Election 2018

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

Former Congresswoman Gwen Graham brought her Democratic campaign for governor to Pensacola Tuesday morning. 

Graham spent part of her day working at the USO based at Pensacola International Airport. The visit was something of a throwback to her time in Congress, as a member of the House Armed Services Committee.

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In what likely was a surprise to virtually no one in Florida, Governor Rick Scott announced his next political campaign on Monday at an Orlando construction firm.

Scott, in his trademark sky blue shirt and Navy baseball cap, said he’ll seek the Republican nomination in hopes of challenging incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson. Scott’s “Let’s Get to Work” mantra, used in two gubernatorial campaigns, will transfer to this race.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

In part two of our look at the start of the Pensacola Mayor’s race, WUWF’s Dave Dunwoody spoke with Grover Robinson, who’s foregoing another term on the Escambia County Commission in hopes of succeeding Ashton Hayward.

Robinson was the first to enter the mayor’s race, pre-filing with the Supervisor of Elections Office in October. As he wraps up his fourth term in the County Commission’s District 4 seat. He’s kicking off his new campaign with his record at the forefront.

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum brought his gubernatorial campaign to Pensacola recently. 

Gillum, 38, is seeking the Democratic nomination to succeed Republican Gov. Rick Scott, who is termed out in 2018. He says serving three years as mayor and 12 on the Tallahassee City Commission has given him a front-row seat at what’s been happening at the Capitol.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

Elections officials in both Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties plan workshops next week, for those interested in running for office in 2018.

These workshops are useful because many who seek public office have not done so before, and for political veterans it’s a refresher course.

“We have a lot of people that come into our office; obviously, they’re curious about what offices are up for election and what it means to be a candidate,” said Tappie Villane, Elections Supervisor in Santa Rosa County.

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Governor Rick Scott’s being praised for his response to Hurricane Irma; but could that carry over to next year’s U.S. Senate race? 

Scott is gaining praise for his preparation and reaction to the storm, which has left millions of Floridians in the dark and dealing with floods. Hundreds of thousands of others took his advice and left for safer areas.

“This is a deadly storm,” Scott said as Irma battered her way through the Caribbean. “If you’ve been ordered to evacuate, you need to leave now. Do not wait – evacuate.”

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam brought his campaign for the Republican gubernatorial nomination in 2018 to Pensacola Friday morning. It was one of the final stops on his 10-day, 22-city bus tour.

Unlike most of the previous appearances around Florida, such as his announcement in his hometown of Bartow, there was no cheering crowd to greet the 42-year-old Putnam in downtown Pensacola. Instead, it was a roundtable discussion with small business leaders at the Dog House Deli.

With Governor Rick Scott termed out of office in 2018, there’s beginning to be a lot of jockeying for position in both parties for that race.

Two aspirants, each from high-profile Florida families, announced their intentions this week. Republican Adam Putnam currently is Agriculture Commissioner.

“It has been an honor to serve my community, to serve my friends and neighbors, to serve my state, and to serve my nation,” said Putnam at a rally in his hometown of Bartow. “But make no mistake; for me, it’s always been ‘Florida first.’ And it’s why I am running for governor.”