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Halloween is brought you by these Florida lobbyists and political associations

The witching hour is upon us.

Ghosts and ghouls fill the streets. Zombies walk side-by-side with princesses and superheroes. Their mission the same: Spook and scare their neighbors in hopes of scoring enough candy to sustain them for the next year.

Total spending for Halloween is expected to reach $8.2 billion in 2016, according to the National Retail Federation. The annual survey expects consumers will spend an average of $82.93, up from $74.34 in 2015.

The National Retail Federation predicts consumers will spend $3.1 billion on costumes this year. More than 3 million kiddos are expected to dress up as their favorite superhero, followed by 2.9 million princesses.

Still need a costume? Retail giants Target, represented by the team at GrayRobinson, and Wal-Mart — represented by Corcoran & Johnston, The Mayernick Group, Pitman Law Group, and The Rubin Group — have you covered.

If homemade is more your style, maybe the Florida Sewing Sew-ciety can help you out. The statewide organization is a network of more than 400 sewing enthusiasts, which regularly shares ideas with its members.

Costumes are just one part of the spooky, scary evening. What would Halloween be without bags and bags of candy?

The Florida Sugar Cane League — represented in the Legislature by Ernie Barnett at Water and Land Advisors — is the nonprofit trade association for Florida sugarcane growers and processors. U.S. Sugar Corp. and Florida Crystals Corp. are among the association’s members.

U.S. Sugar boasts dozens of governmental affairs experts, including the team at Ballard Partners, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney, and Floridian Partners, working in the Legislature to keep the Sunshine State in sweets.

Florida Crystals Corp., U.S. Sugar’s West Palm Beach competitor, also enlists the help of dozens of professional influencers to work on behalf of its interests, including Johnson & Blanton and The Fiorentino Group.

The sugar cane industry might be providing the base for all those sweet treats land in your child’s goodie bag, but you’ll need to head to head to a major retailer to pick up the gobs and gobs of Snickers, M&Ms, and Jolly Ranchers you’ll need this weekend.

Founded in 1930, Publix will likely have everything you need for trick or treaters, or your creepy house party. The grocery giant is cherished in the state of Florida, and the team at Floridian Partners, including Charlie Dudley, Jorge Chamizo, and Teye Reeves, works hard in the Legislature to make sure the brand is beloved.

If the kids get too much candy (is there really such a thing?), then maybe it’s time to head to the dentist. Dentists across the state participate in Halloween candy buyback programs, which allow children to exchange their candy for cash, coupons, toothbrushes, or other gifts.

When the Florida Dental Association needs a hand, it turns to the team at Johnson & Blanton, including Travis Blanton, Jon Johnson, Darrick McGhee, and Melanie Brown. With a client like that, we can’t imagine anyone has a cavity.

Waiting for trick or treaters not your thing? We get it. So why not hang up the “Out Zombie Hunting” sign, put a bowl of candy on your stoop, and head to Universal Orlando for Halloween Horror Nights. The event runs through Nov. 5, and features “terrifying mazes based on the most frightening films and television shows ever.”

When Universal Orlando needs to give the Legislature a scare, it turns to Missy Timmins and Melanie Becker at Timmins Consulting and Keith Arnold, Brett Bacot, Jim Magill, Kimberly McGlynn, and Mac Stipanovich at Buchanan Ingersol & Rooney.

The horrific fun at Universal Orlando isn’t “recommended for children under 13” — or probably anyone afraid of what goes bump in the night. But if you’re in Central Florida, the Mouse offers a slightly less spooky Halloween event.

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Walt Disney Resort runs through Oct. 31. The event gives visitors a chance to collect sweets and enjoy a bit of eerie, all-age entertainment.

Walt Disney Resort has oodles of influencers working on its behalf in the Legislature, including Steve Schale. Mickey also has the teams at Southern Strategy Group, Colodny Fass, Metz Husband & Daughton, and Hopping Green & Sams watching his back.

If theme parks aren’t your idea of a good time, try catching a show at the Tampa Theatre. Built in 1926, the Tampa Theatre was one of the country’s most elaborate movie theaters. It has the team of Ron Pierce, Natalie King, and Ed Briggs at RSA Consulting Group pushing for its interests and making sure it’s around for another 90 years.

Nowadays, the theater hosts more than 600 events each year, including a full schedule of movies, films and special events. And with Halloween right around the corner, the theater has a few hair-raising tricks up its sleeve. The theater is hosting its “A Nightmare on Franklin Street” film festival through Oct. 31, and is screening films like “Carrie,” “Misery,” and “I Drink Your Blood.”

Once the raucous of Halloween is over, take a minute to reflect and remember those who have died over the years. All Soul’s Day, a holiday established by the Catholic Church, is Nov. 2.

Written By

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including Florida Politics and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Schorsch is also the publisher of INFLUENCE Magazine. For several years, Peter's blog was ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Jim Rosica, A.G. Gancarski, Joe Henderson, Janelle Irwin, Dan McAuliffe, Jacob Ogles, Scott Powers, Bob Sparks, Andrew Wilson.
Email: Peter@FloridaPolitics.com
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

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