Philip Levine Archives - Florida Politics

It’s not the party … it’s the after party! A rundown of where Florida candidates will be on election night

On Election Day, as polls close, the after-parties begin.

Candidates — along with nearly everyone else in America — will be glued to their screens Tuesday night for election results. In the end, win or lose, there will be a party.

Some will celebrate a hard-fought victory, while others will be a bit more somber, drowning their sorrows.

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

If your favorite candidate isn’t listed, check the Party or venue websites for more information.

U.S. Senate

Gov. Rick Scott is hosting his election night party at 7 p.m., Naples. The address will be provided upon RSVP. Press credentials required; media access begins 3:30 p.m. Hotel rooms are available in the Scott for Florida room block; email for details. RSVP must be submitted by Friday, November 2, to press@scottforflorida.com.

Governor

The Ron DeSantis for Governor campaign election night party begins 6 p.m., Rosen Centre Executive Ballroom, 9840 International Dr., Orlando. The event is open to members of the media with credentials; press preset begins 4 p.m. Please apply for credentials here.

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, wife R. Jai Gillum will join running mate and Orlando businessman Chris King and his wife Kristen will hold an election night celebration starting 7 p.m., Florida A&M University Lee Hall, 1601 South Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, Tallahassee. While it is a public event, those planning to attend should RSVP to secure a ticket. Tickets are required for entrance in the area. Parking will be limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Shuttle service will be available from Bragg Memorial Stadium to the election night celebration starting at 6 p.m. and ending at midnight. Attendees should prepare to go through an airport security-style entry — please do not bring large bags/backpacks, laptops, large camera equipment, signage or weapons. Additionally, there will be a “clear bag” policy in effect for the event. Clear bags must adhere to the dimensions of no larger than 12” x 6” x 12;” small non-clear shoulder bags or clutch purses must be no larger than 4.5” x 6.5.” All bags will be checked upon entrance to the event. The public entrance for this event will be on Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd, south of Lee Hall and adjacent to the FAMU Student Union Building.

Reform Party gubernatorial candidate Darcy Richardson will be hosting a private event to monitor results in Jacksonville with campaign staff and family. The Reform Party of Florida is hosting its watch party at the Holiday Inn on 8310 Galbraith Road in Tampa.

Florida Cabinet

The Ashley Moody for Attorney General campaign party will be at the Renaissance Tampa International Plaza Hotel, Costa Del Sol Ballroom, 4200 Jim Walter Blvd., Tampa. Doors open at 7 p.m. Media will be allowed access at 4:30 p.m. and must be set up by 6 p.m. Media contact is Christina Johnson. Contact her at Christina@On3PR.com.

Democratic candidate for Attorney General Sean Shaw will hold his general election night event at 6 p.m., LeMéridien Tampa, 601 N Florida Ave, Tampa. RSVP or get more details on Facebook.

State Sen. Jeremy Ring, who is running for Florida Chief Financial Officer, will join The Nikki Fried for Agriculture Commissioner campaign for an election night watch party at Good Spirits, 476 N Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale. There will be parking available in the corresponding lot and garage as well as workspace set aside for the press. Doors open for guests at 7 p.m. and 4:20 p.m. for members of the press. RSVP to Max@NikkiFried.com.

Agriculture Commissioner candidate Matt Caldwell will cast ballots with his family at 5:30 p.m., House of Worship Church of God, 940 Pondella Road, North Fort Myers.

U.S. House

CD 2 — Democrat Bob Rackleff will hold an election-night party, 7 p.m., Waterworks, 1133 Thomasville Road, Tallahassee.

CD 6 — The Nancy Soderberg campaign and state Rep. Patrick Henry invites voters, supporters, and volunteers for a watch party, 7 p.m., Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery, 1864 Victory Circle, Bldg K, Daytona Beach. Press contact: Wellesley Daniels (917) 751-4782 or wellesley@soderbergforcongress.com.

CD 9 — Democratic U.S. Rep. Darren Soto will be at the Ramada Gateway Hotel Ballroom, 7470 Irlo Bronson Memorial HWY 192 in Kissimmee. Republican nominee Wayne Liebnitzky hasn’t announced an election night activity, possibly because Florida’s 9th is a Dem lock.

CD 12 — Republican U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis is hosting a results-watching party 7 p.m. at the St. Nicholas Community Center, 348 N. Pinellas Avenue, Tarpon Springs. For more details contact either Summer Robertson (727) 237-6811 or Towson Fraser (850) 443-1444.

CD 13

CD 15 — Democrat Kristen Carlson will hold her election night watch party at 7 p.m., The Lakeland Room, Historic Lake Mirror Tower Building, 130 S. Massachusetts Ave., Lakeland. RSVP to Robert Walters at robert@kristencarlsonforcongress.com for press credentials.

CD 18 — Democratic challenger Lauren Baer hosts a watch party with friends and supporters from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., Palm Beach Gardens Embassy Suites, 4350 PGA Blvd, Palm Beach Gardens. Those looking to attend can RSVP by using this link.

CD 19 — Democrat David Holden hosts a watch party with friends and supporters starting 6:30 p.m., Holiday Inn Fort Myers Airport at Town Center, 9931 Interstate Commerce Drive, Fort Myers. Venue information at hiftmyersairport.com. Open to media but limited to the public (due to space). Advanced notice appreciated. Contact David Silverberg at (239) 451-1253.

CD 25 — The Mary Barzee Flores for Congress election night party begins 7 p.m., The Bend, 6844 NW 169th St, Hialeah. The event is open to the public and press. Press are welcome to arrive after 6:30 p.m.; doors will open to the public at 7 p.m. Day-of, on-site contact for logistics will be Jade Tacka, (817) 880-5423 or jade@cmarfybarzeeflores.com. For all other media inquiries, contact Sam Miller at (703) 408-1447 or sam@marybarzeeflores.com.

CD 26 — The Carlos Curbelo campaign is inviting voters to an 8 p.m. watch party at his campaign headquarters, 12877 SW 42nd St, Miami. Contact joanna@carloscurbelo.com.

CD 26 — Democrat Debbie Mucarsel-Powell will hold her party starting 7:30 p.m., Black Point Ocean Grill, 24775 SW 87th Ave., Cutler Bay.

CD 27 — Democrat Donna Shalala will hold her election night watch party beginning 7 p.m. at the Coral Gables Woman’s Club, 1001 E Ponce De Leon Blvd, Coral Gables.

State Senate

SD 18 — State Rep. Janet Cruz will hold her watch party 7 p.m., Grillsmith Restaurant, 14303 N Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa.

SD 24 — Lindsay Cross will be at The Getaway, 13090 Gandy Blvd N in St. Pete, 6 p.m. More information is on her campaign Facebook page.

State House

HD 1 — Vikki Garrett will join the Escambia Democratic Party for a watch party beginning 6 p.m., O’Charley’s 6233 N. Davis Hwy., Pensacola.

HD 11 — Nathcelly Rohrbaugh and AFL-CIO will be watching returns beginning 7 p.m., Chem Cell Club Inc., 2951 Riverside Dr., Fernandina Beach.

HD 11 — Nathcelly Rohrbaugh will be at 2951 Riverside Dr., Fernandina Beach.

HD 15 — Tracye Polson will be at Two Dudes Seafood Restaurant Riverside, 2665 Park St., Jacksonville (Corner of Park and King).

HD 28 — Lee Mangold will be with the Seminole County Democrats at an event starting 6 p.m., Miller’s Ale House, 477 East Altamonte Drive, Altamonte Springs.

HD 36 — State Rep. Amber Mariano’s watch party will be 7 p.m., Kickin Wingz, 8702 SR-52, Hudson.

HD 36 — Democrat David Perez will hold his party starting 7:30 p.m., La Carreta Restaurant, 5350 W 16th Ave., Hialeah. RSVP on Facebook.

HD 42 — Republican state Rep. Mike La Rosa will be at Gator’s Dockside in Saint Cloud. Democratic nominee Barbara Cady will be at Soto’s party at the Ramada Gateway in Kissimmee.

HD 47, 48, 49, 50 — Anna Eskamani, state Rep. Amy Mercado, state Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith and Pam Dirschka will watch returns starting 7 p.m., Embassy Suites by Hilton Orlando Downtown, 191 East Pine Street, Orlando.

HD 48 — GOP challenger George Chandler will join the Orange County Republican Executive Committee will be at the Westgate Lakes Resort & Spa, 9055 Turkey Lake Rd., in Orlando. Many of the Florida House candidates from Orange County will be there.

HD 57 — Mike Beltran and the Hillsborough County Republican Party are inviting friends and supporters to watch election returns at 6 p.m., Due Amici Restaurant, Amici a famiglia, 1724 E. 7th Ave., Ybor City.

HD 57, 58, 59 — Democrats Debbie Katt, Phil Hornback and Adam Hattersley will be watching returns starting 6:30 p.m., 11135 Winthrop Market St, Riverview.

HD 59 — Republican Joe Wicker, who is running for an open seat in Hillsborough County’s House District 59, will hold an election-night party, 6 p.m., El Rico Frappé Latino, 122 Pierce Christie Dr., Valrico.

HD 63, 61 — Democrats Fentrice Driskell and state Rep.-elect Dianne Hart will be celebrating starting 6:30 p.m. at the Vizcaya Restaurante & Tapas Bar, 10905 N Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa.

HD 66

HD 66 — Alex Heeren will be at the West Bay Tap House, 80 Clearwater Largo Rd S, 6 p.m. More information is on his campaign Facebook page.

HD 69 — Jennifer Webb will begin her party at 7 p.m., Peninsula Inn Gulfport, 2937 Beach Blvd. S. in Gulfport.

HD 69 — Ray Blacklidge — Gator’s Cafe, 12754 Kingfish Dr., Treasure Island, beginning 5:30 p.m. More information is on his campaign Facebook page.

HD 71 — Republican Will Robinson is hosting a campaign victory party, 6:30 p.m. The campaign will provide location upon RSVP with Allie at allie@robinsonforflorida.com. If you wish to stop by, include the names of all of those attending to ensure your name is on the guest list. Food and beverages will be provided.

HD 72 — State Rep. Margaret Good will be watching returns starting 7 p.m., Michael’s on East, 1212 S East Ave., Sarasota.

HD 73 — Democrat Liv Coleman in the Manatee Democratic Party will hold an event beginning 7 p.m., Manatee County Democratic Party, 435 Cortez Rd W, Bradenton.

HD 74 — Democrat Tony Mowry will join Englewood Indivisible for a watch party beginning 7:30 p.m., Stefano’s Family Restaurant, 401 S Indiana Ave., Englewood.

HD 78

HD 83 — Emma Collum holds her watch party at 7 p.m., 26 Degrees Brewing Company, 2600 E Atlantic Boulevard, Pompano Beach.

HD 84 — Democrat Delores Johnson will be watching returns starting 7 p.m. at the St. Lucie County Democratic DEC Office, 910 N. 25th Street, Fort Pierce.

HD 89 — Democrat Jim Bonfiglio is the host of the Palm Beach County Democratic Party election night watch party at 7 p.m., Embassy Suites, 1601 Belvedere Road, West Palm Beach.

HD 93 — Democrat Emma Collum will hold an election watch party starting 7 p.m., 26 Degree Brewing Company, 2600 E Atlantic Blvd, Pompano Beach.

HD 103 — Democrat Cindy Polo will join the NW Dade Democratic Club for a watch party starting 7 p.m., 5inco Indoor & Colombian Flavor, 8081 W 28th Ave., Hialeah.

HD 105 — Democrat Javier Estevez will hold an election night watch party at 7 p.m., 8502 SW 146th Court, Miami. RSVP on Facebook.

HD 113 — Democrat Michael Grieco will hold his election night watch event beginning 7 p.m., Hôtel Gaythering, 1409 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach. RSVP on Facebook.

HD 114 — Democrat Javier Fernandez is holding his event beginning 7 p.m., Pub 52, 5829 SW. 73rd St., South Miami. RSVP On Facebook.

HD 115 — Democrat Jeff Solomon will join state Sen. Annette Taddeo and Leader-Designate Kionne McGhee at an event hosted by the by Miami-Dade Democrats beginning 7 p.m., The Brick, American Kitchen & Bar, 8955 SW 72nd PL, South Miami.

HD 118 — State Rep. Robert Asencio will be holding his party starting 7 p.m., Isla del Encanto 2, 11236 SW 137th Ave., Miami.

HD 120 — Democrat Captain Steve Friedman will hold his election watch party starting 7 p.m., Angler House Marina, 80500 Overseas Hwy, Islamadora.

Down-ballot races

Pinellas County Commission District 6 — Amy Kedron is not making her event public, saying it was due to “security concerns” raised against Tampa Bay Times reporter Mark Puente.

Palm Beach County Commission — Robert Weinroth will be celebrating at 7:30 p.m., Delray Beach Marriott, 10 N Ocean Boulevard, Delray Beach.

Duval County Tax Collector — Mia Jones will be watching election returns at about 7 p.m., 645 Oak St, Jacksonville.

Candidates aren’t the only ones hosting election night parties.

The Orange County REC Victory party is at 7 p.m., Westgate Lakes Resort & Spa, 9055 Turkey Lake Rd., 7th Floor.

The United Teachers of Dade watch party begins 7:30 p.m., UTD Headquarters, 2200 Biscayne Blvd., Miami. RSVP Required.

New Florida Majority, a progressive coalition working to engage “marginalized and excluded constituencies,” will be hosting several watch parties throughout the state.

— New Florida Majority, Dream Defenders, FLIC Votes, and FANM in Action will hold a joint Amendment 4 watch party beginning 6 p.m., Little Haiti Cultural Center, 212 NE 59th Terrace, Miami.

— Also beginning 7 p.m., La Perla Escondida Restaurant, 717 N. Dixie Hwy., Palm Beach.

— Also beginning at 7 p.m., Austin’s Soul Food Restaurant, 4807 N. Main St., Jacksonville.

The Duval Democratic Party will be watching returns beginning 7 p.m., Cuba Libra Ultra Lounge, 2578 Atlantic Blvd., Jacksonville.

Duval County Republicans will be watching results at 7 p.m., Whisky Jax, 10915 Baymeadows Road, #135, Jacksonville.

The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, the group behind Amendment 4, the proposal to restore voting rights to former felons who paid their debt to society, will be holding an election watch party at 6 p.m., DoubleTree at SeaWorld, 10100 International Drive, Orlando. RSVP with kimberly@safeandjust.

Act Now for Children’s Services is hosting its Children’s Trust election night watch party starts 5:30 p.m., 1310 Southwest 13th Street, Gainesville. Online registration is here.

Andrew Gillum: Gwen Graham ‘in the mix’ for LG pick

Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum and second-place finisher Gwen Graham ran tough campaigns against each other in the Democratic primary, but Gillum allowed Monday that Graham is “in the mix” for the Lieutenant Governor spot on the ticket.

The decision must be made by Thursday. Gillum is reportedly considering Graham, former U.S. Rep. Patrick MurphyLauren Book, state Reps. Kristin Jacobs and Amy Mercado, and Palm Beach County Mayor Melissa McKinlay.

Speaking to media Monday in Jacksonville, Gillum didn’t sound like he was done with his vetting process. Yet, despite the sometimes chippy nature of the primary sparring between the two camps, Graham (the presumptive nominee until the ballots started rolling in from metropolitan areas) could be on the ticket, Gillum said.

Gillum described the LG pick as his “number one priority at this time.”

“Gwen is in the mix, of course,” Gillum said. “I’d say anyone who ran for governor is also in the mix.”

Whether Gillum will ultimately pick Graham or another primary rival such as Philip Levine or Chris King, remains to be seen.

However, for those who believe the ticket would be stronger with Graham — a strong draw with moderates and Blue Dog Democrats — there is still hope.

Gwen Graham took 44 counties in defeat

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gwen Graham won 44 counties in Tuesday’s primary election but lost as nominee Andrew Gillum carried heavily populated Democratic strongholds, unofficial results show.

Graham, a former congresswoman from Tallahassee, dominated in rural counties and many mid-sized counties but won in only one of the eight most heavily populated counties — Pinellas. Gillum, meanwhile, won 18 counties, including voter-rich Broward, Duval, Hillsborough, Miami-Dade, Orange and Palm Beach counties.

In Broward, for example, Gillum beat Graham by a 37,500-vote margin; in Miami-Dade, he topped her by a 33,145-vote margin; and in Duval, he had a 21,719-vote margin. Statewide, Gillum defeated Graham by 47,043 votes, the results show.

The third-place candidate in the five-person race, former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, won five counties — Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades and Lee.

PredictIt sours on Democratic flip after Andrew Gillum nomination

Political prediction markets flipped forecasts on whether Democrats would take the governor’s mansion one day after Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum’s surprise win as the nominee.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Republican Ron DeSantis was selling at 57 cents on PredictIt; Gillum is selling for 45.

That said, Gillum beat the market on Tuesday night by quite a bit. At the time, PredictIt had Gillum selling at 5 cents, with former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham the favorite at 79 cents and former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine at 20 cents.

Though notably, the market flipped by midday, with Gillum jumping up 46 cents in price and selling ahead of Graham 56 cents to 50, so an apparent “Gillum Surge” happened late in the markets as well as the polls.

DeSantis, in contrast, shocked nobody with his landslide victory of the GOP side. As the favorite candidate of President Donald Trump, the markets in advance of the primary selling a DeSantis victory at 87 cents and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam at 16.

But investors pegged the general election as a dead heat as of yesterday, and on August 24, a Democratic win traded for 60 cents to a Republican victory priced at 44 cents.

The change in the dynamic over 24 hours was enough for PredictIt to note the shift on social media channels.

But oddly, even as PredictIt’s buyers turned bullish on DeSantis, accompanying comments on the market were almost entirely pro-Gillum, with many seeing the progressive candidate as a representative of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ viability.

Incidentally, the Predict market for the U.S. Senate today remains gloomy for Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, whose re-election trades at 43 cents, but that’s a 4-cent boost from yesterday following Gov. Rick Scott’s formal election as the Republican nominee.

PredictIt markets show Republicans chances of holding the U.S. Senate remain the safe bet at 75 cents, with a Democratic takeover at 26 cents.

But the market does predict Democrats will take the U.S. House, with that outcome trading at 66 cents and Republicans holding the chamber trading at 36 cents.

Andrew Gillum becomes Florida’s first African-American Democratic nominee for governor

Andrew Gillum made history Tuesday night, becoming the first black candidate to win the Democratic nomination for Governor in Florida.

He will face Republican Ron DeSantis in November. 

Gillum, the Tallahassee Mayor, had been considered a longshot in the five-way primary. He secured more than 30 percent of the vote. Gwen Graham finished at 31.4 percent.

The only known scientific prediction of a Gillum win was an internal poll released by his campaign last week, that projected he would cruise to victory with a 10-point lead. Most polls showed Graham and Levine at the top, with Gillum in third or fourth. A poll released by Florida Politics on Monday had him second behind Graham.

According to Gillum’s campaign, the candidate was witnessing a last-minute surge.

Predating the Gillum buzz was news that billionaire Tom Steyer’s progressive NextGen super PAC announced it would be dumping cash into and providing ground support for Gillum’s bid. That added to the support already coming in from progressive billionaire George Soros.

In August, Bernie Sanders, the U.S. Senator from Vermont and former presidential candidate, endorsed Gillum and followed up with two rallies alongside the Mayor to help him win over progressives in the Sunshine State.

Sanders chimed in again after the results were official.

“What has made Andrew’s campaign so powerful is that he’s not just working hard to win an election, he has laid out a vision for a new course for the state of Florida and our country,” Sanders said. “No one person can take on the economic and political elites on their own.”

Gillum told a crowd in Tallahassee following his victory that the race wasn’t about him.

“It never has been, and it never will be. This race is about every last single one of us,” he said. “Those of us inside this room. Those outside of this room. Those who voted for me. Those who didn’t vote at all. And those who didn’t vote for me because they are Republicans. But I want to be their governor, too.”

Graham, a former member of Congress and the lone woman in the race, entered the field in May 2017. A former Leon County school district lawyer and self-described “PTA mom,” she made an early campaign promise to fight for public education.

A key component of Graham’s strategy included the resurrection of “workdays,” an approach that proved successful for her father, former U.S. Senator and Florida Governor Bob Graham. She traveled across the state and completed day-to-day tasks alongside working Floridians, speaking to voters and hearing their concerns along the way.

“I was expecting to give a much different speech tonight,” she said Tuesday night after the election.

Graham urged her supporters to “put all of our efforts behind Andrew Gillum,” pledging to do whatever she could to help him defeat DeSantis.

“This election is about the future of Florida,” she said, reiterating a campaign theme. “That’s what we were fighting for. It was never about the candidate.”

Aiding Graham’s bid for the Governor’s Mansion was a slew of endorsements from respected party leaders in highly populated areas across the state. Helping to fund Graham’s campaign was support from the Florida Education Association, the state’s largest teachers union, and other public education interests. She was also aided by women-focused groups Emily’s List, Ruth’s List and the Florida chapter of the National Organization for Women. NARAL, one of the nation’s largest pro-choice political action committees, also endorsed Graham.

Levine, the successful businessman and former Mayor of Miami Beach, waged an enormous television and ground campaign in his bid for the Democratic nod. He attempted to establish himself early on with voters, launching a television ad in November — well before any candidate for either party went on air. His 14 satellite campaign offices helped his campaign access every region in the state.

Congratulating Gillum on his primary victory, Levine called the Tallahassee mayor “a fierce fighter who has what it takes to lead our state forward, and he can count on my help every step of the way.”

Levine touted support from celebrities, with endorsements and ads coming from Shaquille O’Neal, Ray Allen and musician Uncle Luke.

Outspoken on gun control like his party opponents, Levine secured support from parents of students killed in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre. He launched ads ahead of the primary promising to increase gun control.

Notably, Levine spent a bit of time painting himself as an adversary to President Donald Trump. He described the statewide race for Governor as one for “the soul of the nation,” and reminded Floridians of his staunch support for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.

Levine’s targeting of climate change issues as Mayor also helped shape his platform for Governor.

Billionaire Jeff Greene, the late entry into the race, had missed prior debates and months of campaigning for the election. Despite spending heavily on television and traveling across the state, his campaign appeared to falter in the week leading up to Tuesday. He pulled television ads for a brief period, then alerted media on Monday he would watch the election results unfold privately with his family — instead of hosting a pre-planned public event.

Greene had sought also to paint himself in an anti-Trump light, but was criticized every step of his campaign for his former cordiality with the President.

Businessman Chris King, of Winter Park, ultimately failed to gain support from the electorate, evidenced by his consistently low polling numbers. Despite this, King campaigned actively and helped shape the narratives of the campaign, at times being a trendsetting candidate. He was the first to publicly announce he would not accept contributions from sugar-related interests and was a loud voice for gun reform and affordable housing initiatives.

Some material from the News Service of Florida is used in this article, with permission.

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.

An energized Andrew Gillum circles campaign back to Tallahassee

Andrew Gillum is gearing up for what could be a photo finish in the five-way Democratic gubernatorial race.

Some recent polls show Gillum in or tied at third. Some show him trailing worse. A poll released Monday had him second behind Gwen Graham. And an internal poll released by the Gillum camp last week suggested he was ahead big.

Statistical projections aside, Gillum on Monday evening reminded a crowd of students and supporters at Florida A&M, a historically black university in Tallahassee, that time is on their side on Tuesday — whatever the outcome may be.

Noted Gillum (accurately): On August 28, 1955, two white men in Mississippi killed Emmett Till. On the same day in 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech. In 2008, it was the last day of the Democratic National Convention in Denver, where Barack Obama accepted the Democratic nomination for president.

“You can imagine where I’m going with this,” he said to cheers. 

It’s coincidental. But superstition fits the bill for Gillum’s candidacy.

A mayor at the helm of a city beset by an ongoing FBI investigation and facing opponents with name recognition and deep pockets, Gillum had been considered a long shot.

But good news came in the eleventh hour for the Tallahassee mayor. Billionaire Tom Steyer’s progressive NextGen announced it would be dumping cash into and providing ground support for Gillum’s bid.

Then came Bernie Sanders, the U.S. Senator from Vermont, with an endorsement and two rallies meant to help Gillum win over progressive hearts in the Sunshine State.

Meanwhile, Palm Beach billionaire Jeff Greene was rising in the polls. He unloaded on Philip Levine and Gwen Graham with television attack ads, forcing both to strike back on cable as well.

Greene’s campaign has since waned and he announced Monday that he’d watch the election results privately with his family. The attacks, meant to boost Greene, thwarted him and likely left wounds on Graham and Levine.

Gillum had come under criticism earlier this year for ties to dark money donations and negative ads targeting Graham from a PAC supporting his candidacy, but the Greene-Levine-Graham spats are fresher.

At his alma mater, Gillum avoided criticism of his closest opponents. But a surrogate — national Democratic strategist Angela Rye  addressed Graham directly.

While both candidates represent opportunities for history — the first black man or the first woman to be elected Governor of Florida — Rye suggested the former congresswoman’s legacy ties to the state shouldn’t “supersede” Gillum’s minority status, and by extension the interests of people of color everywhere. Graham’s father Bob Graham is a former U.S. Senator and Governor. 

“It might be her turn,” Rye said in reference to Gwen Graham. “But understand that it is Andrew Gillum’s time, because it’s our time.”  

She added: “We’ve suffered enough, we’ve bled enough, we’ve died enough, we’ve been hurt enough, we’ve been wounded enough — it is our time.”

Gillum was accompanied by his wife, R. Jai, with whom he attended FAMU. Also in attendance were black state Reps. Kamia Brown and Ramon Alexander, along with prominent civil rights attorney Ben Crump and researcher and author Dr. Michael Eric Dyson.

Parked nearby was Gillum’s bus, boasting the “Bring It Home” campaign slogan. 

During the weekend, Gillum was corralling votes in South Florida, including at his birthplace Richmond Heights. Earlier Monday, he was in Alachua County, where he grew up.

He’ll participate in a march to the polls in the capital city on Tuesday morning and will later watch the election results unfold at Hotel Duval in downtown Tallahassee.

“It’s a homecoming,” Gillum said. “It’s bring it home. That’s what the bus says: ‘Bring It Home.'”

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Joe Henderson: After Florida primary election, time to swing back to the middle

Whatever results from Tuesday’s Florida primary election, we can be sure of one thing — the people who decide the primary’s outcome won’t be the ones who determine the winners in November.

That’s a flaw in Florida’s primary system that becomes increasingly apparent. Voters can only cast ballots for offices like the Governor if they are registered with a major party. There are about 13 million registered voters in Florida, and of those nearly 3.5 million have expressed no party affiliation.

While that shows a refreshing independent streak, it also freezes those people out of any say who gets nominated. Oh, they can still vote on local issues in the primary, including judgeships and some nonaffiliated local offices, but not the big stuff.

A system like that forces moderate candidates to run hard to the left or right in the primary because it’s understood that only the most dedicated voters will turn out for that. They are the ones most likely to have hard-line views about what they expect from their party’s nominee, and that forces candidates to sometimes go to extremes to show those folks they have the necessary chops (see Putnam, Adam).

After the primary fun, it’s often a shift back to moderation for the nominees.

After appealing to the hard-core voters in the party well enough to secure the nomination, the battle for those 3.5 million voters who will decide the election, as well as those registered with a party but didn’t vote in the primary, forces the conversation back to the middle.

Is this really the best way to conduct business, though?

In the Democratic primary, in particular, candidates made promises to the base that will be extremely difficult to keep if they eventually are elected.

Philip Levine, for instance, promised to raise teacher pay by $10,000 — a laudable sentiment, but likely impossible to accomplish without a significant tax increase and, well, you know how that goes.

Gwen Graham vowed to ban assault-style weapons by executive order. It sounds great, and she said the Governor has the authority to that. I would imagine significant numbers of other people, including many who are lawyers, likely would disagree.

Andrew Gillum, on his platform page, pledged he would “work to rebuild Florida’s education system so that we can make sure our kids are ready for Kindergarten earlier. By third grade, 100 percent of kids in our state should be reading at grade level and as they progress, learning critical thinking skills to compete.”

Absolutely a marvelous idea. He proposed a $1 billion additional investment in public schools to help make that happen, along with raising teacher pay, rebuilding crumbling schools, and so on. That sounds like a lot of money, but it wouldn’t even pay for the teacher raises he’s talking about.

Then there is Ron DeSantis, leading the polls for the GOP nomination.

He isn’t saying much at all unless the sentence can somehow be framed to include the words “Donald Trump.” I don’t know if you heard, but Trump endorsed DeSantis. At least for the nomination, that figures to be the only platform he needs.

Well, after the primary is done we’ll hit the reset button and watch as the pendulum swings toward those voters, possibly in the millions, who haven’t made up their minds. After all, they are the ones who will decide the election, and history suggests they can be hard to please.

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.

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