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.
If you've paid attention even the slightest to the Senate confirmation hearing/roundup/clown show/fiesta-fiasco surrounding Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, then you are aware of the numerous dramatic hysterics that have been attached. Following a moderately contentious hearing, suddenly a rush of “surprise” witnesses have come forward claiming various levels of impropriety by the nominee in his youth -- with one bearing a connection to South Florida.
Interest and concern has surprisingly welled up in a Miami area region where longtime Clinton cabinet member Donna Shalala once was thought secure in flipping a red U.S. House seat. But Latin newscaster Maria Elvira Salazar has been remarkably efficient in using her name strength in Congressional District 27 to her advantage, and has turned this into a competitive race.
The campaign season's thermostat is turned up during the sprint to November, and as the TV ads and yard signs spread like political kudzu, so too are the tactics the candidates employ. Like most campaigns closely battled, some contentious accusations are getting tossed about in the U.S. House race between seated Rep.Carlos Curbelo, the Republican, and his Democratic challenger, Debbie Mucarsel-Powell.
Sometimes you don't see the remembrance coming.
Look, I understand the Florida Democratic Party faces a difficult challenge in the gubernatorial race.
There was a moment during the enjoyably bad Dwayne Johnson film “Rampage” that stood out for me. In an early scene space canisters with a serum crash to Earth and one lands in the Everglades, becoming devoured by an alligator that eventually grows gargantuan and tears apart Chicago. I joked with friends how proud I was to see a local performer in a major motion picture.
Over Labor Day weekend news broke that in areas of Florida residents received automated phone calls of a disturbing nature. The recording came from a pretend Andrew Gillum, Democratic candidate for governor. The voice and the words were degradingly racist. The New York Times described jungle drums and monkey noises playing in the background.
By now most have become familiar with -- if not fatigued by -- the Ron DeSantis monkey-line-heard-’round-the-world.
In the Republican primary for attorney general -- a surprisingly bitter TV campaign -- Circuit Court Judge Ashley Moody defeated state Rep. Frank White, 57 percent to 43 percent, while on the Democratic side, consumer advocate Sean Shaw scored a runaway victory, 73 percent to 27 percent, over attorney Ryan Torrens.