West Coast

St. Petersburg Times Florida website aimed at the uninsured draws little interest

TALLAHASSEE — Last year, legislators allocated $900,000 to help Floridians find affordable health care through a new state-backed website.

St. Petersburg Times Push for passage of penny sales tax set to begin in Hernando

The group leading the effort will launch its information campaign.

St. Petersburg Times Teachers union, school board association to challenge school voucher program

TALLAHASSEE — The statewide teachers union, school boards association and PTA will file a lawsuit Thursday challenging the constitutionality of Florida's school voucher program.

St. Petersburg Times Gov. Rick Scott's staff kept records secret for mansion project

TALLAHASSEE — The idea made sense: Create a "governor's park" around the Florida Governor's Mansion to spruce up the entrance by buying up shabby commercial property on the adjacent street and replace it with a grand boulevard and a visitors commons.

St. Petersburg Times Pinellas House candidates throw some jabs one day after primary victories

ST. PETERSBURG — Less than 24 hours after winning their Pinellas primary elections, candidates in two state House races came to a debate Wednesday and pledged to run civil campaigns.

St. Petersburg Times Charlie Crist's big win clouded by low turnout and enthusiasm questions

TALLAHASSEE — As Charlie Crist celebrates winning the Democratic nomination for Florida governor, red flags are flying that raise questions about whether he can defeat Republican Gov. Rick Scott in November.

St. Petersburg Times Final tally gives nod to Jeff Holcomb in GOP commission primary in Hernando

BROOKSVILLE — Software consultant Jeff Holcomb won a narrow victory over Realtor Laurie Pizzo in the Republican primary for the District 4 seat on the Hernando County Commission on Tuesday.

St. Petersburg Times Hillsborough races appear decided as officials count final mail-in ballots

TAMPA — Hillsborough elections officials had about 1,800 mail-in ballots left to be counted Wednesday morning, though it appeared the remaining ballots would not affect any close races.

St. Petersburg Times Several Hillsborough politicians faced no opponents for re-election

TAMPA — Well before voters went to the polls in Tuesday's primary, a number of politicians representing Hillsborough County residents were re-elected automatically this year when no one filed to run against them. They include:

St. Petersburg Times Jeff Holcomb takes close GOP race in Hernando County Commission District 4

BROOKSVILLE — Software consultant Jeff Holcomb squeaked by Realtor Laurie Pizzo in Tuesday's Republican primary for the District 4 seat on the Hernando County Commission.

St. Petersburg Times Three new members guaranteed on Hernando School Board

BROOKSVILLE — The Hernando County School Board is in for a dramatic makeover, with three new members guaranteed to come aboard after the November election.

St. Petersburg Times Runoff likely in judge's race in 5th Circuit

In partial election results Tuesday night, Mary Hatcher and Denise A. Dymond Lyn appeared to be headed for a showdown in November for the Group 3 judgeship in the 5th Judicial Circuit.

St. Petersburg Times Scott campaign, GOP paying big bucks for jet use

Gov. Rick Scott's campaign and the Republican Party of Florida have paid more than $227,000 for use of the private jet that Scott also uses for official state travel. The Cessna Citation is owned by a Naples business whose only officer is First Lady Ann Scott, at right. The jet tail number ends with the first lady's initials.

St. Petersburg Times Gregg cruising to win over Mathieu in Pasco House race

Chris Gregg appeared to be winning comfortably over Jim Mathieu in Tuesday's Republican primary for House District 36 in west Pasco County.

St. Petersburg Times Voters approve tax breaks for Pinellas businesses

By nearly a 2-to-1 margin, voters have approved a ballot measure designed to entice businesses to set up shop in Pinellas County.

St. Petersburg Times Early returns show Mike Wells cruising toward Pasco County Commission victory

It appears that Henry Wilson will be a one-termer, just like the incumbent he upset nearly four years ago to win a seat on the Pasco County Commission.

St. Petersburg Times Early results: Higginbotham, Kemp cruising in Hillsborough commission primaries

Hillsborough County Commissioner Al Higginbotham is coasting toward a win in his Republican primary, and Pat Kemp is leading the race to be his opponent, according to early voting results.

St. Petersburg Times Hillsborough County Judge Nash leads in race against Norman Cannella Jr.

Hillsborough County Court Judge Chris Nash may hold onto his seat, if early voting returns hold.

St. Petersburg Times Narain leads District 61 race in early returns

TAMPA — The first wave of results for Hillsborough County show Ed Narain, an area manager for AT&T and former student body president at the University of South Florida, leading the race to replace State Rep. Betty Reed in House District 61.

St. Petersburg Times Early returns in Hillsborough circuit court races

Early results are in for the Hillsborough Circuit judicial races and here's where they stand: Group 8

St. Petersburg Times Pinellas County Commissioner Norm Roche won't see a second term

Based on early results, Pinellas County Commissioner Norm Roche will be denied a second term, fellow Republican incumbent John Morroni will serve another four years, and Dunedin Mayor Dave Eggers is pulling away from a crowded Republican field vying for the seat of retiring Commissioner Susan Latvala.

St. Petersburg Times Chris Latvala, Steve Sarnoff leading in Pinellas legislative races

Shortly after polls closed Tuesday, Republican Chris Latvala and Democrat Steve Sarnoff were leading in the fight for House District 67 in Clearwater and Largo. It's the only Pinellas legislative race that had contested primaries for both Democrats and Republicans.

St. Petersburg Times Study: Medical marijuana laws may ease painkiller overdose rates

In a finding that could ripple through Florida, a study released this week reported that the average number of narcotic painkiller overdoses in medical marijuana states are 25 percent lower than would be expected if pot use weren't legal.

St. Petersburg Times Immigration protesters interrupt Sen. Marco Rubio (w/video)

This could be a recurring scene at events attended by Sen. Marco Rubio: Immigration protests.

St. Petersburg Times Democrats plan aggressive push for unity after Florida primary

TAMPA — This year the Florida Democratic Party is determined not to be the circular firing squad party.

St. Petersburg Times Bousquet column: Duke Energy makes battle for governor go nuclear

A power company that writes six-figure checks to the governor's re-election gets attention.

St. Petersburg Times Gov. Rick Scott calls for review of Florida's controversial education standards

TALLAHASSEE — Late last week, an election-minded Gov. Rick Scott released a plan to increase per-pupil spending.

St. Petersburg Times Things to know in Pinellas County for Election Day

A list of election basics for Pinellas residents ready to cast primary ballots Tuesday.

St. Petersburg Times Five things for Hillsborough voters to know

TAMPA — With primary elections coming up Tuesday, here are five things for Hillsborough County voters to know: What's at stake?

St. Petersburg Times U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan visits Brandon to promote book, talk 2016

BRANDON — Republicans need not be cowed by the prospect of taking on Hillary Clinton in 2016, said U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, one of the leading Republican contenders to do just that.