West Coast

St. Petersburg Times Florida Gov. Rick Scott seldom appoints black judges

TALLAHASSEE — After nearly four years, Gov. Rick Scott has appointed fewer African-Americans to Florida judgeships than either Charlie Crist or Jeb Bush did in the same period of time.

St. Petersburg Times In Pinellas, House District 68 candidates say Duke needs to shape up

The House District 68 incumbent questions his opponent's stand on the energy giant.

St. Petersburg Times David Straz has yet to take stage for Charlie Crist campaign

Back in April, the Charlie Crist campaign summoned Tampa Bay area reporters to the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts to hear "important news" from Crist. Reporters and local dignitaries and Democratic activists turned out, and eventually Crist strolled up accompanied by David Straz, the investor and philanthropist, …

St. Petersburg Times La. Gov. Jindal helping out Florida GOP

ORLANDO — Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is helping Florida Republicans focused on trying to get Gov. Rick Scott re-elected.

St. Petersburg Times Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi appeals gay marriage rulings

MIAMI — Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi filed appeals late Friday on several rulings overturning the state's ban on gay marriage.

St. Petersburg Times President Barack Obama will visit Tampa, CentCom next week

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama will travel to Tampa next week for a briefing at U.S. Central Command as the military begins a more aggressive assault on the Islamic State group.

St. Petersburg Times N.J. Gov. Chris Christie catches Gov. Rick Scott's campaign bus, slams Charlie Crist

PANAMA CITY BEACH — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie boarded Gov. Rick Scott's bus tour Friday and blasted Democrat Charlie Crist as a job-hopping, tax-raising career politician who can't be trusted.

St. Petersburg Times No challengers in sight, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn launches his re-election campaign

TAMPA — Mayor Bob Buckhorn on Friday launched his campaign to seek a second term in Tampa's municipal elections on March 3.

St. Petersburg Times 2-year voter fraud investigation results in arrest

TALLAHASSEE — A two-year voter fraud investigation that centered on a company once aligned with the Republican Party of Florida has wrapped up with the arrest of a former employee.

St. Petersburg Times Crist sides with teachers union over black clergy in school choice program lawsuit

Charlie Crist has made education policy a centerpiece of his campaign, but it's also a wedge issue dividing two Democratic constituencies: teacher unions and black ministers who support school vouchers.

St. Petersburg Times FSU faculty senate approves resolution against Thrasher

Florida State University's Faculty Senate, representing about 2,000 members, has made official its opposition to state Sen. John Thrasher becoming the school's new president. Professors long have criticized Thrasher's candidacy, but Wednesday's resolution is the most high-profile opposition to date. Faculty members spent two hours debating the …

St. Petersburg Times State economic report casts doubt on feasibility of Scott's tax cut plan

TALLAHASSEE -- Since late August, Gov. Rick Scott's promise to slash taxes and fees by $1 billion over the next two years has been the backdrop for his reelection campaign, fueling a 28-city stop through Florida.

St. Petersburg Times Rep. Rouson to seek changes to laws on mentally handicapped defendants

Decrying what he says is a practice that hurts Florida's most vulnerable citizens, Rep. Darryl Rouson announced this week that he wants to change state laws allowing mentally handicapped criminal defendants to be held without trial.

St. Petersburg Times Could Florida be where the momentum stops for medical marijuana?

Know this: Florida's medical marijuana amendment should pass.

St. Petersburg Times TV ad from Charlie Crist, Planned Parenthood calls Rick Scott 'extreme' on abortion issue

Emboldened by Democrats' success with women voters, Charlie Crist's campaign has teamed up with Planned Parenthood to target Gov. Rick Scott over abortion, birth control and Medicaid expansion.

St. Petersburg Times FSU search committee narrows presidential field to four, including Thrasher

TALLAHASSEE — After an interview that showcased his passion for Florida State University but also his lack of academic leadership credentials, state Sen. John Thrasher was named one of four finalists to become the school's next president.

St. Petersburg Times Gerard, Hooper trade attacks in race for Pinellas County Commission seat

Pinellas County Commission candidate Pat Gerard is back on the attack, accusing state Rep. Ed Hooper of lying when he said clients of his consulting business didn't benefit from his work as a state legislator.

St. Petersburg Times Florida Missing Children's Day comforts parents, celebrates law enforcement

TALLAHASSEE — Hilary Sessions on Monday quietly placed a yellow rose by the picture of her daughter, Tiffany, who disappeared more than 25 years ago. Her tribute was echoed by others who honored the memories of missing or murdered children during an emotional ceremony held on Florida Missing Children's Day.

St. Petersburg Times Bousquet column: Rick Scott faces different landscape this election

Timing is everything in politics. Ask Gov. Rick Scott.

St. Petersburg Times Clinton and Bush yuk it up while launching scholars program (w/video)

WASHINGTON — Political opposites turned friends, former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush launched a new scholars program at four presidential centers with an opening act that might have been mistaken for a comedy routine.

St. Petersburg Times PolitiFact Florida: Checking Scott Rothstein's role in governor's race

Charlie Crist's claim that Gov. Rick Scott's campaign has teamed with a felon falls flat.

St. Petersburg Times Cato Institute fellow critical of Greenlight Pinellas light rail

Greenlight Pinellas faces a 'professional' enemy planning a campaign visit.

St. Petersburg Times Pam Bondi says opposition to gay marriage not personal vendetta

Just because Attorney General Pam Bondi has aggressively fought in court against opponents of Florida's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, don't assume it has anything to do with her own views.

St. Petersburg Times PolitiFact Florida: Ready to check new promises from Florida's next governor

As Republican Gov. Rick Scott and Democrat Charlie Crist campaign around the state largely attacking each other, they have also made dozens of promises to voters with nearly two months to go before Election Day.

St. Petersburg Times Bill Clinton tells Florida Dems to back Charlie Crist with big turnout

MIAMI — Bill Clinton sounded worried.

St. Petersburg Times Judge orders Scott to stop fighting request for records

By Mary Ellen Klas TALLAHASSEE — A Tallahassee judge this week ordered Gov. Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi to stop fighting attempts to allow Google to turn over basic information about the private email accounts used by the governor and his staff to conduct state business.

St. Petersburg Times PolitiFact Florida: Tracking Rick Scott's promise to create 700,000 jobs

Heading into the November general election, Gov. Rick Scott's promise to create more than 700,000 jobs in seven years has either suffered a hiccup or continues unabated, depending on your point of view.

St. Petersburg Times Election Day problems in Hernando started early — and ended late

BROOKSVILLE — In 14 years of voting in Hernando County, Spring Hill resident Diana Thomas says she had never experienced what she did in the Aug. 26 primary election.

St. Petersburg Times Broward case on marriage ban could mean Florida's first gay divorce

BY STEVE ROTHAUS Miami Herald The deadline passed late Wednesday and Attorney General Pam Bondi's office did not appeal a Broward circuit court ruling in August that Florida's gay marriage ban is unconstitutional.

St. Petersburg Times Despite potty mouth, lawyer gets it right on marijuana

At the least, we should credit lawyer John "For the People" Morgan with knowing his audience in his recent and notable pitch to legalize medical marijuana.