West Coast

St. Petersburg Times Records show Gov. Rick Scott's office put up barriers to public records

TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott launched Project Sunburst two years ago to give the public easy access to his emails and those of his staff and promised it would become a "unprecedented, transparent window into how state government works."

St. Petersburg Times Tampa Bay Bucs, HSN among latest corporate backers of Greenlight Pinellas

ST. PETERSBURG — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Home Shopping Network are the latest big corporate names to back the Greenlight Pinellas transit campaign.

St. Petersburg Times Pinellas House candidate Chris Latvala steps back from views expressed in book he wrote as a teen

Starting in high school, a young man in Jacksonville decided to explore some big moral issues — abortion, racism, violence, homosexuality — and write a book about them.

St. Petersburg Times Mayor Buckhorn takes his icy turn in support of ALS

This week, Buccaneers head coach Lovie Smith, Hillsborough schools Superintendent Mary Ellen Elia and Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik all dumped buckets of ice and water over their heads for charity. Known as the Ice Bucket Challenge, the viral fundraiser has monopolized social media and in the process raised more than 50 million dollars …

St. Petersburg Times Pinellas commissioner John Morroni faces challenge from former supporter Tom Rask

CLEARWATER — Eight years ago, Pinellas County Commission incumbent John Morroni got a $200 campaign donation from a Seminole businessman named Tom Rask.

St. Petersburg Times Campaign attacks heat up in Pinellas County Commission races

The cordiality couldn't last. With days to go until the Aug. 26 primary, what had been a couple of relatively polite Pinellas County Commission races have turned ugly in recent days.

St. Petersburg Times Partisan politics enters District 3 School Board race in Hernando

Longtime Spring Hill resident Lori Eley was shocked by the robocall message she found waiting for her on her answering machine on Monday.

St. Petersburg Times Gov. Rick Scott rolls out plan to increase per-student spending

TALLAHASSEE — Republican Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday announced a plan to raise per-student spending to a record level next year.

St. Petersburg Times New Hernando elections chief's message: 'Get out to vote'

Shirley Anderson has encouraged voting both in person or by mail.

St. Petersburg Times Pinellas sheriff: Medical marijuana amendment has bad side effects

ST. PETERSBURG — It's not that Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri is against access to the potential medical benefits of marijuana — he's worried about the potential side effects.

St. Petersburg Times Black voters become focus in redistricting fight

TALLAHASSEE — The racial tensions that coursed for years beneath the surface in Florida's redistricting battle came into sharp focus Wednesday as lawyers for each side blasted each other for attempting to use black voters for partisan gain.

St. Petersburg Times Pinellas Democrats tout Greenlight Pinellas, stop short of endorsement

ST. PETERSBURG — The Pinellas County Democratic Party has decided not to take an official stance on the Greenlight Pinellas transit referendum on the Nov. 4 ballot.

St. Petersburg Times Scott talks transportation at campaign stop in Brandon

BRANDON — Gov. Rick Scott discussed statewide transportation policies during a campaign stop Wednesday morning, but made no mention of the ongoing debates on both sides of Tampa Bay over potential sales taxes to help pay for local transportation projects including rail.

St. Petersburg Times New poll shows Common Core support declining

Public support for Common Core, the education standards supported heavily by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, has suffered as more people learn about it, according to a new poll.

St. Petersburg Times Groups ask judge to reject new map for Congress

TALLAHASSEE — The same groups that successfully challenged Florida's congressional map are now asking a judge to throw out a new one drawn up by the Legislature.

St. Petersburg Times Bousquet column: A day in the campaign for Florida governor

Gov. Rick Scott on Monday ramped up an asphalt agenda, calling for more lanes on I-295 in Jacksonville and millions more for airports and seaports.

St. Petersburg Times Medicaid expansion is job creator, money saver, but Florida still doesn't care

At some point, facts have to matter, right?

St. Petersburg Times Florida spent more than $2.46 million on security

TALLAHASSEE — The cost of guarding Gov. Rick Scott continues to grow.

St. Petersburg Times Sen. Jack Latvala blasts Peter Nehr in race for Pinellas County commission

State Sen. Jack Latvala has inserted himself into the race for a north Pinellas County Commission seat, sending an open letter warning voters not to vote for his former Republican colleague Peter Nehr.

St. Petersburg Times Mailers in Hillsborough District 4 race question candidates' conservatism

Mailers in Hillsborough County's District 4 race question candidates' conservatism.

St. Petersburg Times Dissecting Florida's redrawn congressional districts

Lawmakers changed two challenged districts, but a Times analysis shows minor tweaks.

St. Petersburg Times Two Pinellas GOP candidates want to take on Democratic state Rep. Dwight Dudley

The candidates in the GOP contest in District 68 both bring some history.

St. Petersburg Times PolitiFact Florida: Does the All Aboard Florida rail project get taxpayer funding?

The governor says the rail project is a 100 percent private venture. His challenger says it will cost state taxpayers millions. Both are wrong to different degrees.

St. Petersburg Times PunditFact: Fact-checking the Aug. 17 Sunday shows

The killing of an unarmed black teen by a white police officer in a St. Louis suburb is raising questions about the makeup of the police department and its response to the Aug. 9 shooting.

St. Petersburg Times With close ties to sugar, Florida's next House speaker admits taking King Ranch trip

To say that Steve Crisafulli is comfortable working with the sugar industry is an understatement.

St. Petersburg Times Six vying to succeed Hillsborough commission's most vocal transit advocate

Four Republicans and two Democrats aim for the countywide District 7 commission seat.

St. Petersburg Times Charlie Crist campaigns in school bus to boast his education record

TALLAHASSEE — Traveling on a yellow school bus, Democratic candidate for governor Charlie Crist toured the state last week to tell Floridians that public schools would fare better under his watch than that of Gov. Rick Scott.

St. Petersburg Times Charlie Crist blasts Rick Scott administration for plan to use a lottery to select marijuana producers

The growing tensions between prospective producers of medical marijuana and state regulators have now become political fodder as former Gov. Charlie Crist on Friday blasted Gov. Rick Scott's administration for a plan to use a lottery to select the companies that will develop legalized pot in Florida.

St. Petersburg Times Candidates for North Pinellas commission seat want more from county

The seven candidates hope to give a voice to the residents of North Pinellas.

St. Petersburg Times Five things to know about the Aug. 26 primary

1 Early voting starts Saturday and runs through Aug. 24. Voters can go to any of three early voting sites, regardless of where they live. Those sites are the County Courthouse, 315 Court St., Room 117, in Clearwater; Election Service Center, 13001 Starkey Road in the Starkey Lakes Corporate Center in Largo; and the County Building …