As we have been told for months now, this is the most important election of our lifetime which, by my measurement, makes for the 10th consecutive time since the new millennium that this has been the case. As the social matrix of the country has become deeply emotional about the political landscape, it's possible I was in a ground-zero location for the election.
On Thursday, Nov. 1, the Florida State University Police Department issued a warrant for the arrest of Shelby Shoup, an intern in Andrew Gillum's campaign. Later that day, the 19-year-old turned herself in and promptly was charged with battery. She was cuffed, booked, and spent the night in jail. She will be facing a hearing on Nov. 28.
The list of potential criminal activity continues to mount against Democratic gubernatorial candidate and Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum. He has yet to clear himself of a Costa Rican trip possibly purchased by a lobbyist, he's been accused of using government services for efforts connected to his campaign, an FBI undercover sting has him receiving favors, and he used campaign funds to pay for his personal legal fees connected to the campaign infraction.
Political opportunism is so commonplace during elections that in some camps it becomes compulsory. Any event (no matter how tragic) has to be converted to a chance to wring any amount advantage (no matter how classless and distasteful the words and actions become). Sure threats were leveled and people have died, but there are votes to be gained!
“Now, I’m not calling Mr. DeSantis a racist. I’m simply saying the racists believe he’s a racist.” That was one of the many prepared one-liners Andrew Gillum let fly during the second and final gubernatorial debate between himself and Republican Ron DeSantis. It was a frustrating night, with candidates hemmed in by restrictive time limits and few substantive subjects explored.
It was a telling moment during the recent gubernatorial debate when Democratic candidate Andrew Gillum was challenged for having a more-than-cordial relationship with radical activist group the Dream Defenders.
The devastation in the Florida panhandle left in Hurricane Michael's wake has been heartbreaking. Lives are in chaos, and any help that can be sent is needed and welcome. That's why questioning what's behind Sen. Bill Nelson’s motives to drive donations to the area has been difficult for me. Nobody, least of all myself, would want to curtail dollars sent in to help the storm victims of the panhandle.
With the rapid development of Hurricane Michael in the Gulf of Mexico, most Floridians saw an imminent life-and-death threat to the panhandle and Big Bend region of their state.
It has been a tougher-than-expected start to the general election campaign for gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis. Since stumbling out of the gate following his solid primary win, the polls have shown his opponent, Andrew Gillum, consistently leading, albeit usually within the margin of error. With a month to go before the election, that is a bridgeable gap, and one DeSantis is now working to cover.