A hurricane might be spinning off the coast of Florida this week, but in the long run , state residents are most concerned about the economy and jobs, according to an annual survey released by the University of South Florida.
Whenever a party becomes as dominant as the Republican Party has been in Tallahassee over the past two decades, divisions emerge. But there is one thing that largely unites the Florida GOP: friendliness (critics would say slavish devotion) to business interests.
There were signs of that this week, after state regulators said workers' compensation insurance rates for businesses should jump by 14.5 percent. It didn't take long for some Republicans to start calling for legislation in next year's session that might ease the strain.
As fall settles over Tallahassee --- at least in terms of the season, not the weather --- state government is also going through some changes.
Signs weren't the only things causing fights in Florida politics this week. In fact, at times it looked like just about everyone was either battling someone else or getting ready to.
The first hurricane to hit Florida in more than 10 years was followed by the first post-hurricane cleanup the state has seen in more than 10 years. And while it wasn't as violent and noisy as Hurricane Hermine, the aftermath was not exactly smooth.
The pace of power restoration in Tallahassee and surrounding areas came under criticism --- fair or not --- from Gov. Rick Scott and more than a few utility customers. The fact that Scott, a Republican, was facing off with one of the Democratic Party's rising stars in Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum did not go unnoticed.
Just in time for the final two months of the campaign, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is headed in the right direction to clinch Florida's 29 electoral votes, according to state GOP chairman Blaise Ingoglia.
"I think he's doing much better now than he was a month or so ago," Ingoglia said Thursday during an interview in downtown Tallahassee. "He's been staying on message, and he's been getting that message out."
Legendary Notre Dame football coach Knute Rockne once said, "Show me a good and gracious loser and I'll show you a failure."
She has a way of leaning into a question --- literally and sometimes figuratively --- that can make a press conference with Congresswoman Corrine Brown resemble a form of combat.
Whether it's the kind given to students in school or the kind that can detect a disease creeping into the state, tests helped drive the week in Florida.
Tests for Zika continued to provide more troublesome headlines for state officials --- and for the tourism industry that needs a flow of positive stories --- in the form of a second area where the virus is believed to have been transmitted by mosquitoes. That came even as a state economist suggested the fallout from the disease was already likely to take a bite out of state revenues.
State economists Monday shaved nearly $270 million off their estimate of what lawmakers will have to work with in next year's budget process, even as election-year calls for extra spending continue and as a threat looms of a Zika hit to Florida's economy.