Dem convention a 2018 governor’s race preview for Buckhorn, Graham, Levine?

Potential 2018 Democratic candidates for governor (from top) Bob Buckhorn, Gwen Graham and Philip Levine on the floor at the Democratic National Convention last week.
Potential 2018 Democratic candidates for governor (from top) Bob Buckhorn, Gwen Graham and Philip Levine on the floor at the Democratic National Convention last week.

PHILADELPHIA — Like every speaker who addressed Florida Democratic National Convention delegates at daily breakfasts here last week, U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham, D-Tallahassee, urged the partisans to work hard to elect Hillary Clinton and defeat Donald Trump in November.

 

“And in two years,” Graham added, “we’ll have the opportunity to take back the governor’s mansion.”

 

Graham was one of three Dems mentioned as potential 2018 gubernatorial candidates — Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine were the others — who kept a high profile among Florida delegates at the convention.

 

A week earlier at the Republican convention in Cleveland, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam sponsored a breakfast for delegates, furthering the widespread expectation that he’ll be a candidate to replace term-limited Gov. Rick Scott in 2018.

 

Click here to get an early preview of the 2018 governor’s race at MyPalmBeachPost.com 

 

Donald Trump to campaign in Daytona Beach and Jacksonville on Wednesday

Donald Trump, shown here at a March appearance in Jupiter, returns to the Sunshine State on Wednesday. (Rich Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)
Donald Trump, shown here at a March appearance in Jupiter, returns to the Sunshine State on Wednesday. (Rich Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)

Donald Trump returns to crucial Florida this week with campaign stops in Daytona Beach and Jacksonville.

 

Trump probably can't win the White House unless he's able to to "Make Florida Red Again."
Trump probably can’t win the White House unless he’s able to to “Make Florida Red Again.”

The Trump campaign on Saturday announced Trump will appear Wednesday at a 3 p.m. town hall event in Daytona Beach and a 7 p.m. rally in Jacksonville.

 

Other details were not released.

 

Trump plans to be in Columbus, Ohio and Mechanicsburg, Pa., on Monday.

 

He will be in Loudoun County, Va., which is outside Washington, D.C., on Tuesday.

 

After his Wednesday Florida appearances, Trump will visit Portland, Maine, and Plattsburgh, N.Y. on Thursday and Des Moines, Iowa, and Green Bay, Wisc., on Friday.

 

 

Florida’s first cases of locally contracted Zika virus draw focus of state officials

The aedes aegypti mosquito, common in Florida, carries the Zika virus
The aedes aegypti mosquito, common in Florida, carries the Zika virus

The first four cases of mosquito-borne Zika virus in the continental U.S. being found in Miami-Dade and Broward counties drew the focus Friday of state leaders.

Gov. Rick Scott, who earlier steered $26.2 million in state funds to help counties both fight and prepare for a widening Zika outbreak, was among the first to weigh in.

“Following today’s news, I directed the Department of Health to immediately begin contracting with commercial pest control companies to increase spraying and mosquito abatement efforts in the impacted area,” Scott said.

“We know from our experience with successfully dealing with other mosquito-borne viruses in our state that through constant surveillance and immediate action that we will protect our families and visitors.

Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam also issued issued a statewide mosquito declaration, allowing aggressive mosquito control efforts within a 200-yard radius around the homes of the four patients.

“Floridians can do their part by draining standing water surrounding their homes, as it can serve as breeding grounds for the mosquitoes that are capable of transmitting the virus,” Putnam added.

Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, running for re-election, called on the Obama administration to take swift action.

“We are entering a critical phase of this crisis,” Rubio said.

“Local mosquito transmissions and increased travel to the U.S. from Zika-affected regions are a dangerous combination that could lead to an explosive increase in infections. We must act quickly to prevent the problem from reaching a tipping point in the mainland U.S. as it already has in Puerto Rico.

He added, “I urge the Obama Administration to use all the tools at its disposal to reprogram existing public health emergency funding in the short term to deal with Zika. As I have said time and time again, both parties in Congress need to get it together and approve funding to combat the Zika virus.”

 

These Republicans just told an arena full of Democrats they’re voting for Clinton

Former Reagan Administration official Doug Elmets delivers remarks on the fourth day of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center, July 28, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Getty Images)
Former Reagan Administration official Doug Elmets delivers remarks on the fourth day of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center, July 28, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Getty Images)

Two speakers at the Democratic National Convention on Thursday night brought a different perspective to the proceedings: that of Republicans.

Doug Elmets, a former official in Ronald Reagan’s administration, told the crowd that speaking before them was a shock not because of “the momentous nature of this event. … It’s a shock because, unlike many of you, I’m a Republican.”

He was joined on-stage by Jennifer Pierotti Lim, director of health policy for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and co-founder of Republican Women for Hillary. Both said they plan to vote for Hillary Clinton, not Republican candidate Donald Trump.

The pair’s appearance at the Democratic convention is a counter to Republicans’ convention last week, where Clinton often was referred to as being too far left to have broad appeal.

Elmets said he cast his first vote 40 years ago, “voting Republican that day like I would time and time again.”

He drew loud cheers from the crowd when he said, “I’m here tonight to say I knew Ronald Reagan, I worked for Ronald Reagan. Donald Trump, you are no Ronald Reagan.”

Elmets compared Reagan and Trump, saying that where Reagan called for a wall to be torn down, Trump wants to build one.

“I shudder to think where he might lead our great nation,” Elmets said. “Fortunately, I don’t believe he’ll get that chance.”

Lim said that until this year, she’s campaigned exclusively for Republicans.

This year, though, she said she’s voting for Clinton.

“Trump’s loathsome comments about women and our appearances are too many to repeat and too crass to repeat,” Lim said.

She called on Republicans to join her in voting for Clinton.

“Because we’re not just Democrats and Republicans. We’re Americans,” she said.

 

 

 

Florida delegates warned to stay in seats on last night of convention. Here’s why.

A look inside the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia as Carole King performs on Thursday, the final night of the Democratic National Convention. Every inch of space that can be occupied on the floor, is.  (Kristina Webb / The Palm Beach Post)
A look inside the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia as Carole King performs on Thursday, the final night of the Democratic National Convention. Every inch of space that can be occupied on the floor, is. (Kristina Webb / The Palm Beach Post)

There was one message delivered to Florida’s delegates Thursday morning that they were especially warned to heed: Try not to leave your seats during the final night of the Democratic National Convention.

Palm Beach County Tax Collector Anne Gannon, who is serving as whip captain for the Florida delegation, warned delegates that the fire marshal would shut down the floor at a certain point once it became too busy.

The capacity of the arena’s floor — where some delegates sit during the event, with others seated in the arena’s stands — became an issue as the convention progressed. People standing in the aisles to watch the speakers and performers stood shoulder-to-shoulder, occasionally blocking walkways and prompting the fire marshal Wednesday night to close an area of the floor to people trying to pass through.

A combination of fewer seats and more delegates made for more cramped quarters at the host site of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia than at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland the week before.

Where the Wells Fargo Center, the DNC’s host, has about 19,600 seats, the Quicken Loans Arena had about 21,000 seats. And where the Republicans had about 2,500 delegates, the Democrats had close to 4,800. That doesn’t include guests, media, volunteers and security personnel.

The size of the convention stage may have played a factor as well, as several people observed that the stage for the DNC seems to be built out more than the RNC’s stage.

Gannon cautioned Florida delegates that if they left to go to the bathroom, they may not be able to get back to their seats, especially later in the night as more press and guests made their way to the floor to see presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speak.

“Don’t drink a lot of water,” Gannon said. “That’s my advice.”

Debbie Wasserman Schultz: ‘Sometimes, you just have to take one for the team’

Debbie Wasserman Schultz, right, gets a hug at a National Jewish Democratic Council reception.
Debbie Wasserman Schultz, right, gets a hug at a National Jewish Democratic Council reception.

PHILADELPHIA — After resigning under pressure as Democratic National Committee chairwoman and being booed and jeered by protesters at a delegate breakfast from her home state of Florida, Debbie Wasserman Schultz conceded today that it’s been “a difficult week.”

Wasserman Schultz has kept a low profile this week, but she made an appearance Thursday afternoon to receive an award from the National Jewish Democratic Council.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz speaks to a National Jewish Democratic Council reception.
Debbie Wasserman Schultz speaks to a National Jewish Democratic Council reception.

“I just can’t thank you enough for being here for me,” Wasserman Schultz told the roughly 50 attendees at the reception. “This has been a difficult week. There’s no question about it. But I am so proud of my team, some of whom are here, that helped put this together. From the convention team to the Democratic National Committee staff to all of the volunteers to our donors, it has been a remarkable team effort. And you know, sometimes, you just have to take one for the team. And that’s OK. It’s OK. I have the most amazing family that any woman could ever ask for.”

Wasserman Schultz, long accused by Bernie Sanders and his supporters of favoring Hillary Clinton in the primary season, was pushed to resign after leaked emails showed DNC officials undermining Sanders and helping Clinton. She announced Sunday that she would resign as chairwoman after the convention.

What did Wasserman Schultz say about Donald Trump? Click here to read.

 

Adorable photo of Miami delegate, son tweeted by Hillary Clinton

Bernard Jennings, Rosie Soroka and their son Ethan look at the balloons set to drop onto delegates at the end of the Democratic National Convention on Thursday in Philadelphia. (Kristina Webb / The Palm Beach Post)
Miami delegate Bernard Jennings, Rosie Soroka and their son Ethan look at the balloons set to drop onto delegates at the end of the Democratic National Convention on Thursday in Philadelphia. (Kristina Webb / The Palm Beach Post)

Bernard Jennings, a Democratic delegate from Miami, didn’t realize he and his son had become Internet famous until his daughter told him about the photo.

The black-and-white image, taken the first night of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, shows Jennings and his 16-month-old son Ethan with a Hillary Clinton campaign sign that read “Love trumps hate.” One of Ethan’s little hands is gripping one side of the sign as Jennings holds the other side.

The caption on the photo, which Clinton’s campaign shared on her Twitter and Instagram accounts, says, “Let’s make sure our future is in the right hands.”

Jennings said his daughter, Imani, sent him the photo and said, “Dad, you’re on Instagram!”

Ethan, whose mother, Rosie Soroka, also is attending the convention, has been great so far, Jennings said: “People love him.”

Jennings is a first-time delegate and former executive director for the Democratic Party in Miami-Dade County.

“It’s a good experience for (Ethan) to meet people, build up his courage” Jennings said. With a grin, he added, “And learn about the democratic process.”

 

 

 

Rader: ‘Kevin Rader scared Irv Slosberg out of the seat.’

Rep. Kevin Rader
Rep. Kevin Rader
State Rep. Irv Slosberg
State Rep. Irv Slosberg

Rep. Kevin Rader (D-Delray Beach) showed off some muscle when he met with The Palm Beach Post Editorial Board on Thursday to answer questions about his campaign for state Senate District 29.

Literally.

When The Post’s board asked Rader why he thought State Rep. Irving Slosberg (D-Boca Raton) switched campaigns at the last minute, Rader said, “He was scared to run against me.”

And then he flexed his muscle.

“The only thing I can attribute that to is the strength and muscle of Kevin Rader scared Irv Slosberg out of the seat,” Rader said, lifting up his arm.

Here’s some background: Slosberg, who is now running for state Senate District 31, first opened a campaign against Rader in state Senate District 29 but switched at the last minute. Now Slosberg is running against State Sen. Jeff Clemens (D-Atlantis) and Emmanuel Morel, and Rader is running against Mindy Koch.

“That is such a stupid quote,” Slosberg said over the phone.

And it’s false, he added.

“My office is in District 31 and I probably represent more of District 31 than I do of 29. That’s the bottom line. I’ve been in my office there for six years. We’ve had like thousands of constituents come up.”

“When I looked at District 29, I’ve never been with people in the Glades. I’ve never represented people in Wellington. I’ve never represented the community in Coconut Creek, Wynmoor. I never represented Parkland. I never represented Coral Springs. At the end of the day, most of 29, I’ve never represented those people,” he said for why he made the last-minute decision to swap races.

Ted Deutch to speak during Democratic National Convention tonight

U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Boca Raton, will speak tonight during the final session of the Democratic National Convention.

U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch speaks to Florida's Democratic delegates on Wednesday morning. (Kristina Webb / The Palm Beach Post)
U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch speaks to Florida’s Democratic delegates on Wednesday morning. (Kristina Webb / The Palm Beach Post)

Deutch, whose campaign estimated he could speak as early as 4:30 p.m., said he plans to talk about several topics including early voting and his family.

The speech will be about “the importance of this campaign to me as a son and a father,” he said, adding that this is the first year his twin daughters, 20 years old, and his son, 18, will be able to vote.

Deutch said the chance to speak on the final night of the convention is “an amazing opportunity,” and that when Hillary Clinton’s campaign called to ask if he would participate, “It was an easy yes.”

Deutch is running for re-election in Florida’s recently redrawn District 22, which includes Highland Beach, Boca Raton, Margate and Fort Lauderdale.

Scott takes on new role with Trump — fund-raiser

Trump-Scott

 

After endorsing Donald Trump and even being talked of — briefly — as a possible running mate, Florida Gov. Rick Scott will now play a new role for the Republican presidential nominee:

Fund-raiser.

Scott has been named national chairman of the Rebuilding America Now SuperPAC, organized to spend in support of Trump. The Trump campaign is facing a huge fund-raising disadvantage against Democrat Hillary Clinton, who is set to take the stage tonight at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

In announcing his new role, Scott drew a parallel between his own political life and that of Trump — a similarity that he has used before.

“I’ve known Donald for about 20 years, long before either of us ever ran for office. He is a businessman and an outsider and he will bring the major change to Washington that our country needs right now.
“Donald’s race is also a lot like my race for Governor. No one said I had a chance of beating the career politicians when I ran, but I won anyway. We are going to win this presidential race, too.”
The SuperPAC has raised $2.1 million, and spent $1.5 million, records show, and has a TV spot up in Florida this week. Melissa Stone, a Scott adviser, didn’t immediately respond to questions about what duties the governor may take on with his new fund-raiser role.
Scott’s new post did draw some attention Thursday in Philadelphia, though.
Former Vermont governor and Democratic presidential contender Howard Dean took on Trump and Scott’s partnership at a breakfast with Florida delegates.
 “Donald Trump is a Neanderthal nincompoop and so is Rick Scott,” Dean said. “Donald Trump is a guy who made a lot of money at everybody else’s expense and so is Rick Scott. Pretty good match, I would say.”