• Crist Comes Under Fire For Extreme Political Conversion

    TALLAHASSEE (AP) -- It sounds like something Republican Gov. Rick Scott would ask of Republican-turned-Democrat Charlie Crist: "How can the people of Florida trust your recent conversion?"

  • Crist Says Florida Gov. Scott Has No Integrity

    Republican-turned-Democrat former Gov. Charlie Crist said Tuesday that current Republican Gov. Rick Scott "has no integrity" and his policies are driven by "the almighty dollar."

  • Crist, Scott Split On Gay Marriage Issue

    DAVIE, Fla. (AP) - Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Democratic challenger Charlie Crist took opposing sides on the same-sex marriage question during their latest debate.

  • DeMaio Accuser Sentenced to Probation Over Threatening Email

    SAN DIEGO — An aide to former California congressional candidate Carl DeMaio was sentenced Monday to five years' probation for lying to federal investigators about a threatening email he wrote but said might have come from DeMaio, one of several allegations that rocked one of last year's most closely watched congressional races.

  • Democrat Nan Rich Calls On Charlie Crist To Debate

    CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) — Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Nan Rich touted her liberal credentials and questioned rival Charlie Crist's credibility Friday as she fights for her party's nomination.

  • Democrats Lost Big in Florida: So What’s That Mean For LGBT Rights?

    Around the country Democrats lost big on election night and there was no exception in Florida where openly gay democrat Joe Saunders lost his state house seat and Republicans gained a super majority in the state house. And then of course there is the re-election of Rick Scott for governor and Pam Bondi for attorney general, both of whom continue to oppose marriage equality.

  • Did Republican Ellyn Bogdanoff Fudge Her Support for Gay Marriage?

    This week the gay rights group Palm Beach County Human Rights Council caused a bit of a stir when they endorsed Republican Ellyn Bogdanoff over Democrat Maria Sachs for the Florida Senate. Sachs has been a long supporter of gay rights while LGBT activists are split over Bogdanoff.

  • Equality Florida Passes on Jacksonville Gay Candidate

    Jacksonville – When Equality Florida’s Action PAC released its list of recommendations on candidates running for office in Jacksonville there was one noticeable exception—openly gay candidate James Eddy.

  • Ex-Speaker Hastert Pleads Guilty, to be Sentenced Feb. 29

    CHICAGO (AP) — The latest on the federal hush-money case against former House Speaker Dennis Hastert (all times local):

  • Federal Minimum Wage Delayed After ‘Gay Sex Tax’ Resurfaces

    A House panel delayed a hearing on the federal minimum wage planned for Wednesday after a homophobic blog post written by a GOP-selected witness resurfaced.

  • Few Top GOP Officials Back Same-Sex Marriage At High Court

    WASHINGTON (AP) _ The partisan divide over same-sex marriage among top elected officials remains stark, with Democrats overwhelmingly on record in favor and Republicans mostly silent so far.

  • Fired Gay Teacher Invited to White House to Welcome Pope

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Roman Catholic teacher fired over her same-sex marriage says she has been invited to the White House to help welcome Pope Francis.

  • First Mississippi Mayor Endorses Same-Sex Marriage

    WAVELAND, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi mayor has joined hundreds of others across the country to publicly support same sex marriage.

  • FL Rep. Scott Plakon Files “Pastor Protection Act” Despite Lack Of Threat To Pastors

    While discussion of the fabled “Pastor Protection Act” has been long in the pipeline – Texas has already passed similar legislation from which Florida is cribbing its bill language – Florida Rep. Scott Plakon, R-Longwood, filed HB 43 on Aug. 10, laying down the proverbial gauntlet for the social conservative battle set to play out in next year’s legislative session. The bill, as expected, seeks to protect churches from litigation should they refuse to “solemnize” same-sex marriages.

  • Florida Again The Epicenter Of Nation’s Polarizing Politics

    (AP) TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida is emerging as an epicenter of the nation’s polarizing politics in the final days of the 2018 campaign.

    In the closely contested campaign for governor, President Donald Trump and GOP nominee Ron DeSantis have used what has been called racially coded language to slam Democrat Andrew Gillum. The battles for the governor’s mansion and a key U.S. Senate seat are playing out in communities still recovering from a killer hurricane and one of the nation’s deadliest school shootings.

    Florida Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis waves. (Bob Self /The Florida Times-Union via AP, File) 

    Virtually every hot-button cultural issue tearing at the nation — including guns, race and the environment — is unfolding in a deeply personal way here.

    That’s a sharp change in a state where elections notoriously come down to the wire. Politicians in both parties traditionally focus on winning over moderate voters, especially those living along Interstate 4 in the shadow of Disney World, to eke out a win. Not so in the Trump era as each side scrambles to mobilize its strongest supporters.

    “This election is truly a choice between results and resistance,” Trump told a crowd during a rally in southwest Florida. “This is really an election between greatness and gridlock.”

    Trump’s visit is just one of two stops planned this week to bolster DeSantis and Gov. Rick Scott’s U.S. Senate campaign.

    The Democrats are out in force in the Sunshine State, as well. Former President Barack Obama visited Democratic-vote-rich South Florida on Friday, and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders visited college campuses mid-week, urging students to vote for Democratic nominee Gillum, the Tallahassee mayor who could become the state’s first black governor.

    Democratic candidate for Florida governor Andrew Gillum, left, greets U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Ca., in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)

    Speaking to a crowd of about 3,000 in Miami, Obama warned voters not to get bamboozled by misinformation while Republicans allow polluters to poison the environment, give tax cuts to billionaires and take healthcare away from millions.

    “We need leaders who will actually stand up for what’s right regardless of party,” Obama said. “Leaders who represent the best of the American spirit. Patriots who will stand up for anyone whose fundamental rights are at stake.”

    During his stop at the University of Central Florida, Sanders railed at Trump and contended he was coming to the state because he is worried that DeSantis will lose the governor’s race. DeSantis, a former congressman, won the GOP primary over a much-better-funded opponent largely based on Trump’s backing.

    “I say to Donald Trump: This country has struggled with discrimination of all kinds for too many years,” Sanders said. “We say to Trump today, ’We are not going backwards into more discrimination. We are going forward to celebrate our diversity.”

    The ramped-up campaign rhetoric in the closing days shows signs of bringing a surge of voters with it.

    This election is on pace to significantly surpass the turnout of Florida’s past five midterm elections, stretching back two decades. By Friday, nearly 4.1 million people had either voted by mail or at an early voting location.

    Election Day will wrap up a bitter campaign season that witnessed the battle between DeSantis and Gillum veer into racial politics and heated exchanges over a long-simmering FBI investigation involving Gillum’s home city.

    Right after the primary, DeSantis said Florida voters shouldn’t “monkey this up” by electing Gillum, a comment Democrats contend was racially charged. Trump also called Gillum a “thief” and corrupt, a move the mayor says is meant to reinforce negative stereotypes of black men.

    The Gillum campaign, meanwhile, cut ties with a Democratic Party vendor and a campaign volunteer caught on video calling Florida a “cracker” state and saying the campaign was taking advantage of “white guilt.”

    The Senate race between Scott and incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson has taken a back seat to the governor’s race, but it too has centered largely on name-calling and insults lobbed in tens of millions of dollars’ worth of negative television ads. Scott has painted Nelson as an ineffective career politician, while Nelson has labeled Scott untrustworthy because of questions about how the multimillionaire governor has handled his finances while in office.

    For months, Scott had kept his distance from Trump and even disagreed with the president on items such as the death toll in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. But he joined Trump in southwest Florida and plans to be with him again Friday in Pensacola. For some voters, that may prove to be all the difference.

    “I’m not a huge Rick Scott supporter,” said Allison Chiddo, a West Palm Beach resident who attended Trump’s Estero rally. “He’s part of the swamp.... I’m not going to sit here and BS you. I don’t trust either one. I’m going to vote the way Trump sees it.”

    During Trump’s mid-week rally, DeSantis took the stage, where he bashed Gillum as a “failed mayor” who was “hanging out with Bernie Sanders.” DeSantis also railed at Gillum for saying that Trump should be impeached.

    Gillum, during a stop this week at a bayside restaurant in Destin, barely mentioned Trump or DeSantis but still got in a jab.

    “I don’t care who’s on the other side of us, I am always going to be team Florida, so whether it’s Donald Trump or Ron DeSantis, if you come after Florida, if you come after Floridians, you’re gonna have to go through me,” he said.

    Associated Press writers Tamara Lush in Estero, Mike Schneider in Orlando and Brendan Farrington in Destin contributed to this story.

  • Fort Lauderdale Mayor’s Race Turns Nasty in Debate

    In the Jan. 4 Fort Lauderdale mayoral debate hosted by the Sun Sentinel, a night mostly devoted to infrastructure and development issues briefly saw Vice Mayor Bruce Roberts and Dist. 2 Commissioner Dean Trantalis engage in personal criticism of each other.

  • Fox Business Network Reached 13.5 Million for GOP Debate

    An estimated 13.5 million people watched the fourth Republican presidential debate of the season on the Fox Business Network, which traded the fireworks of the previous CNBC encounter for a more sedate discussion on economic issues.

  • Gay And Straight Couples Alike Say 'I do' With Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy's Words

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Emily Smith and Jillian Levine had already chosen a venue, booked a band and written the first draft of the ceremony for their wedding when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that gay couples nationwide have a right to marry. Within minutes of the June 26 ruling, Levine texted her fiancée a rainbow emoji and a question about their ceremony.

  • Gay Fort Lauderdale Commissioner Kicks Off Campaign

    Fort Lauderdale Commissioner Dean Trantalis kicked off his campaign for re-election Monday night , laying out a set of priorities he intends to accomplish during another term representing District 2.

  • Gay Houston Man Tied and Beaten to Death

    Marc Pourner, 28, of Spring, Texas, was found dead just north of Houston on Saturday night, Nov. 14, a little more than two days after he went missing.