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Central Florida Political Pulse - Orlando Sentinel

The best source for Central Florida and statewide political news, insider happenings and more.

Last Build Date: Fri, 2 Dec 2016 23:39:30 -0500

Copyright: ©2016 Orlando Sentinel

Bondi mum after Trump meeting

Fri, 2 Dec 2016 13:19:00 PST

TALLAHASSEE – Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi had little to say after her meeting Friday with President-elect Donald Trump in New York.

“I’m very happy being the Attorney General of the state of Florida right now,” Bondi told reporters after the meeting, according to a transcript provided by...


UCF student, 21, will juggle lawmaking with classes

Fri, 2 Dec 2016 11:23:00 PST

Amber Mariano knows how to juggle.

The full-time UCF student ran a campaign on weekends to narrowly defeat an incumbent in her home county north of Tampa last month, becoming the youngest person elected to the Florida House of Representatives.

"It was tough ... It was a lot of driving," 21-year-old...


Disney's Bob Iger to join President-elect Donald Trump's advisory group

Fri, 2 Dec 2016 11:49:00 PST

A group of CEO advisers that President-elect Donald Trump has established will include Bob Iger, chief executive officer of The Walt Disney Co.

The President’s Strategic and Policy Forum was announced Friday. The group will meet with Trump “frequently” starting in February.

The 16-member forum...


Buddy Dyer becomes Orlando's longest-serving mayor

Fri, 2 Dec 2016 07:03:00 PST

Buddy Dyer became Orlando's longest-serving mayor on Friday, having been in office for nearly 14 years since winning a special election in 2003. 

Through Friday, Dyer had been Orlando's mayor 4,989 days, surpassing the 4,988 days served by former Mayor Carl Langford, who held the post from March...


In a GOP year, Stephanie Murphy vows bipartisanship

Thu, 1 Dec 2016 16:09:00 PST

With time running out to find a challenger to longtime Republican U.S. Rep. John Mica earlier this year, Democrats approached Rollins College professor Stephanie Murphy — not to ask her to run, but to seek her opinion on who should run. But the more they talked to her, the more they liked what...


State's educational videos to help Floridians co-exist with bears

Thu, 1 Dec 2016 10:35:00 PST

The state Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission released a pair of educational videos today to help people in Florida's bear corridors co-exist with the animals.

One features Wingfield North, the gated community in Seminole County that became the first neighborhood in Florida to draft and adopt ...


Bondi to meet with President-elect Trump

Thu, 1 Dec 2016 09:44:00 PST

TALLAHASSEE – Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi will head to New York on Friday to meet with President-elect Donald Trump, fueling more speculation about whether she will land a gig with the new administration.

Bondi, 51, is an adviser on Trump’s transition team as he fills out his administration...


Bill would kill in-state college tuition for some immigrants

Thu, 1 Dec 2016 09:34:00 PST

TALLAHASSEE — A newly elected state senator has filed legislation that would undo a 2014 law allowing in-state tuition for some undocumented immigrant students, potentially reopening an emotionally charged debate in the wake of Donald Trump's presidential win.

Sen. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota, filed...


Scott proposes 5 percent raise for state law officers

Thu, 1 Dec 2016 07:21:00 PST

Florida Gov. Rick Scott wants the state's highway patrol troopers, wildlife officers and state law-enforcement agents to get a 5 percent pay raise next year. Scott announced the proposal Thursday during a visit to a Florida Highway Patrol station in Orlando. The governor said in a statement that...


Florida trade leaders balk at Trump's NAFTA talk

Wed, 30 Nov 2016 11:54:00 PST

MIRAMAR BEACH -- Some people involved with Florida's international trade efforts hope President-elect Donald Trump's campaign threat to ditch the North American Free Trade Agreement is mostly bluster.

Trump repeatedly decried the 22-year-old agreement as the "worst trade deal in history" and said...


Florida lawmaker seeks end to 'tampon tax'

Wed, 30 Nov 2016 07:53:00 PST

TALLAHASSEE --  Following the lead of other states, a South Florida House member filed a proposal Tuesday to create a sales-tax exemption for feminine hygiene products.

The bill, (HB 63), filed by Rep. Katie Edwards, D-Plantation, for consideration during the 2017 legislative session, calls for...


Supreme Court makeover begins in Central Florida

Tue, 29 Nov 2016 13:32:00 PST

TALLAHASSEE – The path for Gov. Rick Scott's trek towards flipping the balance of the Florida Supreme Court begins in Central Florida.

For his first pick to the court, Scott will replace Justice James Perry, a former Seminole County circuit judge, and the state constitution requires his appointee...


Betsy DeVos, Orlando Magic part owner, is now in Trump’s cabinet

Wed, 23 Nov 2016 14:22:00 PST

Betsy DeVos, daughter-in-law of Orlando Magic owner Richard DeVos, has been named incoming secretary of education by President-elect Donald Trump.

The NBA team’s Media Guide includes a photo her, and identifies her as part of the team’s ownership.

The DeVos family, despite being from Grand Rapids,...


Clash over colleges, environment looms as lawmakers sworn in

Tue, 22 Nov 2016 08:28:00 PST

TALLAHASSEE – The campaigns are over but the fighting could be just beginning.

Florida lawmakers were sworn into office Tuesday during formal ceremonies at the Capitol and elected Richard Corcoran, R-Land O’Lakes, as House Speaker and  Joe Negron, R-Stuart, as Senate President.

In his speech, Negron...


Election results may have doomed Lake Pickett project

Fri, 18 Nov 2016 11:58:00 PST

Few people living east of the Econlockhatchee River actually thought Orange County commissioners would reject Sustany, a project that proposed building 1,999 homes in rural east Orange.

After all, The Grow, a similar project in the same area, had already been approved despite loud protests that...


Vote 'None of the Above'? Grayson introduces bill to allow it

Fri, 18 Nov 2016 10:36:00 PST

I’m With No One? Make Nobody Great Again?

Outgoing U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson has a new idea for elections: the ability to vote for “None of the Above” and have it count.

“We deserve a real choice: to choose None of the Above,” said Grayson, calling the idea “voting with your middle finger.”



John Morgan confirms he's pondering run for governor

Fri, 18 Nov 2016 00:00:00 PST

Firebrand Orlando attorney John Morgan confirmed Thursday he is considering a run for Florida governor in 2018, throwing a wild card into a race dominated so far by traditional politicians.

Morgan, a longtime Democratic fundraiser, responded in an online post to a petition drive launched this week...


Gov. Scott meets with Trump, won’t take DC job

Thu, 17 Nov 2016 14:23:00 PST

TALLAHASSEE – Gov. Rick Scott met with President-elect Donald Trump in New York on Thursday but won’t take a position in the new administration, confirming his earlier commitment to finish out the remaining two years in his term.

“I’m staying in Florida,” Scott told Fox News’ Neil Cavuto after...


How did Trump win Florida? A GOP ground game years in the making

Wed, 16 Nov 2016 13:38:00 PST

So just how did Donald Trump pull out a win in formerly blue Florida? The answer lies in a ground operation that national Republicans had started to put in place years ago, before anyone knew who the nominee would be.

“It was the culmination of a four-year process,”  said Josh Kivett, the Republican...


Mica could be tapped as U.S. transportation secretary

Tue, 15 Nov 2016 12:29:00 PST

Republican U.S. Rep. John Mica said Tuesday he has been in discussions with the incoming Donald Trump administration about becoming U.S. transportation secretary. 

"I would have an interest in pursuing that," Mica said. Last week, he lost his longtime Central Florida seat to Democratic newcomer...


Scott looks forward to Trump presidency

Tue, 15 Nov 2016 10:23:00 PST

Gov. Rick Scott called Tuesday for "disruptive change" in a Donald Trump administration, while conceding that on many issues, he doesn't know what the president-elect will do.

The Florida governor also appeared to open the door to a potential U.S. Senate run in 2018 for incumbent Bill Nelson's...


Orlando extends temporary ban on marijuana dispensaries

Mon, 14 Nov 2016 12:46:00 PST

Orlando's City Council on Monday voted to extend its temporary ban on new marijuana dispensaries, less than a week after Florida voters backed a constitutional amendment to expand medical use of the drug.

Commissioners approved the moratorium in July. It's currently slated to expire December, but...


'John Morgan for Governor' launches petition drive

Mon, 14 Nov 2016 09:26:00 PST

Will "For the People" become "For the Governor"?

A petition website has been started to draft prominent Orlando attorney, longtime Democratic financier and prolific billboard advertiser John Morgan to run for the top spot in Florida in 2018.

"Tallahassee is a failure," reads the website. "Lobbyists....


Path to Florida Supreme Court goes through Orlando

Mon, 14 Nov 2016 10:26:00 PST

TALLAHASSEE – The next person to sit on the Florida Supreme Court will have Central Florida connections and will be vetted in Orlando.

The Judicial Nominating Commission, a nine-member panel that makes recommendations of judges to Gov. Rick Scott, announced Monday it will conduct interviews with...


City's vote on buying Pulse nightclub delayed

Mon, 14 Nov 2016 09:22:00 PST

Orlando commissioners won't weigh in for another month on whether the city should buy Pulse nightclub, after Mayor Buddy Dyer opted to delay a vote that had been scheduled for Monday.

Dyer said city staff will use the extra time to create a plan for how best to solicit public input on what should...