Murphy votes early

Ignoring chants of “Privileged Patrick,” “No way CPA” and “You’re a bum,” US Senate candidate and US. Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter, came Monday morning to the offices of the Palm Beach County supervisor of elections to do early voting.
Murphy, who’s fighting to unseat GOP incumbent Sen. Marco Rubio, told reporters he’s not concerned about reports that the FBI is looking into more Hillary Clinton emails.

“More and more information is continuing to come out about that,” Murphy said. “But at the end of the day, I trust Secretary Clinton with our nuclear codes. That’s more than Marco Rubio can say about Donald Trump.”

Asked about putting a big chunk of his money into his campaign, he said “we’re feeling really good about the next couple of weeks and making sure our message gets out there.”

Three protesters stayed close and kept up loud chants as Murphy talk to reporters and stood in line to vote. At one point, Murphy staffers and supporters tried to block the protesters hand drawn signs with large Murphy signs.

 In August, as Murphy talked to reporters in a study room at the Palm Beach County Library Palm Beach Gardens branch, Murphy staffers kept out a “tracker” for the conservative political action committee “America Rising” and even held a sign in front of his video camera to block him from shooting through the glass into the Murphy news conference.

Retired West Palm Beach Police spokesman now working for Kerner

Bernhardt (WPB PD)
Bernhardt (WPB PD)
Kerner
Kerner

A familiar face among Palm Beach County reporters has a new job.

West Palm Beach Police Capt. David Bernhardt, who for a while was the department’s press spokesman, recently retired after nearly three decades of service. Now he’s working as a legislative, aide and an advisor on law enforcement issues, for State Rep. Dave Kerner, D-Lake Worth.

Bernhardt was with Kerner at Wednesday morning’s legislative update breakfast of the Palm Beach North Chamber of Commerce.

He said the plan is to continue to work with Kerner in some capacity should Kerner win the District 3 County Commission seat Shelley Vana is leaving because of term limits.

Trump in Miami Friday

Trump2
Trump

Donald Trump will be in Miami Friday for two meetings.

The part-time Palm Beacher and presumed Republican presidential nominee speaks to invited guests Friday afternoon at the DoubleTree Hotel Miami Airport and Convention Center. His campaign says his talk, which is closed to the general public, is titled, Succeeding Together.”

Before that event, the Miami Herald reports, Trump has invited a group of 20 to 30 Hispanic community leaders to lunch with him at the legendary Versailles Cuban restaurant, in the heart of Little Havana.

 

State Rep., Palm Beach County Commission hopeful Kerner jumps the gun

Kerner
Kerner

A Freudian slip is defined as accidentally saying what you mean. Outgoing state legislator David Kerner laid a whopper Tuesday.

Kerner, who’s said he’ll seek the county commission seat Shelley Vana is vacating because of term limits, rose at Tuesday’s county commission meeting on a proposal to create a Community Redevelopment Agency in the town of Lake Clarke Shores, which is in Kerner’s central Palm Beach County legislative district.

Kerner started, “thank you mayor and fellow — “ and then corrected himself, saying “honorable commissioners.”

Amid giggles and guffaws, a red-faced Kerner said, “that was bad.”

Hillary Clinton swept 58 of 67 Florida counties in primary

Allen Eyestone/Palm Beach Post
Hillary Clinton speaks at rally Tuesday night at PBC Convention Center (Allen Eyestone/Palm Beach Post)

Hillary Clinton didn’t just win big in Florida in Tuesday’s primary. She nearly swept the place, winning 58 of 67 counties — including Palm Beach County and its two neighbors to the south, where she got nearly three-fourths of the total vote.

This according to a Palm Beach Post analysis of vote breakdowns supplied by the Florida Division of Elections.

Clinton’s highest win margin was in tiny Gadsden County, just west of Tallahassee, where she got 76 percent of the total vote. The next three, in order, were the blue strongholds of Miami-Dade (74 percent), Broward (72), and Palm Beach (71).

The totals are more impressive in that Martin O’Malley, who dropped out Feb. 1, still was on the ballot in every county, and got 2.3 percent of the total vote.

What does Clinton take from this smack down of Bernie Sanders as she looks toward a possible general election showdown with Donald Trump?

Probably not a lot, Florida political analyst Susan MacManus said Wednesday morning.

“Hillary beating Bernie doesn’t tell us a lot about November,” said MacManus, a political science professor at the University of South Florida in Tampa.

Clinton won big in counties that usually vote Republican. But just because Democrats in red counties voted heavily for her, it doesn’t mean Republicans in those counties will do so, MacManus said.

The key in November. MacManus said, will be independent voters, who had no presidential ballot Tuesday in Florida’s closed primary. Those registered to other parties, or no party, represent 26.6 percent of registered voters.

To read more, go later to mypalmbeachpost.com.

(Post staff writer Michael Stucka contributed)

Interactive map

Click on your county to see how Democrats voted there.

Hillary Clinton hangs with seniors near West Palm Beach

Thomas Cordy/Palm Beach Post
Thomas Cordy/Palm Beach Post

Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton made a surprise visit Tuesday afternoon to a suburban West Palm Beach doughnut shop, shmoozing with seniors from nearby Century Village about their grandchildren and reminding everyone to, if they haven’t already, get out and vote before polls close at 7 p.m.

In a bit of cosmic alignment, Donald Trump, her possible opponent in November, should the two get that far, has his own event set for just a few miles away at his Mar-a-Lago Club on Palm Beach.

“I love Florida,” Clinton said at the Dunkin Donuts shop on West Okeechobee Boulevard, near the Florida’s Turnpike, before heading to the Palm Beach County Convention Center in West Palm Beach where she’ll hold an event tonight.

“I’m happy to be here in Florida and looking forward to see what happens tonight,”  Clinton told local and national reporters who’d jammed into the little shop for her 11-1/2 minute visit.

Clinton told one couple of her husband, former president Bill Clinton, “he’s madly in love with his granddaughter,” adding, “ Facetime was made for grandchildren.”

Just before Clinton’s arrival, Laura Tafone and Arlene Schweitzer, both from Century Villlage, sat sipping their iced coffees. They said they’d had no clue when they stopped in that a celebrity was about to walk in. 

Tafone, by the way, wouldn’t say who she’s voting for; Schweitzer said only, “anyone but Trump.”

But the two said they weren’t surprised that, once again, Palm Beach County was the center of the political universe.

Watch full video on Periscope

» RELATED: Get the latest news and updates in our live election chat

Hillary Clinton will be at Palm Beach County Convention Center Tuesday night

Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton

Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton will spend election night at the Palm Beach County Convention Center, her campaign said Tuesday.

Clinton “will speak about the results of the contests where Democratic voters will cast their ballots on Tuesday and discuss why she is the best candidate to raise incomes and break down barriers for families as President,” the campaign said in an email.

The event will be in the Grand Ballroom of the convention center, at 650 Okeechobee Blvd. in West Palm Beach.  The Clinton campaign gives no exact time for Clinton’s remarks; they likely will depend on how voting tallies go as the night progresses. Doors will open at 7 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public but RSVPs are encouraged.

While Clinton has aired television and radio ads, and scattered surrogates, across Florida since last week’s Democratic debate, her opponent, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, appears to be focusing on other states.

Clinton leads Sanders in Florida by 59 percent to 31 percent, with 10 percent undecided, according to a Florida Atlantic University poll conducted March 8-11.

The campaign did not say whether the selection of West Palm Beach has anything to do with the fact that her possible general election opponent, Republican Donald Trump, is a part-time resident of Palm Beach.

Nearly 15,000 vote early in Palm Beach County in 3 days, smashing 2012 total

030616-pbc-early-voting-1Just three days into early voting in Palm Beach County, nearly 15,000 already have cast ballots, smashing the totals for an entire week of early voting in 2012, according to the county’s Supervisor of Elections office.

Through Monday night, 14,980 people had voted early for the period that began Saturday.

» The Palm Beach Post’s Elections Guide: What you need to know to vote in Palm Beach County

Voting is from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through Sunday, two days before March 15’s presidential primary and 20 municipal elections.

Over the weekend alone, nearly 9,500 people voted in the first two days of a nine-day early voting window.

» Know Your Candidates: Our exclusive guide to who’s running for office in Palm Beach County

Of the 13 Palm Beach County locations, the biggest turnout continued to be at the Palm Beach County Library System’s Hagen Ranch Road branch, west of Delray Beach, where nearly 2,500 people have voted in the three days and 966 voted Monday alone.

The smallest turnout still is at the branch library in Belle Glade, where only 149 have voted so far.

Donald Trump in Palm Beach: ‘This has been an amazing’ Super Tuesday

UPDATE: With an introduction from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Donald Trump took the stage Tuesday night at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach.

IMG_3893“This has been an amazing evening already,” Trump said of his Super Tuesday wins.

“We’re gonna spend a lot of time in Florida,” Trump said, adding that he’s making big investments in Florida and Virginia.

Trump promised to stop companies from moving to Mexico, along with creating jobs in the U.S.

“We are losing so much. We can’t let it happen,” Trump said.

He also touted his campaign as helping “expand the Republican party” — because, he said, he’s drawing people to the polls who otherwise may not have voted or were registered to vote as Democrats.

When asked about whether or not he had been “equivocal” about hate groups endorsing his campaign, Trump said he has “disavowed” the KKK (read more about that here) several times at campaign appearances, on social media and on TV appearances.

When asked if Florida Gov. Rick Scott would endorse him, Trump said he did not know who Scott would endorse.

Read more here.

EARLIER STORY: Just before 7 p.m. Tuesday, with polls set to start closing
across several Super Tuesday states, at the Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, reporters and other media, having worked their way through the usual security checks, waited in a large conference room.

There they awaited an appearance, set for 9 p.m., of  Republican front runner — and the guy who owns the place — Donald Trump.

Dozens of cameras framed the room, flanked at one end with a stage lined with U.S. flags. Cords snaked across the floor.  An official provided microphone sound checks. And in a practice to which bored and desperate reporters sometimes descend, they were taking pictures of each other taking pictures of each other.

The only news during the long wait: news reports about early returns from Super Tuesday states. And an email from Trump’s campaign just before 8 p.m. saying he’d be holding a rally Saturday at the University of Central Florida, near Orlando.

Click here for a photo gallery from the event

Check back here for live updates throughout the night.

Reporters jam room to wait for Trump. And wait.

Just before  p.m. Tuesday, with polls set to start closing IMG_3893across several Super Tuesday states, at the Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, reporters and other media, having worked their way through the usual security checks, waited n a large conference room.

There they awaited an appearance, set for 9 p.m., of  Republican front runner — and the guy who owns the place — Donald Trump.

Dozens of cameras framed the room, flanked at one end with a stage lined with U.S. flags. Cords snaked across the floor.  An official provided microphone sound checks. And in a practice to which bored and desperate reporters sometimes descend, they were taking pictures of each other taking pictures of each other