DeSantis' tour to boost school board candidates heads to Sarasota

Photo illustration of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis inside a backpack, peeking out.
Photo illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios. Photo: Paul Hennessy/Getty Images

Gov. Ron DeSantis is bringing his statewide "Education Agenda Tour," where he promotes candidates in nonpartisan school board races, to Sarasota on Sunday.

Driving the news: DeSantis is holding rallies to back candidates who agree with him on certain points, such as keeping "woke gender ideology out of schools" and rejecting "the use of critical race theory (CRT)," Axios Miami's Deirdra Funcheon reports.

Ben Montgomery
Aug 17, 2022 - Politics

Michael Flynn is putting pressure on the Sarasota County GOP

Portrait of Michael Flynn
Michael Flynn, who was a U.S. national security adviser under former President Trump, speaks at a campaign event for U.S. Senate candidate Josh Mandel on April 21. Photo: Dustin Franz/Getty Images

Michael Flynn is trying to oust the leader of the Sarasota County Republican Party's executive committee for not being hardcore enough.

Driving the news: Flynn recently applied to join the executive committee in the Republican-heavy county and has been targeting its head, Jack Brill, on social media, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports.

Florida swing voters view Ron DeSantis as too extreme

Photo illustration of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis with lines radiating from him.
Photo Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios. Photo: Tristan Wheelock/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Some Florida swing voters who former President Donald Trump won over in 2016 say Gov. Ron DeSantis' agenda is too extreme for them.

Driving the news: Axios partner Engagious/Schlesinger conducted two online focus groups last week with 12 Floridians who voted for Donald Trump in 2016, then Joe Biden in 2020.

What Tampa Bay voters need to know ahead of Florida's primary election

Illustration of a checkmark over a square changing into a question mark.
Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Less than two weeks away is the Florida primary election to decide which Democrats will face off against Ron DeSantis for governor and Marco Rubio for U.S. senator in November.

  • Also on the ballot: Candidates for the U.S. House, the state Legislature, state attorney general and agricultural commissioner, judges, school board members, and important local questions.
Selene San Felice
Aug 5, 2022 - News

Florida officials speak out after state attorney Andrew Warren suspended

A screenshot of a Tweet from Mayor Jane Castor about Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' suspension of State Attorney Andrew Warren.
Screenshot courtesy of @JaneCastor's Twitter feed

"Does my vote not count?" a sign read outside at a protest outside the Hillsborough County Courthouse Thursday evening.

  • The question echoed throughout Tampa Bay, and Democrat politicians voiced their outrage.
Deirdra Funcheon
Jul 22, 2022 - Politics

Florida's Nikki Fried and Charlie Crist face off before primaries

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried smiles as she sits behind a microphone.
Nikki Fried (left) and Charlie Crist during a gubernatorial forum in June. Photo: Michael Laughlin/South Florida Sun-Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Can a Democrat beat Ron DeSantis to become Florida's governor this fall?

In their only debate before the state's Aug. 23 primary, Democratic candidate and Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried faced off Thursday against U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, the state's former Republican governor who has since switched parties.

Mayor Ken Welch gets schooled at Bloomberg Harvard program for mayors

St. Pete Mayor Ken Welch speaking in front of his name tag at the Bloomberg Harvard initiative for mayors.
St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch talks with Boston Mayor Michelle Wu at the workshop in New York City. Photo courtesy of Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative

School may be out for summer, but it just began for St. Pete Mayor Ken Welch.

Driving the news: Welch just returned from a four-day workshop in New York City as part of the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative.

Ben Montgomery
Jul 21, 2022 - Politics

The man behind the push to save wild Florida

An aerial view of Florida's northern Everglades at dusk.
The northern Everglades. Photo courtesy of Adam Bass, Conservation Florida

Arnie Bellini built his Tampa tech firm ConnectWise from the ground up, then sold it for an estimated $1.5 billion, a deal so big that more than 70 workers at the employee-owned business became millionaires.

  • Now the wealthy Republican philanthropist wants to save Florida wilderness from development, and he's putting his money and energy into the effort.
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