2018 Elections

A ballot in a voting booth.
Heather Katsoulis / Flickr

In a state where razor-thin election margins have become the norm in major races, Democrats are seeking to make inroads by trying to do away with a decades-old Florida law that requires candidates who are of the same party as the governor to appear first on the ballot.

Duval County Supervisor of Elections staff man a high speed tabulator on Monday during the machine recount.
Brendan Rivers / WJCT News

Despite a couple of issues with tabulators at the Supervisor of Elections Office in Duval County this week, Elections Supervisor Mike Hogan said he expects to wrap up the machine recount well before Thursday’s 3 p.m. deadline.

Weston Funcheon (left) and Jake Capistran (right) of NextGen Florida tabling at UNF on Monday.
Brendan Rivers / WJCT News

Republicans, Democrats and their allies are making their final pitches to potential voters, with the polls open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Blogtrepreneur / Flickr

On their November ballots, First Coast voters have up to six judges facing the question: Should they keep their job?

Democratic Senator Bill Nelson (left) and Republican Florida Governor Rick Scott (right).
FLGOV.COM AND SENATE.GOV

A new poll from Quinnipiac University shows Democratic incumbent Senator Bill Nelson with a six point lead over his Republican challenger, Florida Governor Rick Scott, but a prominent University of North Florida pollster says that result is skewed because the poll’s sample of likely voters has too many self identified independents and non-party affiliated voters.

Kevin Meerschaert / WJCT

Tuesday on First Coast Connect we spoke with Florida 4th District Congressional candidate Ges Selmont. He’s challenging incumbent Republican John Rutherford (01:03). Rutherford was also invited but his office did not respond.

Duval Elections Supervisor building
Ray Hollister / WJCT News

Floridians who plan to vote in the November midterm election have until Tuesday, October 9th, to register.

She Should Run

Tuesday First Coast Connect we spoke with Director of Programs and Impact Sofia Pereira. With the She Should Run incubator. It’s a national movement to get more women to run for public office. The group will be holding a cohort next month in Jacksonville (01:12).

Steve Cannon and Lynne Sladky / AP

Tuesday on First Coast Connect we spoke with faculty director of the University of North Florida’s Public Opinion Research Lab Mike Binder about UNF’s latest polling numbers regarding Florida’s U.S. Senate and Governor races (01:03).      

Our First Coast Connect Friday Media Roundtable with guest host A.G Gancarski Our panelists were Florida Times-Union reporter David Bauerlein, WJCT contributor Fred Matthews, Folio Weekly Editor Claire Goforth and Jacksonville Daily Record reporter David Cawton (00:58).  

Topics included:

Our Friday Media Roundtable on First Coast Connect featured Florida Times-Union reporter David Bauerlein, radio host Angela Spears, WJCT contributor Charles Griggs and Jacksonville Business Journal editor Timothy Gibbons.

Our topics included:

Rep. Al Lawson Tries To Fend Off Former Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown

Aug 24, 2018

U.S. Rep. Al Lawson is facing a serious Democratic primary challenge from a former Jacksonville mayor as he seeks a second term in a congressional district that stretches across a large part of North Florida.

CREDIT PETRONAS / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Spanish-speaking voters aren’t getting the resources and assistance they need. That’s the charge made in a federal lawsuit against Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner and 32 local election supervisors, including four in Northeast Florida.

Duval County Supervisor of Elections Office
Jessica Palombo / WJCT News

Duval County Supervisor of Elections Mike Hogan says he is talking to the University of North Florida about a potential early voting site on the campus for the November elections, but it’s unlikely to happen due to logistical issues.

Brendan Rivers / WJCT News

Early voting is officially underway in Duval County in this month’s primary elections, and voter turnout is expected to be on the rise.

Putnam, DeSantis Campaign Against Obamacare

Aug 13, 2018
JOHN RAOUX / ASSOCIATED PRESS

The two main Republican candidates battling for Florida governor have a simple message when it comes to health care: Just say no to Obamacare.

Florida Democratic Governor Candidates Push For Expanded Health Coverage

Aug 13, 2018
Sam Bogle

Reflecting the same fault lines that have emerged nationally, Florida’s Democratic and Republican candidates for governor are deeply split over whether the state should take a more direct role in providing health care.

Some will vote by mail. Some will vote early. Some will go old-school and vote on the actual Election Day. Some won’t vote at all.

But slightly more than 13 million Floridians are registered to vote in advance of the Aug. 28 primary elections, according to new figures posted online by the state Division of Elections. Democrats outnumber Republicans, but just barely, as both parties gear up for a fierce battle in November for a U.S. Senate seat and the governor’s office.

Trump Goes All In With DeSantis At Tampa Rally

Aug 1, 2018
News Service of Florida

In a boisterous political rally held in Florida’s largest media market, President Donald Trump on Tuesday thrust his outsized persona into the middle of Florida’s governor’s race, with a full-throated endorsement of U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis.

Google Streetview

Procrastinators: this is your day.  Monday night at midnight is the deadline to register to vote for Florida’s August 28 primary.

Kevin Meerschaert / WJCT

Tuesday on First Coast Connect we spoke with Agriculture Commissioner candidate Democrat Nikki Fried about her campaign and the issues she is focusing on, which include the environment, medical marijuana and gun background checks (01:17).

Tom Arthur/Wikimedia Commons

  Monday on First Coast Connect we got a preview of what are expected to be the most interesting local and state primary races with Florida Politics reporter A.G. Gancarski and FSCJ Political Science professor Daniel Cronrath (01:22) now that the Friday filing deadline for local and state races has passed.

Our Friday Media Roundtable on First Coast Connect featured Florida Times-Union reporter Andrew Pantazi, Jacksonville Business Journal editor Timothy Gibbons, Beaches Leader columnist Jon McGowan and WJCT contributor Fred Matthews.

Topics included

Kevin Meerschaert / WJCT

Monday on First Coast Connect we spoke with Democratic Attorney General candidate Sean Shaw, who is currently a state representative (01:20).

Republicans running to replace term-limited Attorney General Pam Bondi would continue with the state’s legal approach to defending a controversial process for restoring felons’ voting rights.

But Democrats seeking the state Cabinet post oppose Bondi’s handling of the legal battle and support a proposed constitutional amendment that, if approved by voters in November, would automatically restore voting rights to felons who have served their sentences.

For 11 Years, Collins Cooper Attracted Criticism. Now He’s Running For Judge Unopposed.

May 4, 2018
The Florida Times-Union

For more than a decade, supervisors have documented their concerns about Collins Cooper — from his past arrests and his interpersonal skills to his legal competence. But now that the 11-year prosecutor is running for circuit judge, one of the most powerful elected positions in the legal community, no one is opposing him, and no one is talking, at least not publicly.

Kevin Meerschaert / WJCT

The Democratic primary race in Florida’s 5th Congressional District officially got underway this week as incumbent Al Lawson and former Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown both qualified to be on the August ballot.

Both candidates had already been taking shots at each other on the campaign trail.

Kevin Meerschaert / WJCT

Thursday on First Coast Connect we spoke with Congressman Al Lawson (D-FL5), about some of the issues he’s working on in Washington. We also discussed the primary challenge against him by former Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown (01:16).

Policy Matters: Adam Putnam

Apr 26, 2018

Hosted by Rick Mullaney, director of Jacksonville University's Public Policy Institute, this quarterly program examines issues ranging from taxes to downtown redevelopment.

This week, Rick was joined by Florida Agricultural Commissioner and Republican candidate for Florida Governor Adam Putnam.

Policy Matters is not a production of WJCT News.

Friday on First Coast Connect our weekly Media Roundtable featured Florida Times-Union reporter David Bauerlein, WJCT contributor Fred Matthews, Daily Record reporter David Cawton and WJCT reporter Ryan Benk (01:03).  

We spoke with Jennifer Harrison with the Amelia Island Museum of History about the upcoming Cottages and Courtyards tour. (46:00).

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