West Coast

St. Petersburg Times Bob Buckhorn expected to cruise in low-turnout election

TAMPA — Mayor Bob Buckhorn is expected to breeze to a second term Tuesday night in a city election shaping up to have the lowest voter turnout since the Nixon administration.

St. Petersburg Times After bowing out of politics, Dave Russell announces another run for Hernando commission

BROOKSVILLE — Just three months after collecting a plaque for his years of public service and declaring that he wanted more time for his business and family, former Hernando County commissioner and state Rep. Dave Russell is back running for office.

St. Petersburg Times Tampa elections and Cuban sandwiches make for a campaign issue to chew on

TAMPA — Lettuce and tomato on a Cuban sandwich?

St. Petersburg Times Florida's 2016 presidential primary likely to be March 15

TALLAHASSEE — It's probably safe to start planning for a March 15 presidential primary in Florida.

St. Petersburg Times House Republican leader Dana Young of Tampa pushes gambling overhaul bill

TALLAHASSEE — House Republican Leader Dana Young, R-Tampa, is pushing a sweeping overhaul that would expand gaming options at the Seminole Tribe's Tampa Bay operations and elsewhere statewide.

St. Petersburg Times Romano: In battle of wills between state House and the feds, the poor lose

As lawmakers show up for a new Legislative session this morning in Tallahassee, let's review where we stand on the issue of Medicaid expansion:

St. Petersburg Times Politifact: Conservative group claims Hillary Clinton's foundation took millions from foreign governments

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St. Petersburg Times Bousquet: Some advice for Gov. Rick Scott's fifth State of the State speech

TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott will deliver his fifth State of the State address to the Legislature Tuesday.

St. Petersburg Times Rep. Corrine Brown will boycott Netanyahu's speech to Congress

Only one Florida Democrat, Rep. Corrine Brown of Jacksonville, is confirmed to boycott Tuesday's speech by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, according to a survey by the Tampa Bay Times.

St. Petersburg Times Rick Scott looks to Legislature on campaign promises on taxes, education, environment

The governor needs legislative approval to fulfill some of his campaign promises.

St. Petersburg Times As Florida's 2015 session begins: 5 people and 5 issues to watch

TALLAHASSEE — The 2015 session of the Florida Legislature begins Tuesday here with new leaders facing fresh challenges and competing demands for a projected $1 billion budget surplus.

St. Petersburg Times Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and winner-take-all delegates in Florida

It could be one of the great ironies of the 2016 presidential cycle that in a race where two * major Republican candidates, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, hail from Florida, the Sunshine State's GOP presidential primary could well be the most boring in more than a decade.

St. Petersburg Times Chronic prison woes reveal Florida Legislature's priorities

TALLAHASSEE — The two DVDs were only minutes long but they depicted deplorable conditions in the state's prison system: uninhabitable dorms, inmate-on-staff assaults and roofs that were so porous that prison staff rigged sheets of cardboard to serve as makeshift gutters.

St. Petersburg Times State audit highly critical of Florida's unemployment system CONNECT

Florida's unemployment system has few controls and records incorrect information, a report shows.

St. Petersburg Times Tampa council races focus on transportation, neighborhoods

TAMPA — Memories of the recession are fading. Building permits and property tax revenues are on the rise. And business tycoon Jeff Vinik plans to make a $1 billion bet on the future of downtown.

St. Petersburg Times Florida's craft beer industry poised to win long-sought changes

ST. PETERSBURG — At 2 in the afternoon, Green Bench Brewing is empty but for a bearded bartender and a dark-brown dog named Porter. Within a few hours, though, the St. Petersburg brewery transforms into a packed nightspot, with bartenders serving pints and flights of craft brews made on-site over the din of a live band.

St. Petersburg Times Jeb Bush exploits non-candidate status to rewrite campaign finance playbook

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St. Petersburg Times US, Cuba restart embassy talks; breakthrough seems unlikely

WASHINGTON — The U.S. and Cuba held a second round of negotiations Friday on restoring diplomatic relations after a half-century interruption, although an immediate breakthrough appeared unlikely.

St. Petersburg Times Governor's budget cuts funding for hundreds of health care workers

TALLAHASSEE — Nutritionists who advise poor families, health counselors and family support workers are among hundreds of health care positions that would be cut under Gov. Rick Scott's proposed budget.

St. Petersburg Times Sen. Marco Rubio gets warm welcome at CPAC

OXON Hill, Md. — Sen. Marco Rubio took another step in erasing the damage of his role in immigration reform, receiving a warm reception Friday at the annual CPAC gathering here while suggesting the comprehensive approach he once championed was a mistake.

St. Petersburg Times Jeb Bush campaign's demand for fidelity ruffles some Republicans

The prestigious consulting firm, known for its close ties to Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, was orchestrating an extensive effort to remake his image and prepare him for the 2016 presidential campaign.

St. Petersburg Times Gov. Scott faces big hurdles to push his legislative agenda

The governor's early second-term stumbles may embolden fellow Republicans in the Legislature to test him.

St. Petersburg Times CPAC head welcomes 'diversity of opinion' at conservative confab

OXON HILL, Md. — The Conservative Political Action Conference, which is scheduled to feature a parade of potential Republican presidential candidates testing their messages and their appeal to thousands of party activists from all over the country, began Wednesday and continues through Saturday.

St. Petersburg Times Former Florida House Speaker Ray Sansom seeks reimbursement for legal bills

A one-day non-jury trial is being held today to determine if Florida taxpayers should pay more than $800,000 in legal fees racked up by former House Speaker Ray Sansom.

St. Petersburg Times Obscure group sends attack mailers in Tampa City Council District 6

TAMPA — With the campaign in its last week, two mystery mailers are roiling the race in City Council District 6.

St. Petersburg Times Gov. Rick Scott faces concern from fellow Republicans over "tax increase" to fund schools

TALLAHASSEE -- In touting his "record" spending on Florida schools, Gov. Rick Scott is ignoring something causing concern to some of his fellow Republicans: it will require property taxpayers to pay more.

St. Petersburg Times Two candidates vie for St. Pete Beach commission seat

ST. PETE BEACH — Only one seat on the City Commission is up for election this year, pitting challenger Joanne Lentino against the incumbent from District 2, Rick Falkenstein, who was appointed to the board less than a year ago.

St. Petersburg Times Charlie Crist's sister and former campaign manager Margaret Crist Wood dead at 60

ST. PETERSBURG — Margaret Crist Wood, a sister of former Gov. Charlie Crist who managed his 2010 campaign for the U.S. Senate, died of cancer Tuesday at Bayfront Health System, her family said. She was 60.

St. Petersburg Times Critics warn cuts will harm services for toddlers

TALLAHASSEE — Blaming a budget shortfall, the Florida Department of Health has laid off most of the administrators at the Early Steps program, which serves babies and toddlers with developmental disabilities and delays.

St. Petersburg Times Florida Gov. Rick Scott suspends 11th grade tests

TALLAHASSEE High-school juniors across Florida rejoiced Tuesday upon learning that Gov. Rick Scott had suspended the new 11th grade test in language arts.