbers of Latinos flocking to the polls is really a good thing for the GOP ticket, telling host Chris Wallace he wasn’t worried that Trump’s incendiary comments about Mexicans were going to haunt the campaign now.

“I’m really not,” Pence said. “The truth is that Hispanic-Americans have the same concerns that every other American does. And we want to get this economy moving again. We want our country to be safe. I was just down in Miami this last weekend, saw overwhelming support for Donald Trump, strong stand for freedom in this hemisphere, standing strongly against what the Obama administration and Hillary Clinton want to continue to do.  “

Wallace interjected: “So, you think all those Hispanics, sir, are coming out to vote for Trump and not for Clinton?  Really?”

“No, I’m saying …. I’m saying that the American people want change,” Pence said, pivoting to his own personal anecdote to confirm his beliefs. “That’s Americans coming from every category. I literally saw it. I stopped by and had some Cuban coffee at a classic stop in Miami. Karen and I had a hard time getting through the place with people that were enthusiastic about Donald Trump’s stand for a stronger America at home and abroad, getting this economy moving, and repealing Obamacare.  “

There you have it!

In other news …

At Sunday’s “Souls to the Polls” event in East Tampa, Hillsborough County State Attorney Mark Ober  in the race of his career — met up with a man he once defended in court on murder charges.

Donald Trump was in Tampa Saturday morning,

Lisa Montelione wants Shawn Harrison to stop airing an ad that uses footage from her own ad to depict her as being missing in action.

The Senate District 18 race between Bob Buesing, Dana Young, and Joe Redner is mercifully almost over, but there was time on Friday for all three of them to get upset with each other.

Gwen Graham is only in elected office for a few more months, but she’s determined to stay vigilant (or at least in the news) with her calls for more public information regarding that Mosaic sinkhole incident.

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